Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sweet Potato Crisp and Turkey Bones???

With Thanksgiving wrapped up and a whole heck of a lot of Sweet Potatoes left behind, I decided to share a story and a recipe about the very special "Lady With All The Earrings".

That is what alot of people called her.  We just called her Grama.  This would be my Dad's Mom and she passed away a few years back but she's still making us laugh!

Grama raised TEN kids.  Can you imagine trying to feed ten kids breakfast, lunch and dinner?  It's no wonder Grama was a little goofy!  She must of had a hole in her head to allow that kind of crazy into her life!  As a matter of fact, she did have lots of holes...in her ears!

As a tribute to each of her kids and grand kids, she would add an earring.  She started this much later in life, so luckily only my younger cousins were traumatized by this.  Us older kids, she just spanked us for holding on to the sides of the swimming pool  ;0)  I'm kidding of course, maybe.  Also, us older grand kids would never have dreamed of calling her "Granny".  Only the younger grand kids did that!  Never sounded right to me. 

There were somewhere around 39 holes in her ears, you can count them if you like.

So how DID Grama pull off a Thanksgiving Day Feast?  Well, she would get up super early, force all the kids out the door and then get to work.  She would do the turkey first and then let it rest while she made all the sides.

Under very strict orders, the kids were told "DO NOT touch that bird!"  Did I mention everyone was afraid of Grama? 

As the day wore on, ten kids got hungry!  They would run through the kitchen and snitch a little piece of that bird when Grama wasn't looking.  Can you imagine the devastation nine hungry boys and one little girl can do to a bird?

Suffice it to say, when the dinner bell rang hours later and the family of 12 gathered around the table with all the lovely side dishes piping hot and the kids knowing what they had done...

Well, Grama knew too.

And she served Turkey Bones for dinner.

She lifted the lid off that roasting pan and simply said, "Eat!"

I have been fortunate enough to inherit what is believed to be "The Pan". 

When Grama passed away, the night before her funeral...I roasted a Turkey.  My brother and I picked it clean.  "The Pan" went with us to the funeral.  It followed us to my Aunt's home afterwards. 

With full bellies from all the food that family and friends had brought, I asked my Brother to go and get "The Pan".

We gathered everyone together.  They were grumbling at me that they simply couldn't eat another bite.  I told them all that, "I knew Grama would have wanted them to save room for this."

I lifted the lid and simply said, "EAT!"

Tears, extremely LOUD laughter, hugs, kisses, and memories flooded her wonderful kids.  It was the coolest tribute to a super cool and hip Grama.  My family loved it. 

So here is a great side dish to go along with those Turkey Bones!

Grama's Sweet Potato Crisp

40 oz. Sweet Potatoes (canned or cooked from fresh) -Drain and Mash
1 Egg
2 T. Sugar
1/2 stick Butter
1/2 t. Cinnamon

Mix and Mash together and place in small casserole dish.


1 stick Butter, Melted
1 C crushed Ritz Crackers
1/2 C chopped Walnuts
1/2 C packed brown sugar

Mix and sprinkle over potato mixture.
Bake in 350 oven approximately 30 minutes

Now, if someone would please hand my Dad a Kleenex, he's got snot all over himself!


  1. What a great tribute! I bet she was a blast and kept everyone in line at the same time, and a beautiful photo of her!

  2. Your dad and me both! What a sweet, caring, crazy, off-the-wall thing for you to do at the get together at your aunt's after the funeral. Methinks you are related to Grama . . . more than a little bit!

  3. Nine boys.... Nine boys.... Oh my goodness. And the lone poor sister. Way to much testosterone in that house. I bet Grama WAS one tough lady. Either be tough or run for the hills. Nine Boys?

  4. Aww.....now that was sweet. And if Dad and MamaPea have an extra hankie to spare, I will take one. ;) Will try that recipe out as well, LOVE sweet potatoes and this one looks like a keeper!

  5. Erin, yupper, my Grama was a real beauty. I will have to get my hands on some of her younger pictures. She was amazing.

    MamaPea, Oh the stories I could tell! But I am so afraid that I would have you all running for the hills and then you would click the un-follow. We are crazy! But I always say that's what keeps us sane actually. Life kicks you and you just keep on a laughin'!! We are sorta sick that way. Grama would laugh so hard she would just about pass out smackin' her leg!

    Jane, Can you imagine NINE boys!? My Dad is the oldest and then poor little Aunt Mary Ann got squashed in as 4th. She is one tough cookie and let me tell you...when she talks...everyone listens!!!

    MamaTea, I called my Dad at work and told him NOT to read it until he got home. I know what a cryer he is. We pride ourselves in reducing him to thumb sucking ;o) There's that sick humor again...hereditary...so it all falls back to his own darn fault!

  6. Oh, please do tell us more stories. We'll be good, I promise! I think the world could use more zany, warm-hearted humor, don't you? If you can find humor in everything, even if you have to search REEEALLY hard, you can manage to keep going.

  7. Miss Apple Pie, I wish we lived closer together. You are *so* my kind of gal!

  8. That is SO sweet! Loved it!

  9. You forgot the part where Peggy (family friend) was there and we all laughed so hard when she took out ONE piece of Juicy Fruit, cut it into TEN pieces and said "Here, I brought dessert!"

  10. I love Grammy stories. I think you got a streak of Gramma in you for sure!!!! Just promise you won't put that many holes in your head!!!! Oh, and if you make that dish for me, I promise to eat the whole thing!!!!

  11. That was a super cute story sis :-) I am so glad you started this blog...I learn something new about you and your family every day.

    P.S. You know I love when you use the word "yupper"

  12. MamaTea...we need to make a trip to Wisconscin and hoop it up sometime! Even if it's in the middle of no where!

    Tammy, thank you ma'am!!

    Jan, you come on over, there is a bunch in the fridge waiting for you!

    Jen, and you aren't scared yet??? That's a good sign! "Yupper" is my Dad's word and it just stuck!

    MamaPea, ok more Freaky Family stories coming your way, but remember...you asked for it!

  13. I see you have inherited her sense of humor! That sweet potato crips looks amazing! I think that was the sweetest, most loving tribute you could have done - and I would LOVE to hear more Freaky Family stories, too!

  14. Susan, oh yes...all the funny bones included :)

    Luckily today, my Dad was up for a visit and got to actually eat some of the sweet potato crisp, so he was happy!

    MamaPea convinced me to post some snippets here and there. So I will rattle Dad's memories and make him cry some more!

  15. What a sweet story! Not to take anything away from the story, but I just had to laugh at the tight-rolled jeans in the background of the photo. Those were the days. :)