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Tastes Like Home

Bea Louis

Last week, I went to upstate New York for vacation.  We flew into Newark, NJ, and rented a car.  My friend from Nebraska was nervous the whole time.  Jumping, screaming, biting her nails just because a car was two inches from hitting us.  I finally told her to close her eyes and let me drive… Even though I wanted to close my eyes, too.

We went on a tour and the nervous friend met a nice family and we got invited to lunch in Elizaville, NY.  How do you end up living in Elizaville?  Where is this place?  Well, GPS said it was 1 hour and 37 minutes away from our hotel up by the Catskills mountains.  Hmmm.  Should we drive up to the mountains to have lunch with folks we just met?  Of course, we should!  Let the adventure begin!

The drive started out easy on main highways, then we got on two-lane roads and then long dirt paths.  Let me tell you that a country mile is more than 5,280 feet!  Just when we thought our folks would find our bodies by tracking our phone signals, we came to old Calendar road, our destination!

Our hostess, Carol, was standing on the porch of an old farmhouse.  It was surrounded by apple orchards and in the distance was a clear view of the Catskills.  Carol hugged us and welcomed us along with the other people she had invited to her home.  She said lunch was ready, so let’s eat.

I must admit I was kind of leery.  I’m not picky about food, but I am picky about cooks.  Carol set the table.  She brought out a lovely pork roast, broccoli, cornbread, salad, and a sweet potato casserole. 

Despite my reservations, I took a few bites.  Then I cleaned my plate.  Here I was in Elizaville and I was eating food that tastes like Home! We talked and laughed and promised to keep in touch.  I left with a recipe for sweet potato casserole.  I called it Tastes Like Home.

Tastes like Home Sweet Potato Casserole

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Scrub sweet potatoes and boil or bake in the oven until tender.

Cool, peel and mash the potatoes.  Stir in granulated sugar, butter, vanilla, milk, and eggs.  Add cinnamon to taste.

Pour mixture into 9×13 casserole dish.

Mix brown sugar, flour, nuts, and butter together and spread evenly over sweet potato mixture.

Cool for thirty minutes until the topping has browned.


  • 5-6 Sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 stick of butter softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon (1/2 to 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • Topping
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter softened
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

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