Thursday, April 26, 2012

Recipe: sweet potato fries

*Note: strictly speaking, this post is not vintage, but it does contain anecdotes of my childhood, which at some point will count as vintage. Hopefully later than sooner.*

I remember these mystical summer evenings from my childhood in the Pacific Northwest when the air was heavy and the sun hid behind the silhouetted evergreen trees, not quite ready to say goodbye to the day. Memories tinted with the sound of crickets, playing outdoors with my siblings and our dogs until it was too dark to see where the volleyball went, and a favorite snack when we finally went in at day's end...

This snack, sadly, was not usually sweet potato fries. In fact, in one instance it was an entire gallon of rainbow sherbet ice cream previously thawed and refrozen - the result of lost power at some time or other. Ah, such happy memories, sugar-high and brain-frozen in the midnight hours.

But I digress. Lately, I have returned to my home climate and was surprised that a summer night detached itself from July to visit us in late April, so I just had to celebrate. Our penchant for wine on long, lingering summer eves (indeed, on many evenings of the year) necessitated a wine run, during which I decided to make something to accompany our favored beverage. 

One finds it very difficult to decide between sweet and salty when one is anticipating mystery wine. But I found I didn't have to choose - sweet potatoes can be both! Here is my adjusted recipe (originally from here), and I encourage you to try this easy dish when premature summer nights entice you to make an evening snack.

  • 3 large sweet potatoes (or yams, which are on the sweeter side)
  • 1/4 cup (ish) olive or canola oil
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
You'll also need:
  • Baking sheets and aluminum foil
  • Mixing bowl and spoon
  • Large knife and cutting board
  • Cute kitchen apron and matching oven mitts (or similar accessory)

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
2. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them in half twice.

3. Cut them up to your own preference - I like them to look like French fries.

4. Put them in a bowl (you may have to do this a few times - it's rather a lot of sweet potato) and add some oil. Mix until it coats all the fries.

5. Add the sugar, salt and spices and mix well.

6. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Your husband will thank you when he doesn't have to spend an hour scraping burnt sugar off the inside of it.

7. Place the fries on the baking sheet. If you want each one crispy, put them only one layer deep and give them space. If you like them softer or less evenly crispified (I do!) then pile them on as I did.

8. Bake for 15 minutes, pull them out and turn them over, then bake for another 10-15 minutes.

9. There! They look lovely. Enjoy alone (but definitely with other people!) or with ketchup or parmesan or whatever you like to put on fries.

If you really think these are wonderful, try making poutine out of them. I have yet to do this, but I have heard it is most fabulous. I did find a recipe here that I plan to try sometime soon.

May your all summer evenings be full of such mouth-watering delicacies,


  1. I think cooking & vintage go hand in hand perfectly! I have really wanted to start doing cooking/baking entries! I keep buying vintage cookbooks and wanting to try them out and blog. However, sewing just keeps distracting me.

    1. I know what you mean! There are so many activities one could focus on, and so much to learn and share! I go through phases, I guess - that, or I must admit I have the attention span of a squirrel monkey.