"Hold That Handful"

This special recipe was given to me by my mother, Lilar or as the grandchildren call her, "Nanny."

It all started with "hold that handful."

When I was growing up, my mother would always bake three or four sweet potato pies at a time for holidays or no occasion at all. I learned that I had a big sweet tooth and mom's sweet potato pies were so good to my taste buds. I use to eat so many slices of my mother's sweet potato pies, my stomach would ache all night. I tried other relatives' pies but none compared to my mom's secret recipe.

When I went away to college in the early seventies, I sampled cuisine made by my friends' moms but their sweet potato pies didn't taste anything like my mother's favorite recipe. I have tasted numerous pies over the years and in my estimation, none compared to my mom's. When I would bring friends home with me from school, they would all rave about my mom's sweet potato pies. So, one weekend about twenty years ago, I was home visiting while mom was preparing to make her sweet potato pies. I asked her for the recipe and she really confused me when explaining ingredients and how much of "this" and "that" I should use. Being an engineer, I needed exact measurements to follow so I created a system. I asked her to hold every ingredient in her hand until I could measure each quantity. Hence, I was able to quantify the recipe and develop our "secret family recipe" formula.

The bulk of my baking were 3 inch sweet potato pies that I called Personal Pies. Family and friends would often tell me that I should sell my pies because they were so good. The dream of making my pies and sharing them with the world stayed in the back of my mind for over twenty years. But, through the constant encouragement of my niece Lisa and lasting words of my father Willie. . . About one month prior to his passing, I baked some pies and as he was lying in his sick bed, I can still hear his low raspy voice saying "are you going to sell those?". . .

I decided to place this dream into action!