She was kind enough to send me this recipe for Mashed Sweet Potatoes.
"My family has gone nuts over this recipe," she wrote in an email. "And since it's very easy, I can make it any time of the year. Every time I do, my daughter comments on how it's like having Thanksgiving in (fill in whatever month it is)."
JoAnne said she used the recipe to replace another that was heavy and sugary, the kind "drenched in brown sugar and marshmallows."
"This one, while being filling, is still light enough where you can enjoy all the other dishes you make," she said.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
4 to 6 large sweet potatoes
1 to 2 cups of milk (depending on number of potatoes and how smooth you want it)
2 tablespoon butter
1 vanilla bean, chopped into tiny pieces
1 tablespoon cinnamon (or as much as you and your family like)
Boil sweet potatoes in salted water until soft and let cool. Peel potatoes and discard peels. Cut them up into small chunks and put in a bowl (for use with a hand mixer) or food processor. Mix potatoes on a low speed, then slowly add the rest of the ingredients, starting with the milk and butter.
Once all the ingredients are added, mix at higher speed until smooth and there are no potato chunks left.