I have turned into my dog

It’s true. I eat, I sleep and I am beyond excited when I to go for a car ride. That’s how I happened to try a 1997 Progressive Farmer recipe for Sweet Potato Bread in Week 4 of social distancing.

I’m glad I kept it — it’s every bit as tasty and moist as the Silver Palate Zucchini bread recipe I’ve made for years. We’re more likely to have sweet potatoes all winter, though, than zucchini.

This is more like a tea cake than a bread. In fact, it’s so crumbly I don’t know how you’d get it into the toaster.

I did not have pecans so made it with toasted walnuts. (Throw them in a tray into the toaster oven set at 350 and STAND RIGHT THERE UNTIL YOU SMELL THEM.) I used craisins because, for some reason, we have a 30-pound bag. I got three 8-x-4-inch loaves but if I’d put one of them in a 9-x-5-inch loaf pan, I probably could have just baked that one a bit more and not had some overflowing/burning on the bottom of the oven.

Sweet potato bread

1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, scrubbed, punctured with fork and microwaved until mooshy (maybe 10 minutes?)

3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

4 large eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

3 cups sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup raisins

Heat the oven to 350 with open rack in middle. Grease and flour three 8-x-4-inch baking pans (or 2 of these and one 9-x-5-inch).

Cook sweetpotatoes (it’s all one word here in North Carolina) however you like. Save 2/3 cup liquid if you boil them or substitute 2/3 cup unsweetened pineapple juice for cooking water. Mash potatoes and set aside.

Combine flour, soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves in large bowl. Make a well in center of mix.

Combine mashed sweets, liquid (from cooking or pineapple juice), eggs, oil and sugar, stirring well. You can use an electric mixer for this is you want to smooth out every last bit of bright orange.

Add sweet potato mixture to flour mixture. Stir just until flour’s incorporated. Stir in pecans and raisins. Pour batter evenly into 3 greased and floured loaf pans (see above.)

Bake for 1 hour or until a wooden pick insirted in center of loaf comes out clean, covering with aluminum foil after 50 minutes of baking to prevent excessive browning.

Cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove carefully from pans and cool directly on racks. Store in airtight containers overnight or freeze immediately (I did both).

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