Holiday memories as a child always become a flashback moment when families are preparing to gather. Whether it was the funny moments that always seem to happen when the entire family came together or if it’s your auntie famous mac and cheese that you are looking forward to; you become prepared specifically for the moment of being with others and enjoying what each of them have to offer. Just like many of your childhood memories, others have similar memories and are creating memories around the Thanksgiving holiday.
Memories are more than just vivid descriptions of what happened on the day in which we give thanks, however memories are found in food, experiences, and actions that we all experience. One specific Southern dish that is stamped in the Black Southern community is Sweet Potato Pie. This dish brings back many memories for most because of the way in which individuals learn how to make this recipe. Despite everyone having a different way to make this dessert; whether it’s a hint of marshmallow creme or adding in a hint of vanilla extract, there are at least a few members of the family that keep these traditions alive because of the memory they have of their family making this dish.
“If it’s a good pie, you don’t need to serve anything along with it!”
When Ms. Davenport. @realsweetpotatopie on Instagram, was asked about sweet potato pie and cooking for others she stated that she used to only make this dish for her family at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Since she saw this dish at many family functions growing up as a child, she knew this dish was important to the holiday setting. However, she was later encouraged to make this dish even more for community members and church families which turned her love for this dessert into a business. “I was encouraged by my husband, a BBQ man, and then by memories of my grandmother – also a teacher – who taught me persistence, positivity, and to make something out of nothing” which is what led her to begin making this dish more frequently and to share her memories with us through The Gourmet Sweet Potato Cookbook. Legacy and memory is important to Ms. Jenelle Davenport, and is shown in her sweet potato creations.