As promised, I'm going to start putting my recipes from this past weekend's festivities up. We'll start off with the sweet potatoes.
JC's Sugared Sweet Potatoes (serves 7-10)
-6 Large Sweet Potatoes
-1 Cup of Brown Sugar
-2 tablespoons of butter
-3/4 of a cup of 2% milk
-2 teaspoons of Cinnamon
Rinse and peel the sweet potatoes and then cut width wise into about 6-7 smaller circular pieces. Chop these pieces further into 3 to four smaller stick like pieces. Throw out the end pieces which tend to be on the tougher side.
In your crockpot put down a layer of sweet potato pieces that just covers the bottom. Add about 1/4 of your brown sugar evenly over the top along with a few pieces of butter (I recommend using a knife to shave off thin strips of butter). Repeat this process until all of your sweet potatoes are in the crockpot (6 large ones should take it to about the top). Be liberal with the brown sugar and butter and add more on top if you run out before using all of the sweet potatoes.
Set your crockpot to either 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high depending on how much time you have. I don't think you lose a lot by cooking them on high so I would opt for that. After they are done cooking use a potato masher to break them down. If the potato masher doesn't go through the potatoes easily, they need to cook for longer until they are soft and easily mashed.
Mash the potatoes thoroughly (if you like lumpy sweet potatoes by all means mash less). Add in the milk, Cinnamon and a couple extra tablespoons of brown sugar and stir until all the ingredients have been mixed. Feel free to improvise with whole milk or cream if that is how you like it or add any honey, maple syrup or other sweeteners you have around.
I can't stress enough that using a crockpot allows you to take a recipe and make it your own.