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I made my dad's sweet-potato pie recipe for Thanksgiving

My dad used to make the pies every holiday using a recipe he learned from his mother, and now I'm taking over the recipe to keep the tradition alive.
It's common to see sweet-potato pies in Black and Southern homes during special occasions and holidays, particularly on Thanksgiving.
Family serving each other at a holiday dinner.
Sweet-potato pie has been a staple of many African-American holiday dinners for generations (the author's family is not pictured).
Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images

For a long time, family holiday dinners consisted of me, my mom, and my dad, and while we did have our favorite reoccurring meals, there wasn't really much "tradition" where food was involved. My mom always did the cooking during the holidays, with one exception — my dad's sweet-potato pies.

He would always make around three to four pies every Thanksgiving and Christmas, using a recipe his mother taught him.

Sweet-potato pie is a staple at many African-American family gatherings that stands through generations.

It was always a treat to see my dad working in the kitchen. As a child, I often would just sit and watch him wide-eyed as he would quickly create each pie, while not memorizing any of the processes, of course.

His recipe is relatively no-frills, much like the man himself. He said that since his family didn't have the money or resources for intricate recipes, they remained simple, and my dad dislikes overly complex dishes to this day.

After my mom passed away, and as my dad grew older, it became more difficult for him to keep up with the tradition. It has been almost a decade since he's made sweet-potato pie.

Reflecting on this made me consider that pie-making might be a beneficial activity for both of us, as a way to keep the tradition alive.

This foolproof recipe will likely take around an hour to an hour and a half to make. Due to its nature, measurements can be adjusted to your taste, and the ingredients can be easily modified.

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