Burnt Sweet Potato Bread

A while back, my wife was making some sweet potatoes. She left them in the oven a bit longer than she intended to and they came out blackened and shriveled. She was just about to throw them out in defeat, when I donned my trusty apron, flew into the kitchen, and said, “Never fear darling, I’ll make some scrumptious bread with that. Good shall triumph over evil!” She wiped a tear from her eye and said, “Really? Oh, Mark, you are the most perfect husband in the world. You do no wrong and always come to my aid with a pithy slogan or thoughtful wisdom.”

I surveyed the wreckage…

Could I salvage the sweet potatoes? Would anybody actually eat “Burnt Sweet Potato Bread”? Will Kanye run for president? I had to find out… I set to work immediately. With relish, I tossed two 1/4-ounce packages of active dry yeast into a bowl. Wait – that’s not true. We were out of relish, so I used a cup of water and a cup of milk heated to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything hotter and the yeast would die. There’ll be no dead yeast on my watch!

I added the sweet potatoes, half a cup of shortening, half cup of Greek yogurt, two teaspoons of salt, one egg slightly beaten (he wouldn’t answer my questions, so I may have roughed him up a bit), and a handful of fresh dill because who needs a measuring cup?

To this, I added two cups of flour and mixed it vigorously with a wooden spoon for two minutes. Arms bulging, sweat gathering at my brow, I wondered why I didn’t use the KithenAid. I kept adding flour a little at a time until the mixture was manageable enough to put on the floured counter top. Sprinkling flour on the dough only when necessary, I began to knead. As I did, I found myself reflecting on how much the dough resembled the veiny bald head of an octogenarian.

I left the dough to rise for an hour covered with a tightly-woven cloth towel. And then I heroically cleaned the kitchen because clearly it had been demolished by rogue elements of the household. After shaping the dough, I let it rise again, but this time for 45 minutes. 25 minutes in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit – and peace was restored to the kitchen…

They held no parade in my honor, but I did bring a loaf to work where my co-workers left only a few crumbs by the end of the day. Thank you, co-workers, for making the world a safer place – and for being adventurous enough to try my Burnt Sweet Potato Bread! And always remember kids, you can catch flies with honey – but you can catch more honeys being fly.

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