"Sweet Ideas for Sweet Potatoes"
December 9, 1969
On this day, The Daily Times in Salisbury, Maryland, shared a story by Kelvin Adkins called Mrs. Zieger Has Some Sweet Ideas For Sweet Potatoes.
The article explained:
“Mrs. Peyton Zieger is one of those persons who always has a project of some sort going. Frequently the project turns into some excuse to have a houseful of friends over. But this particular episode started with a yellow jacket's nest and a banged-up knee.
Peyton was working on a neighborhood beautification project (a flower garden nearly as long as the street) and disturbed the yellow jackets. Bugging out in a hurry, two yellow jackets hit her with such stinging force, she fell and bruised her knee. While off of her feet for a few days, she thought of [hosting a sweet] potato party and started putting the recipes and details together.”
Now when I was researching Peyton, I discovered she was an avid gardener. Peyton had planted a “ditch bank” at her home that she called “Peyton Place.” The ditch bank was planted with shrubs and flowers to provide interest and color throughout the year. Peyton was ahead of her time.
Concerning sweet potatoes, Peyton had two chief concerns. She said,
“Number one, it really hurt me when I read in the paper about the local farmers having to plow up their sweet potatoes because of the low market. And number two, many housewives think there are only three ways to prepare sweet potatoes: candied yams, potato bread, and potato pies.”
So, as the article said, Peyton “decided to yam it up with a sweet potato tasting party.”Peyton called the party "Peyton Presents Some Sweet Ideas" and invited,
“some fifty home economists, housewives, and Twin Tree Road neighbors to judge the recipes. There were a few newspaper and radio people there too.“
Peyton prepared some 25 recipes and started the party off with her own creation: sweet potato punch. For this libation, Peyton was inspired by a recipe from the Ecuadorian Embassy - no kidding.
The party's overwhelming favorite was Peyton’s sweet potato cheesecake, which captured a local bakery's attention. Peyton pointed out that every time her sweet potato cheesecake is made, a farmer has a market for ¾ cup of potatoes. Peyton was doing her part.
In addition to her cheesecake, Peyton made,
“Sweet potato pineapple pie, sweet potato pudding, pineapple sweet potato balls, sweet potato pecan pie, triple apple sweet potato cake, and sweet potato candy, to name a few.”
And as a party favor, Peyton sent every guest home with a printed recipe book featuring all of her sweet potato creations.
Peyton Zieger’s Sweet Potato Cheesecake
1 box cheesecake mix
½ cup sour cream
¾ cup cooked mashed sweet potatoes (cold)
3 T baby food apricots
1 T lemon juice
½ tsp vanilla
⅛ tsp mace
⅓ cup milk
Mix all ingredients except cheesecake mix and blend thoroughly.
Add cheesecake mix and beat 3 minutes until thick.
Pour into a crumb crust prepared according to directions.
Reserve a few crumbs to sprinkle on top or top with sour cream.
Sour Cream Topping:
½ cup sour cream
1 T sugar
4 tsp vanilla
Spread on top of cheesecake.
Bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes.
Chill 2 hours or more.