What is my favorite aroma next to bread baking? Sweet potatoes — especially on a cold winter day.

Forget the casseroles with sugar, milk, and marshmallows; just give me one baked, still in its skin, cut in half, and loaded with butter, and there’s not even the skin left on my plate when I’m finished.

It’s hard to believe, but sweet potatoes are not at all related to Irish potatoes; they’re actually in the Morning Glory family, with their flowers opening in the morning and closing after a short time.

Remnants of sweet potatoes, or yams, found in Peru, date back to 8,000 b.c. Now China is the world’s largest producer of them, followed by North Carolina, claiming it as their State Vegetable.

When compared to other foods, this delicious vegetable has been found to rank very high in nutritional value, and also, low in calories.

I’ve heard stories about poor little children years ago arriving at our country schools in the mornings wearing no shoes, and only a sweet potato for lunch. This may sound heartless, but how I would have loved to go to school as a child in the city without shoes, carrying a sweet potato for lunch.