As it turns out, yams aren’t sweet potatoes, even though the terms were used interchangeably when I was growing up. Thanksgiving would arrive, often with that crazy casserole of marshmallows and sweet potatoes and some folks would refer to them as yams. I grew up thinking that the terms were the same and then grew up a little more to learn that they refer to completely different vegetables they aren’t even botanically related. And they’re both weird so they made for a rather bizarre little sketch, no matter how you slice it, so I just spent 15 minutes on this one. The orange potatoes that we loved are quite different from the the white yams that look like little hairy cavemen clubs. It struck me that I’ve never sampled one of the latter “official yams” and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one in person. All these years, the mistaken nomenclature has given me false confidence that I knew what I was actually consuming. That said, I have to admit to never liking the sweet potato and marshmallow casserole. It was just too odd and I’ve never comes to terms with it either.

A quick note for those of you following the saga that has been the gallery upload problems on this site. The problem still persists, though we’ve narrowed it down to a WordPress update last week that wreaked some havoc. I’m still trying to figure out a solve and looking into a backup solution, so thanks so much for your patience. In the interim, please try using the little image icon to the right of the post box as that one should still work, even if it doesn’t post to the gallery, and you can still share what you’ve made. While making a website like this one is kind of fun, it’s insanely complex and I often find I’m in a bit over my head. That, of course, doesn’t stop me in the least as that’s pretty much how I’ve spent my entire life. I always think it’s best to just jump into something with glee and figure it out as you go along. Problems may occur, but they’re only there to challenge us to create better solutions.

The fun part about life is that there’s always something new to learn. Around every corner, there’s some incredible new bit of knowledge waiting that you never knew before. That’s been my experience with painting. Although I think I have a general idea of what I’m doing, some days, I’m feel confused once more. Watercolor is like that. It doesn’t always do what you’d expect, but it does what it likes and if you let it just do its thing, you’ll often like what it chooses for you. Sure, some days, you might hate it, but mostly, if you just lean into it, you’ll be amazed at what happens next. And that’s why I love painting with this medium. It’s never a dull moment, and you’re never quite in control. It’s an adventure of the best kind and I love it. Even on the days when I’m not sure what’s happening, I know I’ll learn something new. Much like that day when I very first discovered, I’ve never eaten a yam.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Benzimida Orange, Red Rose Deep, Yellow Ochre, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
#WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 20 - Sweet Potatoes Vs Yams - Doodlewash

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43 thoughts on “I’ve Never Eaten A Yam

  1. I’m not sure that I’ve ever eaten a yam either. I suspect that most Americans haven’t. I love the sweet potato/marshmallow casserole (and Sweet Potato pie too, which tastes an awful lot like pumpkin pie). I’ll eat the sweet potato casserole and you can have the green been casserole (which I don’t like even sans can). Meanwhile, I’ll enjoy your beautiful yam/potato painting!

    1. I am so crazy about them…I usually cook a big one in the microwave in a thick pouch….when done I mash it with some butter and brown sugar….and sometimes freeze it in plastic bag…ready to eat or add to anything that wants mashed potatoes, pies, cookies or muffin. Your painting is marvelous…and made me drool !

  2. Curious doodlewash and a lovely colour combination! I most certainly have never sampled a yam. I only really know they exist because a poem I studied at school kept mentioning them!

    Fingers crossed on the gremlins front!

  3. Haaà that sweet potato is very common here. The art of itself is lovely good shades
    Good for health.we bake ,peel.cut ,in cubs , mixed salt ,black pepper,n lime juice.try
    This hope you like this.specialy with 🍷.
    Happy painting Charlie.

    1. I confess that I have a little bit of that sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top every year at Thanksgiving as it’s someone in the family’s favorite thing and her grandmother makes it for her. I kind of like it once a year. I have never had a Yam either. That’;s kind of a funny word, actually.

  4. I’ve always seen the marshmallow version, but we always mixed ours with butter and brown sugar, using less and less as we got older and my mom didn’t have to bribe us to eat our veggies. I enjoy my sweet potatoes as seasoned baked wedges (or chunky fries) or in spicy tuna cakes, mmmm. Never had a yam, just to add to the record.

  5. I’ve not eaten a yam either, but I do like oven roasted sweet potato wedges all spiced. Great painting. I’ve also not had the sweet potato-marshmallow casserole– it sounds too sweet and gooey.

  6. LOL.Yep, same in Canada. Even worse, we have two competing grocery stores who label each differently. One insists white is a real yam, the other insists its a sweet potato. I can never remember but just go for the darkest color, those colors always add more health to a food. I just treat them like a potato. Best thing ever is to pair them with turnip, baby red potatoes and parsnip. Cook and mash them all separately, spicing them appropriately for each veg (we just look up what spices go with each veg each year, hell with a recipe, lol) Then layer them one on top of the other. Store in fridge until needed then heat in oven for about ¾ of an hour to heat through. This cuts down on the starchiness of potatoes and adds interesting flavors sweet potato and parsnip. The only thing you have to be careful of is to drain the turnip REALLY well as it tends to soak up water and be too liquid in the end. YUMM.

  7. I just discovered that yams and sweet potatoes aren’t the same too. I love sweet potatoes but I have obviously never had a yam. Not sure if I want to eat one, but I will put it on my list of things to try. 🙂

  8. I grew up with the orange yams…except when a pie came out they called it sweet potato pie. This was completely eye opening and brought tons of smiles – especially the “caveman club” description. A new memory for every time I see them or prepare for Thanksgiving.

      1. I truly did! Not to mention it helped me win a very “passionate” discussion with a family member saying they were one in the same!!!
        I didn’t realize it could be such a personal feeling for some LOL! Another excellent wonderful post and more memories! Thank you! Merry Christmas, Charlie!!

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