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Friday, Oct. 06, 2006 - 9:59 a.m.

Two days ago I made sweet potato and peanut stew, one of my favorite autumn foods. It wasn’t as good as usual. I should have let the sweet potatoes cook longer, and I should have added more salt.

When I first found the recipe in the 2000 edition of the Joy of Cooking four years ago, it was clear to me after a first readthrough that I should leave out a) the zucchini, and b) the ground beef. I did, and the stew was amazing. I referred my mom to it, neglecting to mention the modifications I’d made…but she left out the exact same two things. So this is a stew that naturally should not contain beef and zucchini.

I do add okra now, and I sometimes I use canned chopped tomatoes instead of tomato paste and water.

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