Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spiced Pomegranate Molasses

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spiced Pomegranate Molasses

A True Story

When my kids were little my husband used to travel out of town a lot. I was fine during the daytime, but after sunset I would begin to get uneasy. It seemed perfectly logical to me that all of the local violent criminals would somehow know that I was home alone and would, consequently, break into my house and do their dastardly deeds.

One night, when I was about 7 months pregnant with baby #3 and had finally drifted off to sleep, I heard a thudding noise from downstairs, as if someone had tripped and fallen to their knees. My eyes flew open wide and I reflexively clutched the covers tightly to my chin. As I laid frozen in bed, I listened for more sounds. Fear caused me to question every sound that I heard. Was that someone taking a step or was it just a normal “house settling” noise?

Fear vs. Motherly Instinct

The number one thing that I knew I needed to do was to get my two sleeping children into my room with me. I slipped quietly from my bed and went to fetch the first child, my three year old daughter. Struggling to pick up her sleeping little body, I draped her legs around my bulging belly and took her to my bedroom. Next I went to my son’s room. He was seven, but I somehow managed to lift him and carry him, also, to my room and plunk him down on my bed.

Quickly I locked the door to my bedroom and told the children, who were groggily waking up, to be very quiet and to go back to sleep. I said that I was lonely and wanted them to sleep with me, which was completely plausible in their minds. More than once they had ended up in my bed over the years when my husband was out of town. It was a lot easier to keep watch over the three of us in one room than it was to watch over the three of us in three different rooms. Plus, they knew I was generally a chicken.

The Rescue

With shaking hands I picked up the telephone and dialed 911. I remember trying to talk softly so that my would-be attacker would not hear me. The 911 dispatcher stayed on the line with me while a police officer came to my house.

“Do you hear anything downstairs, Ma’m?”, the dispatcher would ask periodically as we waited. Then finally, “The officer is in your driveway, Ma’m. He has his lights aimed at your house and he is out of the car, circling the property first. Stay in your room for now.”

“Ma’m? The officer is at your front door now. Can you let him in your house? Do you feel safe enough to go open the front door?”

There was the million dollar question. No, I did not feel “safe enough”, but there was really no other choice. Down the stairs I went and rushed to open the front door. In reality, I felt that if someone had been in the house, they were probably gone or….were hiding in the basement.

I let the policeman into the house. He searched the house, top to bottom, and found no one. The house was declared safe and I was told to call if there were any more problems. I didn’t sleep so well for the rest of the night, but there were no more things that went bump in the night.

Behind the Door

I was glad to see the sunrise and went downstairs to make breakfast. As I opened the pantry door, I found the culprit from the previous night. There were about 8 of them laying on the pantry floor in a pile. Sweet potatoes. I had bought them the previous day and had hurriedly put them away in one of the stacking bins in the pantry, randomly thinking that they looked a bit precarious, but not having time to arrange them better.

Now, as I stared down at them, I could hear in my mind the sound that they had made in the middle of the night as they tumbled to floor from their unstable perch in the top bin…just like someone falling down.

Yea. Good times. Good times that got even better when a few minutes after I discovered the recalcitrant sweet potatoes on the floor, the telephone rang. It was my friend Laurie whose husband worked for the Sheriff’s department. Her husband had heard the call come over his radio and had recognized the address as being mine. When he had gotten home from work the following morning, he told Laurie to call me to make sure that I was okay. How embarrassed was I when I had to tell her that my would be robbers were sweet potatoes? It was even more embarrassing knowing that my escapade was going to make for some great story swapping among more than a few law enforcement officers.

So, there you have it, my sweet potato story. It’s a good one, but not nearly as good my mouse story. I’ll have to tell you about that one at some other time.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spiced Pomegranate Molasses

However, here’s another sweet potato story for you. It’s a short one: Once upon a time there were 3 pounds of sweet potatoes. They decided that they wanted to get a little crazy so they went on walk about and hooked up with some pomegranate molasses. The end.

Epilogue: The subtle flavors of sweet potatoes go well with the sweet-tart flavor of pomegranate molasses. I added a little allspice to the pomegranate molasses, but other than that, all that was needed was some salt to bring everything together.

Pomegranate Molasses: Pomegranate molasses can be purchased or made easily at home with three simple ingredients: pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice. I have given the recipe for pomegranate molasses below.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spiced Pomegranate Molasses

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spiced Pomegranate Molasses

Yield: Serves 4

Pomegranate molasses is made by reducing pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice. It has a tangy, tart, lightly sweet taste and can be used in baking, as a topping for desserts, as an addition to drinks, or as a glaze for vegetables or meats. ~Recipe by Terri


    For the pomegranate molasses:
  • 4 cups pomegranate juice (POM brand recommended)
  • 2/3 cups white granulated sugar
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • For the sweet potatoes:
  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes or yams
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses (recipe above)
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice


    For the pomegranate molasses:
  1. Mix the pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon together in a saucepot. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring as needed. Lower heat enough to keep the mixture at a very low boil until mixture has reduced to about 1 1/4 cups, stirring more frequently as the mixture reduces. The cooking process will take 50-90 minutes.
  2. The pomegranate molasses will thicken as it cools. It can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to six months. Use in baking, as a glaze for roasted vegetables, or mixed into fruit drinks or other beverages of choice.
  3. For the sweet potatoes:
  4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a large baking pan with foil; set aside.
  5. Peel sweet potatoes and dice into 1-inch cubes. Put in large mixing bowl and toss with olive oil until sweet potatoes are well coated. Sprinkle with salt, to taste.
  6. Roast in oven until potatoes are fork tender, 15-20 minutes.
  7. While potatoes are roasting, stir together the pomegranate molasses and allspice.
  8. Place hot sweet potatoes in serving dish. Pour the pomegranate molasses mixture over the potatoes and toss gently to coat potatoes. Garnish as desired. I used pomegranate arils and some chopped parsley.


Extra pomegranate molasses can be passed at the table.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spiced Pomegranate Molasses


  1. says

    I loved that story…mostly because everything about it reminded me of myself and the way my mind works out sounds while my husband is away. I could completely imagine myself in your story! So glad it ended well and is something you can smile back on now. Your potatoes look delish! I feel like I can smell them through the computer! It’s making me hungry!

  2. says

    What a wonderful storyteller you are… I was so interested in every word. I was sure someone was hiding in the house…. if you only knew how “sweet” they were… the only weapon you needed was a peeler. OMgosh!! You sound just like me!!! I would do something just like that. My husband stayed at his mother’s for a week while she was recovering from surgery and I had a door brace and alarm on at 5PM every day. I would call my mother to tell her “all’s well” before bed and then have to call again in the morning to confirm that “all’s well” . If our husbands only knew how much we rely on them.

    The sweet potato dish is beautiful.

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