Cut the sweet potatoes into 1 inch slices and boil in salted water until tender. Drain and mash. Add milk and seasonings.
Work the mixture as little as possible.
Add more milk if they seem dry.
Sweet potatoes have beige skin and pale yellow meat. Yams have purplish skin and bright orange meat. I have seen them mislabeled in stores. They vary in size so for portion sake let's use the equaivalent of 2 large baked potatoes.
Cut the potatoes into circles 1 inch thick, cover with salted water in a saucepan.
Bring to a boil and simmer until tender.
Drain, return to saucepan and add butter.
Crush the pulp with a masher using an up and down motion. Don't over mix.
Add the heated milk and mix with a gentle up and down motion.
The potatoes should be fluffy. It is better to have them a little thin at first as they "set up" as they sit.
Salt and pepper to taste.
I personally don't like the flavor of white pepper and don't use it. Some don't like to see black specks in their food. It is up to you. A ricer is an option instead of a masher. It is hard to get the right texture by using an electric beater. It tends to over whip and the potatoes can get gummy.
Simmer ingredients until smooth and creamy, stirring constantly.
Top with something yummy! Maybe ice cream or...caramel... pears, apples or bananas.
Bring topping ingredients to a boil and simmer until it starts to thicken. Add 2 c. sliced or diced fruit, bring to a boil and simmer until tender. Adding a bit of cinnamon, vanilla, rum or brandy is nice.
Simmer all ingredients until smooth and not gritty, stirring constantly.
If you like it thinner, add more milk.
Top with any combination of maple syrup, heavy cream, brown sugar, raisins, etc.
Sautéed: Same as above except pour into a greased sheet pan or bread pan and cool. If you use a bread pan, once cool, remove it and slice into slices to saute in butter. These are great with maple syrup and sausage. If you used a sheet pan, cut into shapes to sauté.