It's all in the prep work! That's how we get through the big holiday dinners. Anything that can be made a day or two ahead or a month will save your sanity on the BIG day.
Another death-defying recipe from Jill Conner Browne's God Save the Sweet Potato Queens. I can not emphasize enough the importance of reading these books. Life changing!
"Boil up a big pot of sweet potatoes; you want to end up with 3 cups worth of mashed sweet potatoes, so about 4 big sweet potatoes. Boil them with the skin on and they will peel so easy when they are done.( I bake mine for about 45 minutes or until done.) So boil'em and peel'em, then dump them in a big bowl and put in at least 1 cup of sugar, 1/3 cup of milk, an 1 stick of butter, and a running over the edge teaspoon of vanilla. You also need just a dash of salt in there or it will taste flat. If you think it needs more sugar put it in? After you get done tasting and testing, beat in two eggs, don't taste after you put the eggs in. Put the 'tater stuff in a greased casserole. (Once again, you can make a vat of this and freeze it).
The topping is the kicker. You want a cup of dark brown sugar, 1/3 cup of butter, 1/3 cup of flour, and a cup of pecan pieces. Stir it up together and spread it over the top of the 'taters...After you put the topping on, you bake it at 350 degrees F for about half and hour. I'm thinking of putting this in a pie crust, since it's better than any sweet potato pie I've ever had."
COOK' NOTE: A 1/2 cup or so of flaked coconut can be added to the topping to really put it over the edge.