BOOK’S FOODIE: Patti LaBelle’s Sweet Potato Pie (review)

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Last month, I was in Virginia to attend my cousin’s wedding. It was the first time in a very long time I’ve been on a plane so I looked forward to the trip. One of the days had me visiting a Walmart and as I was looking in the bakery section, I saw a logo that I had seen in a few photos. For the first time, I finally saw a box of sweet potato pie made by Patti LaBelle. I didn’t buy it then as I wasn’t sure if anyone else in the family was into sweet potato pie but it was great to see. I had posted a photo of my find online and someone said “it’s at every Walmart” and I replied by saying it was not at my local Walmart here in Washington State.

I then had to make a stop at the Mart and I decided to see if it actually was “at every Walmart.” All of a sudden, I saw the familiar logo and design and I had to try it. Fortunately, the pie was at a clearance price (under four dollars) so I purchased it, brought it home and waited to have my first slice after dinner.

I guess in my mind, all I have to do is cut a piece and put some whipped cream (which I did) or maybe vanilla ice cream, not bothering to read the instructions which said it’s best to warm up the pie in the oven before eating. I did warm it up in the microwave but I kinda prefer doing things the slow way. This time I did not but once I put a small bit of whipped cream on the pie, I was ready to go.

I’m a huge fan of sweet potato pie, as it was something my auntie made for years, who got to know about it from her ex-husband’s mom in Louisiana. Every Thanksgiving, I always looked forward to her sweet potato pie until, as her story went, a rat went into her recipe box and chewed up the recipe. The next time she had made pie, it lost what made it really good. Still good but not as good. This time I wanted to taste LaBelle’s pie, as a lot of reviews and YouTube videos made this out to be beyond impressive. However, the first bite and it tasted different from what I’m used to. The front of the box states it’s made with sweet potatoes, butter, and “spice” and that’s what stood out for me, what seems like a bit too much nutmeg. If it wasn’t for the whipped cream, I probably would not have liked it as much as I did, which to be honest was not a lot.

As much as I had hoped to enjoy this, I don’t think I will try this again. I would prefer to go to other restaurants to try others or if someone makes their own, I’d rather go there. On a scale of 1 to 10, I want to say maybe a 5 but I’ll go down a bit and rank it a 4. It’s not terrible nor is it inedible but the nutmeg is a bit too strong. Maybe this is how it is enjoyed in other places but… while it’s not complete hate, it lacks the love I had hoped for with it.

(NOTE: Since there was a LaBelle sweet potato pie there, I had hoped to try one of the cobblers made by her briend. It too was there and I bought one. I’ll have a review of that very soon.)

BOOK’S FOODIE: Maple Syrup Pie (from PBS Food)

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You like pie? In the words of my late grandpa, “I like pie”. We here in the United States know nothing about true maple syrup, something our friends in the country above us know all too well. Why not combine the two and… no, not pour maple syrup on a piece of pie, but make a maple syrup pie? That sounds incredibly rich, and maybe that’s the point, but now you can make one in the comfort of your home. This video is part of the Kitchen Vignettes series on PBS Food.

BOOK’S FOODIE: Brown sugar pumpkin pie (from Tasted)


Is this really the best pumpkin pie recipe ever? I prefer sweet potato pie myself but I will not resist a good pumpkin pie, and note I said GOOD pumpkin pie. If you watch the Tasted channel, you’ll know who Noah Galuten is. For this edition of Food Feeder, Galuten has his mom talk about and make her special brown sugar pumpkin pie recipe, and this looks not only good, but very easy to make. It’s perfect for Thanksgiving to come, or for those of you non-Americans who do not celebrate Thanksgiving, consider it a good pie to make. Or for Christmas. Or for your favorite band coming into town. Either way, go and make this.

RECORD CRACK/BOOK’S FOODIE: Pie & Vinyl – Record Store Day 2013 (405tv documentary)


Here’s a video that combines two of my passions: records and food. It’s a short documentary (just under 20 minutes) created by The 405 about a little record store in Southsea, England (just outside of Portsmouth) called Pie & Vinyl Record Cafe. Not only are they a devoted and dedicated record store, but they also serve pies, primarily savory but also occasional sweet pies as well. This was shot this year during Record Store Day, and it’s a chance to find out why they’re devoted to giving people records and pie to people to desire one or the other, or both. This is a store/cafe I would love to visit, not only to try out items in their menu, but to see what kind of vinyl goodies may be lurking.