November 18, 2015 |
JENNIFER Braxton was on the hunt for one of those Patti LaBelle's sweet-potato pies. So, on Saturday, after getting off work at 10 p.m., she drove to the Walmart Supercenter on Byberry Road. She walked all around the store but couldn't find one. The next day, she called and an employee answered, "Thank you for calling Walmart. We're out of pies. How may I help you?" "I have a company potluck coming on Friday and I said I would bring Patti pies," she explained to me later via Facebook.
October 12, 2015 |
As the Al Jarreau song goes, "Anyone who's ever had sweet potato pie don't want pumpkin again. " Is it possible the same adage holds true for beer? It is if, like me, you're suffering from post-pumpkin-brew-stress syndrome. The clever beer minds behind Yardley's Vault Brewing have taken Jarreau's advice to heart and created a very worthy tuber-centric seasonal reply to the ubiquitous pumpkin craze. Using 60 pounds of roasted local sweet potatoes, which have considerably higher fermentable sugars than pumpkin, they've brewed an orange-amber ale that's still dry but vivid with well-balanced pie spice - Saigon cinnamon, nutmeg, and Mexican vanilla - and that doesn't overdo it. What really takes this ale to the next level, though, is the use of low-fizz nitro for a softer carbonation.
December 15, 2014 |
Valerie Erwin started cooking at age 8, absorbing Southern traditions from family, especially a mother raised in Charleston, S.C., and a father from Savannah, Ga. And though her culinary repertoire grew in variety and sophistication over the decades, that early Southern influence is with her still. In 2003, Erwin became owner/chef of Geechee Girl Rice Cafe, originally in Germantown, now in Mount Airy. The name refers to the wildly diverse culture that grew up around West African slaves on rice plantations along the southeastern Atlantic coastline.
December 3, 2013
October 11, 2013 |
Usually vegetables and desserts are opposed in an either/or kind of way - as in eat the former or you won't get the latter. These days, however, pastry chefs are digging deep for inspiration and whipping up dishes that are definitively both. Take Peter Scarola at R2L, who has manipulated fennel, endive, parsnip, and squash to do his sweet bidding. "Vegetables can make dessert a bit lighter but also more adventuresome," he says. "Used in the right way, they can also be a nice alternative to what we think of as classic recipes and create a surprise element.
November 29, 2012 |
For years, LaTisha Styles gained weight every holiday season, as much as 10 pounds. From office parties to holiday parties to her kitchen at home, sweet and savory temptations were a constant of the season: the chocolates, pies, macaroni and cheese. "I am in charge of the sweet potato pie and we had a few in the house, and honestly, one year, I went through a half a pie cutting and slicing a little taste here and there," Styles said. In a pattern familiar to many Americans, year after year, Styles expanded her waistline during the last couple of months of the year.
March 8, 2011 |
LEONA MURPH tried, but she wasn't able to duplicate her mother's chicken and dumplings. "It never tasted like hers," Leona lamented. Her mother, Viola Williams, had plenty of time to perfect her cooking skills. She lived to be 101. She died Sunday. She lived in West Philadelphia. Viola brought her Southern cooking skills from her native Virginia where she was born in Louisa County, the youngest of the six children of William Green and the former Katherine Moody. She was educated in Virginia schools and came to Philadelphia in her late teens.
October 24, 2010
Multiculturalism has completely failed. That's the assessment of Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany, in a recent speech before the youth wing of her conservative political party, the Christian Democratic Union. The idea that disparate peoples can "simply live side by side and live happily with each other" has failed, she said. "Utterly failed. " Merkel insisted that Germany still welcomes immigrants, particularly those whose high-tech skills make them valuable workers. But she conditioned that welcome upon a warning: "We feel bound to the Christian image of humanity - that is what defines us. Those who do not accept this are in the wrong place here.
July 12, 2010 |
A WOMAN WHO could take a bucket of snow and make it into a tasty dessert was a woman to be reckoned with. Money was short in the Peebles household, and Mable O. Peebles found ways to stretch the family's resources. Of course, snow was a winter dish, but Mom could spice it up with some vanilla extract and sugar and the kids would dig in. Like many children of families in such straits, the kids didn't think of themselves as deprived. Their mother and father wouldn't permit it. Mable Peebles, who worked more than 30 years in the garment business in Philadelphia, a devoted churchwoman with a beautiful singing voice, and a champion pinochle player, died July 4. She was 84 and lived in West Philadelphia.
December 3, 2009 |
A few weeks ago - with the Thanksgiving drums just beginning to beat - I was importuned to judge a pageant of sorts, of sweet potato pies. It was to be part of the rather low-key hoopla that attended the opening of the current George Washington Carver exhibition at the Academy of Natural Sciences. I couldn't make it. Much to my regret. (The contestants were to have been eaten, one and all, at the end.) But I am, in point of fact, a fan of good sweet potato pies, having sampled a fair number during my North Carolina years; and later, fine, moon-faced exemplars in the basements of the historic African Methodist Episcopal churches of North Philadelphia.