Making Mama’s Sweet Potato Pie And Dealing With Her Loss During The Holidays


For Thanksgiving this year, I did my best to replicate my mama’s sweet potato pie. 

I haven’t tried to make one since she walked me through the process about a year before she died.

With every passing holiday since her death, I simply could not bring myself to attempt to make one of mama’s sweet potato pies because the whole thing was too much of a reminder that she was gone.

So, I retired that dessert from our holiday menu and, in the interim, lost the instructions—which I wrote down the last time we made one together. 

Remember, Mama was a southern girl, her recipes are in the etheric, so there had been no written recipe.

Mama cooked everything ‘by heart’; or should I say ‘soul.’

Yes, loves, my hastily written instructions were lost to the annals of time.

Ah, but this year, I decided to un-retire that pie and consult the ethers for guidance.

Of course, I know that there is no such word as un-retire, but I’ll bet you know what I mean.

You see, I simply woke up one morning and said, I’m going to try to make mama’s sweet potato pie.

Well, that idea fell flat nearly as soon as it had arisen.

There was a major problem.

I didn’t have the nutmeg.

I thought to myself, “No Nutmeg? Aw hell—this ain’t gon’ work.”

So why was this a problem?

Because my mama was a simple cook.  She used very basic ingredients, and, in her world, nutmeg in a sweet potato pie is a MUST!

 And I had NONE!

So much for all that smack I talked about being ready and prepared for your holiday meals!

But I refuse to be so hard on myself. 

Basically, my idea to bake mama’s sweet potato pie was very much a ‘last minute’ thing.

So, what do you do when you don’t have any nutmeg?

Go buy some.

But wait, here’s the kicker!

When I went to the store to buy nutmeg, they were out. 

They had NONE!

I forgot to mention that it was the day BEFORE Thanksgiving…and what with the supply chain and all…

The closest thing I could find to nutmeg was pumpkin spice.

Now, you best believe that my Black southern Mama gave me a seriously shady ‘side-eye’ from heavenly realms.

Sensing Mama’s ‘thoughts’ on the matter, I hesitated.

Then I commenced to buy that damned pumpkin spice.

Fun fact, I had never tasted pumpkin spice in all the days of my life!

But after a closer look at the ingredients, I noted that it contained: cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.

Mama never used cinnamon and ginger in her pies, but there was nutmeg present.

Still, I hesitated.

“This is not going to be Mama’s sweet potato pie,” I thought.

And in that moment, I could ‘hear’my Mama saying, “Ba, don’t worry about that, just use the pumpkin spice if that’s all you can find.”

For Mama knows, in Heaven, as she did on Earth, how type-A I can be when it comes to following directions, rules, traditions and such.

SIDE NOTE:  My Mom and Dad always called each other, me, and my brother, ‘Ba’—pronounced the same way that kids today pronounce ‘Bae.’

See how easily I can get sidetracked?

Anyway, it was time to start on the pie.

All in all, I pretty much stuck to Mama’s ‘recipe’ by adding butter, white sugar, vanilla and evaporated milk to a couple of baked sweet potatoes—again, my only variance was the pumpkin spice.

Now, I warn you, mama’s sweet potato pie seems simple, but, alas, it is not.

My son calls it “labor intensive.”

To put it bluntly, you’ve got to get the strings out.

In essence, Mama taught me to use a mixer to de-string the sweet potatoes. 

In case you didn’t know, sweet potatoes are notoriously filled with fibrous strings!

Trust me, this part takes some time.

As a matter of fact, back in the day, it was not unusual for Mama to run that mixer through her sweet potatoes several times before they were smooth enough to meet her standards.

Now, if you ask me–and I will assume that you are asking me–most people who say they hate sweet potato pie probably ate some that was prepared by someone who did NOT de-string it!

It ain’t nothing worse than a stringy sweet potato pie.

Again, I did everything I was supposed to do to make Mama’s sweet potato pie—save adding pumpkin spice—and it turned out to be damned good!

But I guarantee you this, though it was ‘inspired,’ it was not Mama’s sweet potato pie.

It was mine.

And next year, Mama, I’ll have nutmeg.

I miss you Ma!

A video about coping with loss during the holidays

Thanksgiving Dinner: Wanna Save Money? You Betta Get Up EARLY!

Some things are well worth getting up early for, and these days, a $0.49/pound turkey is well worth it!

You might as well know that I am not above dragging my baby out of bed a couple of hours before school just so we can run like HELL to the grocery store to buy a cheap turkey.

Nope, it’s not above me at all!

To be honest, this past Saturday, I was just about to go ahead and purchase a turkey for a horrifically high price!

Child, that damned thang was $25!

Alas, the manager of the meat department noticed my tomfoolery and stopped me in my tracks!

“You might wanna wait until the 10th,” he said with a devilish grin.

He went on to say that the supply will be low and that some people went ahead and paid the regular price just to be sure that they’d have turkey for Thanksgiving.

The hell you say!

I decided to take the chance and wait to see what would be available for the future sale.

So I stepped back from the freezer and said, “I’ll see you Wednesday!”


Am I a victim of a capitalist machine that has convinced me that I must celebrate Thanksgiving and that I’m required to buy a turkey?


Did I get that damned turkey?

Hell yeah!

The first step to getting well is admitting the problem!


Enjoy this video of me running my ass off to get that TURKEY!

Thanksgiving Dinner: Stay Ready So You Don’t Have To GET Ready

If I’m being honest, you probably should have already purchased everything you need for your Thanksgiving dinner.

No tea, no shade…just facts!

And…you should know by now that LadyG runs a very strict ‘no judgement zone’ on this blog; however, I will let you know when you are flirting with catastrophe.

Hence, this post.

Seriously, what with all these supply chain issues, food is getting harder to come by so extra planning is a MUST!

As for me, I have been buying things for Thanksgiving since September!

In other words, I’ve been watching sales and picking up stocks, soups, flour, pastas and pretty much anything else that I know I’ll want for Thanksgiving dinner.

The other day I purchased some tylenol, cough drops, cotton swabs and a can of cranberry sauce–’cause it was on sale.

A strange combination of purchases?



Hell naw!

I stay ready so I don’t have to GET ready.

So should you!


Now, here’s how I prep my Thanksgiving meal part 1 and part 2.

Let’s GO!

Evening PorchTalk Podcast with LadyG: Homemade Shrimp Fried Rice, Signs, Omens, Portends and Moon Magick

Homemade Shrimp Fried Rice

Come join me and let’s chat about:

  • Cooking your own shrimp fried rice (You get to watch!)
  • “Signs, Omens and Portends” (Stolen from ‘The Andy Griffith Show’)
  • Being aware and open to messages from nature (See the bird and owl)
  • Setting new moon intentions–What have people said about it?

The next new moon is Nov 4, 2021.

If you are watching this in the future, never fear, there is a new moon every month! LOL!

Enjoy the video:

Save Your Money | Make Your Own Food: LadyG’s Pepper and Tomato Bisque

This is a very simple and inexpensive dish for a delicious and warming Autumn lunch.

Full disclosure: The most expensive ingredient in this bisque is the smoked gouda cheese.

Please feel free to substitute the gouda with a nice cheese that fits both your personal taste and budget.

By the way, I only share the main ingredients, tools and methods…

It’s a template of sorts.

There is no recipe as I am a soul food cook who creates recipes ‘by heart.’

That said…

Take a look at the video, prepare it yourself and let your conscience be your guide!

Let me know if you happen to try this and tell me about the modifications you made.


Enjoy the video!

Save Your Money | Make Your Own Food | Apple Butter

Homemade apple butter, save money and make your own!


The other day I was given 5 pounds of red apples–which I do not eat.

LadyG is a Golden Delicious type of girl!

But I digress.

Anyway, ever the gracious Southern woman, I did not decline the gift… I kindly offered thanks for the apples while simultaneously wondering what in hell’s bells I could possibly do with these things.

Then it hit me!

I could make applesauce!

So, I shared this wonderfully inspired idea with LadyJ, my daughter and full-time shenanigans partner.

Well, Lady J, with her sardonic personality and mannerisms (Think Daria, the 90’s cartoon character) immediately gasped with fright!

Yeah, she killed my vibe–instantaneously!

So, I thought a bit more about my options; I mean, I didn’t want to see the apples go bad and there was no way that I’d trash them.

Then, my mind began to pitch a few ideas…

What about apple pie?

Oh, hell no, I thought.

Who wants to do all that?

Seriously, the chemistry of it all made that a no go.



Old memories took hold and caused me to yell out loud…

Apple butter!

That’s it!

I decided to make apple butter…whether LadyJ liked it or not!

I ain’t scared of her!

And so…

I knocked on LadyJ’s bedroom door and told her that we were going to make apple butter, and, surprisingly enough, she was good with it!

Between you and me, I didn’t give a damn if she was or wasn’t good with it, we were making this freaking apple butter if it KILLED ME!

That’s right, following the dictates of Napoleon Hill, I had developed a “definite chief aim” to make apple butter.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know nuthin’ bout makin’ no apple butter.

My mother never served it.

In fact, I never knew it existed until I met my son’s father–his folks ate it all the time.

Hell, when I first saw it, I thought it was apples mixed with butter in a jar.

Clearly, your girl was clueless!

Anyway, my son’s grandmother educated me on apple butter and encouraged me to try it.

It tasted okay for something store-bought.

Now, let me just add that my son’s father’s family could throw down in the kitchen, but I guess none of them could be bothered with making apple butter homemade–it was much too time consuming.

Enter the instant pot!

Thank God for technological advancements!

Thirty years later and I now have a tool that makes that gig a helluva lot easier!

It still takes time, but not nearly as much as it would doing it on a regular stove–or even worse, a kettle of some sort!

Perish the thought!

Anyway, below, is a video that shows a bit of our apple butter making journey.

If you want the recipe, comment below.

I am on a serious journey to learn how to cook things that I usually buy at the store. That said, food storage and preservation are a priority for me.

If you are interested in tracking your food storage projects, I created a little log for myself that I decided others might want as well.

You can purchase on amazon.

Video time: >2 mins.

Save Your Money By Making Your Own Food: Homemade Guacamole With Steak Fries

LadyG’s homemade guacamole with steak fries

Save your money!

Today’s dish, guacamole and steak fries, is great served as a snack, lunch or even a light dinner.  

Why buy it at a restaurant when you can save your money by making it yourself for pennies on the dollar.

For those who are interested, it is vegan, but, as long as there is avocado, oil and potatoes involved, there’s no honest way to call it low calorie.  

I will, however, say that it is healthy as it was prepared from fresh whole foods.  

The only thing that appears not to be fresh is the pickled jalapenos, but if you’ve been following me, you know that I prepared those myself just last week.  

By the way, they were a hit!

Anyway, as you might have guessed, I cook intuitively– as did my mother; so, there is no recipe for the dishes that I share.

I simply combine the meats, fish, vegetables, fruits and starches that I enjoy– then season them to my liking.

But to be fair, I do consult with recipes on timing or temperature for something that I’ve never cooked before.  I also tend to follow baking recipes rather strictly because–er, um–chemistry, but that’s about it as far I go with recipes.

And so,

I hope you enjoy today’s video and please remember to like, share and subscribe to the blog and to my Youtube channel.

Enjoy the video,


Save Money | Make Your Own | Mango Smoothie

Mango smoothie made for waaay less than you could buy it!

Save your money and make your own smoothie.

Seriously, smoothies are so easy to make!

Why would you spend nearly five dollars on something that you could make in an instant?

Honey, save that money for something else!

Once you make an initial investment for a good blender, all you need to do is freeze some fresh fruits or buy frozen ones, put them in the blender with your favorite medium–which could be juice or milk (here, I used mango nectar and oak milk), then blend the whole thing together!

Et voila!

You’ve saved a ton of money and prepared your own smoothie–okay, not a ton–but you know what I mean!

And when you’re ready, grow your own food then prepare it yourself.

Stop depending on someone else to grow and cook your food!

You got this! Do it for yourself and for those who can’t.