UPDATE: As of September 1st Kelly Yandell’s ‘The Meaning of Pie’ has ‘Gone Fishing’. Most of the links below will not work anymore, but you can of course follow along with her on her further adventures via Instagram HERE and twitter HERE. Or you can visit her official photography site HERE.
Here’s some breaking news that is actually worth paying attention to. Come some time in early September 2021 there will be a substantial void in the internet. A truly important treasure will be gone.
If you don’t know the meaning of pie you have some very quick catching up to do.
This ‘blog’ is really a creative word and photo diary that eloquently (and effortlessly) shared slices (ok, that was bad) of Kelly’s life through recipes, explorations, and memories. What makes this even more special is that each entry reads more like a short story. You can also see as time went by, post after post, that Kelly was carving her path in words. Honing her skills for a novel or three.
This window into Texas food and culture is beautiful and moreover I have never before seen almost scientific deep dives on salt and pepper or heirloom beans or cheese or eggs or more in a food blog (not a huge fan of the word blog). That is Kelly and THAT will be missed.
In the beginning I started using the site for the detailed recipes, but would always find myself returning for the stories told in Kelly’s unique voice. You ALWAYS felt a bit smarter having visited and ALWAYS got inspired.
By name alone you’d think this was JUST a pie blog or maybe a clever take on Euclidean geometry, but it is so much more. As Kelly explains “Why “PIE”? Well, to me, pie is an idea as well as a dessert. Pie means comfort. Pie means home. Pie means love…grandmas…warmth…perfect imperfection. Pie is life. Pie is a lot of things. There are a few great pies here. But this is about the idea of pie…not always a literal pie.”
From this blog I learned more about her take on photography in her post ‘through an artist’s lens‘ or got a chance to be a fly on the wall at the last in person Texas Monthly BBQ Festival or find out why the Foodways Texas Symposium and Foodways Texas in general was so integral. She also gave us visual (with her clever commentary) glimpses into Camp Brisket and BBQ Summer Camp which are on most people’s barbecue bucket-list.
As one that lives in the barbecue world, the one that moved me the most, and made me realize that kindred spirits truly exist, was her post entitled ‘Why BBQ? A visit to Snow’s in Lexington‘. If you read ONLY one of her posts after seeing this it should be this one.
So I have two recommendations.
Read, read, read. You can fire through a half dozen in one sitting. I know I have. You still have time.
Print, print, print. All of the recipes have a ‘print’ button and of course the stories can be just printed straight up.
But in the end this here post is a huge THANK YOU to Kelly for sharing more than a decades worth of her life with us and the recipes and world that inspired her.
She also has a fondness for vintage bandanas and has created an evolving online museum at Bandana Cafe. It’s pretty great.
So here are 13 (or so) recipes that you should print and cherish. There are dozens upon dozens that are worth printing.
- Chocolate Bundt Cake – The very first post and one of the first recipes I made from the site.
- The Quintessential American Pie – This is a long post, which I love, and will change the way you look at apple pie (and hopefully nudge you to make one yourself).
- Biscuits – If you love biscuits you need to read this. It’s a deep dive into what is one of the most important foods you can put in your mouth.
- Sweet Potato Pie – A more recent post that was gifted to us during the first part of the pandemic. If you aren’t a fan of sweet potato pie I think this will make you rethink this.
- Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake – I didn’t know anything about Texas sheet cake until one day I googled it and THIS recipe showed up. If you own a barbecue joint I’d recommend printing this one up and adding it to the menu
- Meatballs Two Ways – If you really want to see the effort that Kelly put into her posts you can see it in this one. Also, the recipes are fantastic. I’ve used this many a time.
- Chocolate Pudding Pie – A ‘throw-down’ recipe and her ‘first pie’.
- Pimento Cheese – Not much explanation needed here. Print this. Make this. Bonus there is also a recipe for Candied Pimento Cheese.
- Blueberry Buckle – When a post on a recipe begins with “This is a buckle, not to be confused with a grunt, slump, crisp, cobbler or clafouti.” you know you have to read more.
- Will’s Texas Has Brown Casserole – Another one that I have made more than twice. Easy. Satisfying.
- How to Grind your Own Beef – Not as much a recipe as a primer. It’ll change your carnivore life. Print it.
- Chocolate Cookies – I haven’t made this, but I am going to. The photos alone make you want to.
- Individual Chicken Pot Pies – Useful. Detailed. Make these.
- Meatloaf – You may think you know how to make meatloaf. Check this out.
- Beef and Potato Pie – Comfort food is essential. This savory dish is essential.
- Chipped Beef on Toast – I have a soft spot in my heart for chipped beef on toast because of my grandmother. Kelly helped transport me back to a kitchen in Glendale, California.
- Tomatillo Salsa – You’ll want to drink this.
If you want to see my chat a couple years ago with Kelly check out this YouTube video: