Pies for Pavement: Sweet Potato Pie

Freda Cossey

Freda Cossey

As part of our Pies for Pavement Fundraiser, we have been asking area pie makers to tell us the stories behind their pies. . In many ways food and stories are inseparable. And in this region marked by the foothills of the Ozarks, the edges of the Ouachita Mountains, and the banks in the River Valley, we really like to make pies. And these pies don’t come out of nowhere. They’re often passed down from generation to generation, changing over time as each pie maker brings in their own ideas to the creation.

Freda Cossey of Dardanelle shared her story of learning to make Sweet Potato Pie. You can buy one of Freda’s Pies at our Pies for Pavement event on October 17th! Stay tuned for details! 

Freda says she learned to cook by watching her mother in the kitchen. “She allowed me to do little things, such as peeling potatoes, washing vegetables, but eventually making biscuits. When she started working, I was about 12, and she allowed me to start cooking meals at that time,” explains Freda. “She was nearby in the chicken houses until I was about 15, when she started working at the poultry processing plant in Batesville. At that time, I began making breakfast for myself and four siblings. I also started dinner when I came home after school,” she explains.  “I remember my mother making pies and cobblers when I was very young. My grandmother made a wonderful strawberry shortcake using baked pie dough for the crust.”

For the Pies for Pavement fundraiser Freda decided to make a sweet potato pie. “This Old South Sweet Potato Pie recipe came from an old Martha White flour cookbook,” she explains. ” The cover is missing, so I don’t know the copy-write date.” When asked why she chose this pie she says, “This is my very favorite pie. I always get compliments about it when I take it for pot lucks or for holiday meals. Sweet potatoes are really nutritious, so I don’t feel so guilty about indulging with an extra slice of pie.” When asked if she is carrying on the pie making tradition and teaching a younger generation she added, ” I am teaching six teenage girls to sew for a charity project at church, and when we finish this, I plan to teach some cooking techniques, perhaps a pie.”

Thanks, Freda for sharing your pie story!

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2 Comments on “Pies for Pavement: Sweet Potato Pie”

  1. carolynmclellan@suddenlink.net says:

    Thanks, Meredith, for the info. We held a Promotion Comm. meeting today for the RCM and made plans to spread the word about the Market thru print ads, a billboard and an RCM Booth at the St. Johns’ church Harvest Fest on Oct. 5. If McElroy House is not going to be present at the St. John’s Harvest Fest on Oct. 5 (they expect 1000 people to attend) and you would like for the RCM booth at the Harvest Fest to display/distribute info on the Oct. 17 RCM Pie event, please just let me know.

    Another way to spread the word about the joint McElroy House/RCM Pie event will be for Market Manager Bryan Mader to announce the Pie Event in the “Opening Bell” emails announcing the new Market week on Oct. 6 and 13. Could you please send Bryan a paragraph or two with the wording you would like him to send out to all our customers about the Oct. 17 “Pies for Pavements.”

    Also, if you have any hard copy brochures/announcements about the event I think these could be passed out when folks pick up their Market orders on Oct. 3 and Oct. 10. Please just let me know if you would like for me to make copies of your material for us to distribute.

    Thanks, and I’m looking forward to hearing from you and knowing more about the wonderful McElroy House food projects. Carolyn McLellan 968 6286

  2. […] Freda Cossey’s Sweet Potato Pie […]


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