You can now get Lea's pie, by the pie or the slice, at any Mello Joy in Lafayette. Lea's Lunchroom is in LeCompte, a little town south of Alexandria. It's a real lunchroom and you get real lunchroom food. Lea's is famed for its ham sandwiches, for instance, as well as its pies.
But the pies are what I recall from childhood road trips. The promise of a stop at Lea's—if we were "good"—could keep the back seat quiet for maybe 45 miles. And the pies were the point of the stop.
My mother was the family pie-maker but even she admired Lea's pies. Seeing Lea's pies in the pastry case at the Mello Joy downtown was a real treat. Memory is hazy, I admit, but I fancy that they are just the way they were when I was a kid. I seem to recall those lemon pies that really had some sour to them and were covered with a meringue that oozed little drips of moisturer eked out the favorite's spot over the coconut creme pie with the mound of meringue so high that a young boy had trouble getting a complete bite in his mouth.
They're still like that--lunchroom pies. A little fancy, but in the 50's mode of fancy, nothing like what you might see now. The cherry pie that I succumbed to the other day had an opaque, clearly flour-based binder in the juice-based filling and a hefty crust to go with the sweet and tart cherry filling. None of that strangely clear, brilliantly colored, tasteless, red gelatin that seems to afflict most cherry pies these days.
Anyway, it's worth the trip and the $3.50 a slice to go to Mello Joy when you want to check your email and meet folks these days.
These ruminations are inspired the Advertiser story covering the culinary event; it is a good story and worth the click.
(What does this have to do with fiber? Uh...I think cherries have some of that soluble fiber stuff you find in oatmeal. Maybe. I could check.)