Joha's Table Stock

This has been a very different kind of year for most of us. Some have lost, others have gained; it’s been a year full of highs and lows, full of unexpected challenges. As the year’s end approaches, I am forcing myself to remember and focus on the good things I am thankful for, the people I didn’t lose, the things I still have, and the hope for the future. 

One of the most unique things about this year for me is the fact my husband and I did no travelling – opting to stay home in West Baton Rouge. For years my house has been here, but being forced to stay home made me realize that I could make it more of a home. 

This year really broke the rhythm that I had been used to.

I recently learned about martial arts master, Bruce Lee and his obsession with drums and the rhythms they generate. He noticed that battles have a rhythm, and a tendency to continue a specific sequence established at the beginning of the fight. The one who identifies this has the advantage to attack by breaking the rhythm whenever he pleases.

Life establishes rhythms for us to live. But just as Bruce Lee used to think, if we master the ability to identify the rhythms and break them, we can change things to our advantage. 

In many ways, 2020 broke many of our rhythms of life and we all had to adapt. All those abrupt changes have made me think and realize some unhealthy rhythms I had in my life: like the amount of time spent on the Internet, my tendency to complain about things I don’t have, simply not getting enough sleep, and several other things. 

For that reason, I would like to end this year breaking my unhealthy rhythms by acknowledging what I have and being thankful, establishing new routines and inviting all of you to think about the rhythms of your lives that can use an adjustment. 

I am thankful for another year of life, I am thankful for the health of those I didn’t lose, I am thankful to be living in such a great community that has embraced me as one of their own. I am thankful that I have, in my opinion, one of the best barbecue restaurants in the country right here in town. I am thankful for West Baton Rouge, as it was here where I met my husband a decade ago. I am thankful for the solitary walks on the levee, admiring the Mississippi River, and I am thankful for having amazing neighbors that take care of one another when going through trying times. 

I am thankful for the West Side Journal and the opportunity to be a part of its great team. I am thankful for life, and for the fact that by recognizing the good things I can break rhythms and change my perspective for a new year. 

I am thankful for all of my readers, for those who, week-in and week-out read these lines and follow my recipes. I pray for a blessed 2021, full of blessings, health, joy, prosperity and new rhythms.

This week I would like to share one of the most precious recipes of my life with all of you. It is based on my mother-in-law’s sweet potato pie recipe with a Joha twist. I hope you enjoy it and make changes to it to make it your own. 

Here’s to 2021!

Sweet potato pie

Tater Pie

Frozen pie crust 

2 medium sweet potatoes 

1/2 stick of butter 

1 cup of sugar 

3 eggs

1/2 cup evaporated milk

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

1/3 tsp nutmeg

1/2 salt 


1.Peel and quarter the potatoes and boil until tender. 

2.When potatoes are tender drain water and mash potatoes with masher. Add butter and salt while potatoes are still hot. Add sugar, stir well. 

3.Add other seasonings and vanilla. 

4.Taste and adjust spices. 

The mix should be overly sweet; while baking it loses some sweetness. 

5.In a separate bowl whisk eggs with evaporated milk. Mix into potato mixture. Mix with a mixer until smooth. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 350° for about 45-50 minutes or until set in the middle.


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