Sunday, October 24, 2010


As a reader of my Coffeehouse Mysteries, Paul found me on Facebook. I was intrigued to learn about his occupation. Because many of us on this blog write about (or enjoy reading about) professionals in the culinary field, I invited Paul to guest blog for us. I'm so happy he agreed! Please welcome, Paul Yates... ~ Cleo Coyle

Paul Yates
 As a professional baker, it is easy to let my job become just “a job”, and forget the enjoyment many derive from the products we bake. I work at Pineland Bakery, a family-owned bakery that has been serving the Waynesboro, GA community for over 30 years.

In the five years I have been here, I have been head cashier, sales manager, IT manager, marketing director, coffee brewer, and most recently, chief baker. Actually, most times I wear most of those caps at the same time!

Pineland Bakery, Waynesboro, GA

Paul's Bear Claws

I love good food, as my waistline can testify! My dear wife is a wonderful cook, who has had excellent cooking techniques handed down to her by her mother, and I myself was no stranger to the kitchen as I grew up. I was fortunate to be surrounded by family who could really, REALLY cook, and very little of it was actually GOOD for me!

Paul's Chocolate-Frosted Doughnuts

(Hungry yet?!)
Paul's Cheese Danish

As a child, I used to spend quite a bit of time with my great-grandmother, a dear lady we all called Granny Clyde. She was old, born in 1899, and she saw a lot of history before she died during her mid-nineties. I remember seeing pictures of her during the Roaring Twenties, and thinking how incredibly gorgeous she was.

She grew up in the mountains of North Carolina, and, despite her relation to certain feuding families, managed to attend college and become a teacher.

She was one of the first women in her area to teach poverty-stricken African-Americans how to read, so that they could vote. She was also a tremendously accomplished cook and baker, and I always enjoyed visiting her, especially since she fed us such great homemade food!

Paul's Apple Fritters

One of Granny Clyde's favorites was called “Lemon Chess Pie”. It was a baked custard pie, like an egg custard, but was much richer. It's actually insanely rich, but so wonderful, you don't care about the calories it contains! The recipe has seen a few changes over the years, but it has only gotten better with the tweaking.

One of the qualities that sets it apart from other pies is the "Melt-in-your-mouth" crust that forms on top of the pie as a result of the margarine and sugar in the filling. If only I could figure out how to recreate just this one element! I could cut the calories way down!

Ok, so enough with the's that recipe!

Lemon Chess Pie


1 ½ cup sugar
4 eggs
1 ½ Tbsp. Vinegar
½ cup margarine, melted
1 tsp. Lemon extract
¼ tsp. Salt
9 inch unbaked pie crust

Directions: Mix all ingredients. Pour into unbaked pie crust. Bake @ 325 F for 40-45 minutes.

On a final note, I would like to thank Cleo
for the opportunity to share
this recipe with the readers of this blog.

~ Paul Yates

Thank YOU, Paul, for sharing yourself,
your memories, and your fantastic recipe!
Blessings to you and your family.
~ Cleo

You can visit
Pineland Bakery online,
by clicking here.

You can also "Like"
Pineland Bakery on Facebook and
"follow" Pineland Bakery on Twitter.

To leave a comment or question for Paul,
click the "Comment" hot link below...


  1. As Paul's sister, I can testify to the goodness of this pie, and of Granny Clyde, and yes, the Pineland Bakery's goodies!

  2. What a wonderful recipe! And it's easy to make, too, which is a real plus for me (especially this time of the year when everything seems to get so busy!) Thanks so much for visiting with us today, Paul, for sharing your story about Granny Clyde, and for this delicious recipe!

  3. Ok. I think I just gained five pounds looking at the photos of all those wonderful sweets. The Lemon Chess pie reminds me of my Granny's Buttermilk Pie (another chess pie, but of course with buttermilk). Oh so good, but again just a whiff of it adds five pounds to the hips. I'm going to have to try this one.

  4. WOW, the pie (and the other goodies) look delicious. I can't wait to try this recipe, so quick and simple. Thanks Paul for sharing it and the story about Granny Clyde.

    Cleo, thanks for talking Paul into guest blogging.

    Thoughts in Progress

  5. Ok, dumb question, but where is the cream cheese? Sounds good though!

  6. Paul, thank you so much for joining us today. I think it's cruel to post those pictures of your beautiful pastries before I've had breakfast. I licked the screen when I saw the chocolate covered doughnuts . . .

    ~ Krista

  7. It was the bear claws that had me licking the screen. How far is it from St. Louis to Waynesboro, and how fast can I get there?

  8. It all looks appetizing and I'm glad it's virtual goodies instead of in my house.

  9. Yikes, this is a dangerous place to hang out today! Everything is just mouth-watering delicious looking!(Normally the choc. donuts would do it for me, but today it was the apple fritters that really tempted me! DH is crazy for those bear claws.)

    Lemon chess was one of my MIL's all-time favorite pies. She was a great country cook and I sure miss her and her desserts. Thanks so much for the recipe, Paul, and the memories of Granny Clyde.

  10. Welcome and thanks, Paul!!
    Our 16 yr old son has aspirations to become a baker!! His two faves are Alton Brown and Anthony Bourdain...I don't believe he has a favorite baker perhaps??!!!
    Anyway...I must ask about the origin of "chess pie"...I lived in San Antonio for several years and that was the first place I ran across it. of course I read it as "cheese" for many you have the answer to this question?? I look forward to having Connor make this for us!! Thanks again and now I'm off to your website!!

  11. Thanks for all the kind comments. In response to wondering about chess pie, I managed to find this on Wikipedia. While I don't consider Wikipedia an unimpeachable source of info, certainly the theories regarding chess pie are possible.

  12. Paul - I just wanted to say thanks again for guest blogging today! We loved having you!

    ~ Cleo

  13. Paul, is that vinegar white or apple cider? When I think 'vinegar' I think wine vinegar, which I'm sure you don't mean for this recipe.

  14. @Patg, we always used white vinegar.