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July 04, 2018


Susan Neace

Isn't there a buttercake that you need for dessert with that? I lived for years away from my home area and whenever I was back for a visit I had a fish sandwich, fries and coleslaw with extra tartar sauce (for the fries), from a specific restaurant, even if everyone else had breakfast.


This is as close as I get to home cooking anymore - buy flour tortillas and throw one in the toaster oven till it isn't floppy. Take it out and put on bottled pizza sauce, pepperoni, and provel . Toast till cheese is lava.

You can buy provel on Amazon, but it's pricey. But, it is in the local store, too.


Elaine Viets

Yes, Susan, it's called a gooey butter cake, and it lives up to its name. An 8-by-8 inch one-layer cake has a whole stick of butter and a box of powdered sugar

Elaine Viets

Yum, Carolyn, there are days when I'd pay any price for provel cheese. Thank you, thank you.

Alan P.

Imo's will ship Provel limited distances. One of my ex-pat St. Louis fiends discovered that the TSA gets very curious about 5 pound rectangles in checked bags trying to take some Provel to Seattle.

Provel is a love it/hate it food. For many St. Louisans it is what we grew up with. For non many non-St. Louisans it is like being the best fans in baseball, one of the things that new york is not good at.

Elaine Viets

I love Provel, Alan, even if it is uncool. It's the pizza I grew up with, and I miss it.

Alan P.

Gooey Butter cake is easy to make. And has about 1,000 calories for just looking at it.

Here is a recipe even my favorite non cooking mystery writer can make.


It looks right. The key is to look for cream cheese. If there is cream cheese in the recipe you have chess pie, not gooey butter cake.

The other thing to look for is Paula Deen. Miz paula flat out plagiarized Gooey Butter Cake. And then she pushed out a chess pie recipe as Gooey Butter Cake. If you are going to steal, at least steal the real thing.

Marcia Talley

I'm pro Provel, too.

Elaine Viets

Paula Dean has much to be ashamed of. The gooey butter theft is just one sin. Didn't know that about chess pie, but I agree -- gooey butter cake is incredibly fattening. That's why it's so good.

Elaine Viets

Yay, Marcia.

Pam Meers Purtle

Any gooey butter cake recipe with a yellow box cake in it I ignore. i don't have it in front of me, but I hear that the Junior League's first cookbook has the definitive recipe. https://www.amazon.com/Saint-Louis-Days-Nights/dp/0963829815/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1530808242&sr=8-1&keywords=junior+league+st+louis+cookbook&dpID=21JGFH90R0L&preST=_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

And Imo's does deliver ingredients that you can make your own. but it is expensive.

Elaine Viets

Thanks for the Imo's tip, Pam. Good to know. Now I have several ways to get that pizza.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Ooooooooooohhhhhh, thank Elaine. Now I am yearning for pizza, even though it is a million degrees outside. I could eat pizza every day. oxo

Hank Phillippi Ryan

And, hey, provel sounds great!

Elaine Viets

Me, too, Hank.


Yeah, I used to sit around eating stl pizza and reading a little column that used to be in the St. Louis paper. She was so funny and I never missed one.
Not to pick a nit, but sometimes I miss that hometown St. Louis column and its humor so much. But least I can still get the pizza.

Elaine Viets

Aw, thank you, Janice. I miss my readers, too.

Storyteller Mary

Sounds as if someone needs to schedule a book tour, to have the pizza and visit old friends. Mom and I loved discussing your column together. <3
My great niece had her wedding reception at a restaurant on Main St. in St. Charles. I'm blanking on the name, but they had really good pizza. I like Costco's version, too.

Elaine Viets

I would like to come home, Mary, but it's not in the cards right now.

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