This episode of Homemade celebrates good food – and the good life – with Miss Patti LaBelle.

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Patti LaBelle Kitchen
Credit: Courtesy of Patti LaBelle

Dubbed the Godmother of Soul, Patti LaBelle made a name for herself with hits like "Lady Marmalade," "If Only You Knew,” and "New Attitude" in the '70s and '80s. When LaBelle's name went viral in 2015, however, it wasn't for a song but for a sweet potato pie. LaBelle's line of soul food at Walmart, Good Life, had just debuted, and reviews (including a YouTube video that tallied millions of views) quickly circulated online.

Before music, LaBelle found cooking. And like her music, LaBelle's cooking cuts through generations. She learned to bake pies from her grandmother. Her father owned a restaurant, known for its barbeque. She based her mac and cheese (another Good Life favorite) on her mother's recipe. It's her grandchildren's favorite, she tells us, though her son prefers to adapt the recipe himself.

LaBelle shares these stories with Homemade host and longtime fan Martie Duncan on this week's episode. Tune in to find out the comfort food Prince asked LaBelle to bake, how Elton John repaid her for lending him Tupperware, and her answer to the great cornbread debate. Download it for free at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and anywhere else you listen to podcasts beginning July 29.

Patti LaBelle
Credit: Courtesy of Patti LaBelle

About Patti LaBelle

Patti LaBelle's career as a singer began in the 1960s and has stretched over six decades. The two-time Grammy winner's accolades include inductions into Grammy Hall of Fame, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the Apollo Theater Hall of Fame. She's graced TV screens with roles in Hallmark movies and "Dancing with the Stars," among others. And between competing on "The Masked Singer" in 2019 and expanding Good Life, her soul food line, 76-year-old Labelle has no plans to retire. She is the author of Recipes for the Good Life, Desserts LaBelle: Soulful Sweets to Sing About, and Patti Labelle's Lite Cuisine.

Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and check out her website.

Episode Transcript

MARTIE DUNCAN Welcome to Homemade from Allrecipes. I'm Martie Duncan. On this podcast we celebrate not just good food but the good life, and my guest today is certainly living it.

She was part of the first Black vocal group to land on the cover of Rolling Stone and the first pop group to play the Metropolitan Opera House. She's got lots of hits and lots of awards. And now Patti LaBelle is racking up a new set of fans with her cooking and a special line of comfort food that you can find at Walmart.

Way before Mariah Carey hit those stratospheric high notes, Miss Patti LaBelle was cranking out the hits, and I was glued to my radio listening to her. I was just mesmerized. And let me tell you, that woman can still hit the high notes at 75 years young. She's amazing. I'm more than blown away to have Miss Patti LaBelle as our guest today on Homemade. Miss Patti...

PATTI LABELLE Thank you.

MARTIE Thank you for being part of this show!

PATTI And I'm 76.

MARTIE You're 76. I missed a birthday.

PATTI That's OK.

MARTIE Well, listen, I've been a fan of yours forever. I got that Rolling Stone magazine with you on the cover of it way back in the '70s. I used to subscribe to it. And I've been a fan ever since. I mean, all those hits.

PATTI Thank you.

MARTIE I mean, the Godmother of Soul, that's what they call you. Of course, everybody knows you're the original "Lady Marmalade." Way before Moulin Rouge, Patti LaBelle and LaBelle did "Lady Mawalrmalade." And it was, I mean, listen, all of us went around singing that. And then in the '80s you came back with "New Attitude." And that's like one of my best workout songs, man.

PATTI That's a good one.

MARTIE It always pumps me up and makes me feel like, yeah, I can do it.

PATTI Oh, good.

MARTIE And then, of course, "On My Own" with Michael MacDonald. Oh, makes my heart hurt, that one. But you know, some other big songs of yours, like you did a cover of "Over the Rainbow." You also did a cover of "Change Is Gonna Come" that I absolutely love. And it's so poignant for us right in this moment, in this time.

PATTI Yes it is.

MARTIE And "Somebody Loves You." I mean, so many hits. Fifty million records sold.

PATTI Well, thank you.

MARTIE Unbelievable.

PATTI Yeah.

MARTIE All right. But now not just the Godmother of Soul. Because otherwise, you probably wouldn't be on a cooking podcast. You are the godmother of Soul Cookin'!

PATTI Well, I cook comfort food. I cook soul food. I cook Italian food. I cook all kinds of food. Because I was born to cook.

MARTIE I read that somewhere, that while of course you're known for your music that cooking has always really been your first love, ever since you were a kid.

PATTI Oh, yeah, I love cooking. You know coming up with different recipes and trying a little bit of everything. It relaxes me. It's what I'm doing now after being in the house for four months. I mean, I'm a COVID cooker.

MARTIE Right, from the COVID-19 quarantine and stay-at-home orders, I did hear you on another interview say that you'd been cooking for your family, your kids, and your grandkids. And I just think — you're a normal person! You're not just the diva, you're like a normal person.

PATTI I am so normal.

MARTIE If I was hanging out at your house with you and your kids and your grandkids, what are they asking for? What is the number one thing that they want every day?

PATTI My little babies, they love my macaroni and cheese. They eat macaroni for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And my son and his wife, they eat whatever I cook because my son has a great skill of cooking also. So he's been doing a lot of the cooking. Like, he'll take my recipes and say, "Oh no, Ma, this is the way you make it." Yeah, right. He steals my recipes, but he does it well and respectfully.

MARTIE But you did that with your grandmother, didn't you?

PATTI With my mom, yeah.

MARTIE With your mom? And then didn't you use some of your grandmother's recipes, like the pie recipes?

PATTI Oh, you got that right.

MARTIE I mean, that's how you do it. You pass it down.

PATTI Yes.

MARTIE That's why I really wanted to have you on this show. Because, for me, the stories, the backstories — it's like music, isn't it? When you eat something, it takes you to a place and time. It's an ingrained memory of something. And I feel like it's so important for us to pass these things down to our kids and our grandkids and make sure these family traditions continue.

PATTI Stay in the family forever and always pass it on. Always.

MARTIE Doesn't it, though, when you take a bite of something that you learned to make from your grandmother or your mother, doesn't it just put you somewhere?

PATTI You know, them — when they were living and how I learned by watching them cook, especially my mom and my dad, I watched them a lot. And because I was a very homely-type little girl, I didn't go out. I didn't have friends. But I had cooking skills from watching them. That's when I really learned how to prepare meals.

MARTIE I learned from my mother as well.

PATTI Did you?

MARTIE Yes, I did. My most prized possession would be my cast iron skillet that my mother gave me And her rolling pin. What are some of the things you used to cook with your mom and dad?

PATTI I would make fresh fried corn.

MARTIE Ooh, my favorite now.

PATTI They'd always go, and when I went with them, I would stick my finger in to see it was sweet and not chalky tasting. And that's what I still do. And my friends who go shopping with me say, “They're gonna put you out of this store.” I said, "I'm not buying the old corn." So I stick my fingernail in it and taste my finger because they're clean and the nail is always sweet. You know, when you get like around this time. Yesterday, I made fresh fried corn. I made, like, 20 ears of fresh fried corn with branzino, sauteed spinach and heirloom tomatoes, and basil.

MARTIE Listen, fried corn is one of my all-time favorites. It is such a luxury. OK, now I want you to walk me through how to make it.

PATTI OK, so when you go to the grocery store — we go to the farmer's market — and always get the one with the husk already still on. Don't get the one that's been husked because you don't know how long they've been un-husked, OK? Once you peel it and take all the silk off and everything, then you cut them halfway and then you cream the rest off. You know, with the knife? I have a cast iron too from my mom, but I don't do the corn in that because it might stick. So I put it in one of those, what are they called?

MARTIE Teflon covered, like nonstick?

PATTI Yes. Nonstick. And so I add the corn to that. But I put the half-and-half cream in the bottom so it won't start sticking, and half-and-half cream as it's cooking, but not a lot. Then you put like a stick of butter and 20 ears. So then I put heavy black pepper.

MARTIE Heavy, like cracked black pepper?

PATTI Yes. Uh-huh. You know, with the press, you press it out, and of course, it's still chunky, but it's still so good. The taste is better. And sea salt. Cook it for about 10 to fifteen minutes because you don't want it soggy. You want it still crisp. I made it last night, and there’s some left over, a little bit that we're going to fight over, me and my housekeeper.

MARTIE When I lived in Chicago, there's cornfields all around us, and we would go and pick that corn and put it up and freeze it. And then we'd have fried corn all the way up through Christmas.

PATTI That's the best way. That’s so awesome.

MARTIE Your brand is called Good Life. And, as I was doing my research, I'm like, I wonder why they don't call it, like, Miss Patti's. And now I know. After I was sitting there today, and I went, "Oh, my God. What a life." Not just a career, because everybody knows this career, but what a life. The experiences that you have had. How about hanging out with Prince at his house, recording an album. Unbelievable.

PATTI He was so special and so genuine and so weird. And I loved everything about him. And so the weird thing was, well, first of all, I recorded there for a week. And he has a tailor on the premises. He had to make me four outfits. And then he said, one night after we finished recording, "I would like to take you to my house to cook for me." I said, "OK." So I had to tell them what to get.

So, they got about seven items, and the only thing he ate was my biscuits. I said, "You're not gonna eat anything else?" “No, I just wanted a biscuit.” “But you had me cook all this food?”

Anyway, so then, he and my musical director they were playing, shooting pool. And then he said, “I want to take you to a club.” So we all went to a club in the alphabet car. I said, "Oh, my goodness." And we got there. We were dancing on the dance floor. I mean, he treated me like I was his mother. Just such a gentleman.

MARTIE OK, you've got Grammy Awards. You're an actress. Hallmark movies. NBC shows. Sitcom. I mean, you were on "The Masked Singer." And I got to tell you, when I thought about the name of your brand, I'm like, Good Life, hadn't she had one? So let's get back to this Good Life. I want to talk a little bit about that.

You've got two cornbreads. Now, here in the South, it's a fight. The thing that I have the highest number of comments that I ever got on social media, I asked the question, "Cornbread. Sugar or no sugar?" And that was a fight, honey.

PATTI Right, and you know? I have the answer.

MARTIE You've got to two of them.

PATTI I have a sweet one and there's a savory one and, you know, the one that the normal people eat. Like, the sweet one I really don't eat that much because I'm a diabetic. I mean, I taste it and it's so good, but I don't go too far with it. But yeah, I have two cornbreads.

MARTIE Well, I was gonna say that's so smart because that way you get both camps. You get the people who like the sugar in their cornbread, and then you get the people, like, who are the purists, who are like, "Sugar in my cornbread? Are you kidding me?" I'm so tickled that you make it. 'Cause now for Thanksgiving I'm not gonna have to make cornbread for my dressing. I'm just gonna get yours.

PATTI Good. Don't make it, honey. Get mine. It's really good.

MARTIE And then I love the fact that with your mac and cheese, you didn't just skimp out either. You do six cheeses in there.

PATTI Six cheeses.

MARTIE Is that a recipe that you've had for a long time? Or is this something you created for Good Life?

PATTI Actually, it's with eight cheeses, but for my packaged one it's six cheeses. I mean, I created it because when I was making it one day I said, "Why not try this, this, this, all eight cheeses?" And it tastes just like the six-cheese macaroni. I'm not bored, but I love to come up with recipes so whenever I'm cooking something that I might cook the same way, like on a Wednesday, on a Thursday, I cook it a different way. You know, when you have all this time, you just create things, and I love creating.

MARTIE It's so true. I want to know, what's one of the things you're most excited about that you've created recently while you've been in quarantine and on lockdown? What is the thing you've been most excited about creating?

PATTI Oh, my goodness. So many things with pasta, with Italian turkey sausage, spicy turkey sausage in the turkey meatballs.

MARTIE Ooh, that sounds great.

PATTI I love making pasta, you know, with all different types of pasta. Mostly red sauce. I do some white sauce when I'm doing the clams —

MARTIE Ooh, girl.

PATTI And the shrimp with the pasta. I'm just always creating, Martie. It's like so many things to cook. So many things come to my mind, and you're never knowing how it's going to taste. So of course, when I cook it, I have my housekeeper, Edward, come. I say, "Taste this." And he says, "Mmm, yum." I'm a good cook. That's the difference. No measuring. Just cook.

MARTIE So I would say your sweet potato pie was kind of like your Lady Marmalade. That was your breakout hit, wasn't it?

PATTI Oh yeah. Right, that was the Lady Marmalade. Uh-huh.

MARTIE Tell me a little bit about, like, secrets to that. Your pie crust, for example, was this something that you had just teach yourself? Your grandmother, your momma, daddy taught you?

PATTI My mother and grandmother, they made the ones with the, uh, crust crust. Sometimes, you don't have time to make a crust, you buy a crust. And you can add anything to your crust, more butter, or whatever. So I do it both ways. And every time you make a sweet potato pie, you add a little something, and sometimes you don't. It's like an experiment every time I do pie.

MARTIE My mother grew up in a children's home in Troy, Alabama, and all the kids there had to cook. It was part of the deal. You had to have a job and you had to do something. But she made us a dessert, homemade dessert every day. And it was usually a pie or cobbler. Every day. Every single day.

PATTI My dad cooked better than my mother.

MARTIE Really?

PATTI He was a great cook. Yeah. He had a restaurant. He cooked his face off. And my mother, I think, learned from him. And I learned from both of them. So it's good when you have parents who can cook and show you what to do. Yeah.

MARTIE That's right. So many people didn't get that blessing like we did.

PATTI No they didn't.

MARTIE Miss Patti, did he have a restaurant in your — I mean, do you remember going there?

PATTI I went once in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was like a bar restaurant. It was cute.

MARTIE What do you remember that he would make?

PATTI He was known for his ribs.

MARTIE Ooh!

PATTI And barbecue.

MARTIE Ooh, yes, so I have a feeling there's going to be some barbecue in this lineup here one of these days.

PATTI It's going to be. You know what, Martie, I'm trying to do everything that everybody will cook for themselves. But they won't have to cook it once Patti Patti puts this stuff out. You know? So yeah, it's going to be a little bit of everything.

MARTIE Miss Patti, you're a very fearless cook. But so many people, especially with the pandemic, are just really learning to cook, and they're hesitant to try new things. What advice do you have for beginning cooks to help them become more fearless like you?

PATTI Get a cookbook or watch some of my demonstrations online because it's so easy. You know, I've never learned from that. I was born this way.

MARTIE Right.

PATTI But, it's like you can learn a lot from YouTube cooking channels.

MARTIE I think you can, too, but the problem for me with a lot of them, especially when they're trained chefs and have been to culinary school and all that — a lot of times they will speak in terms or use language that is not familiar.

PATTI Oh, no. Not those. Girl, not those. No, no, no. Real-talking people.

MARTIE Like us!

PATTI Right. Like us. Just talk it out and they'll listen and they'll learn quicker if you don't give them, "OK, you measure a teaspoon of this, a tablespoon of that." No, no, no. Look and learn. And like I said, I never measure.

MARTIE My mother didn't either. When I got married, I would call my mom and I'm like, "Hey, Mom, I want to try, like, something." And she would say, "Oh, I don't know, like just a little bit of that. I'm like a little bit as in a half a cup?"

PATTI Mhm.

MARTIE "Or a little bit as in..." She goes, "No, no, no. Just a — I mean, you know, just to taste. Or you'll feel it when," and I'm like, I'll feel it?

PATTI That's what it is. I call it soul drops. You put soul drops of anything in your food and it'll be awesome.

MARTIE Soul drops! Of course, the Godmother of Soul, that's how you would cook, with some soul drops.

Hey, listen. I want to ask you about the buttermilk pie because I had a friend whose mother always made those buttermilk pies. That is one of my favorite things. Anything buttermilk, really. But I love a buttermilk pie.

PATTI Isn't it good? I mean...

MARTIE Oh, so good!

PATTI Ah, God. But here's the thing again. Because I'm diabetic, I can eat a little piece of it.

MARTIE But I think buttermilk pie is the perfect background, let's say, for all of our summer fruits that are coming in now.

PATTI Oh, yes.

MARTIE Peaches, for example. Cherries, peaches, strawberries, blueberries.

PATTI Peach cobblers, cherry cobblers. Yeah.

MARTIE I think that if you use that buttermilk pie, like, let's say you're having some folks over and you don't want to make dessert. Take that buttermilk pie and all you have to do is get some blueberries...

PATTI Ooh.

MARTIE And heat 'em up and make a little bit of a compote. Put it on the top.

PATTI Right?

MARTIE It's so fancy!

PATTI Know what else I do with that? I put lemon zest and orange zest on top whenever I taste it.

MARTIE Ooh, that sounds good.

PATTI I love lemon zest on practically everything.

MARTIE Me too. Or orange zest. I hadn't thought about that, but that sounds really good. Yeah, I think it would be good with fresh strawberries, just macerate ‘em a little bit. Put those on there. The tang from the buttermilk would offset the sweetness of the fruit. I think a perfect pairing, a perfect combination.

We'll have more with Miss Patti LaBelle right after the break.

Welcome back to Homemade. I'm Martie Duncan. And today, I'm talking to the Godmother of Soul herself, Miss Patti LaBelle.

Let's talk about greens for just one minute, because this is a cooking show. So, in your greens, you put in collards and kale?

PATTI Well, yes. And smoked turkey. They're a little spicy.

MARTIE Would that come from cayenne? Or hot sauce?

PATTI No. I would put red pepper flakes. Because they come in all different stages. The red flakes. Sometimes you get them and they're a little dull. Then you can get some so hot it's like a habanero pepper that you've just eaten. Mine, in the greens that I have, is probably from one to 10. I'd say it's like number five hot. Because everybody can't do hot like I do.

MARTIE Southerners like a lot of hot sauce and spice, so my people are kind of used to that.

Miss Patti, who besides Prince, who would be like the number one person you've ever cooked for that you were so excited to cook for? Outside your family, of course.

PATTI Well, the Rolling Stones came to Philly at the Spectrum so many years ago. And Bill, Bill Wyman? Bill — the guitar player — called me and said, "Patti, we’re in Philly." Because we used to open the show for the Stones back in the day and, um, they knew that I was a cook. So when they came to Philly, here comes this call saying, "Patti, would you please just make us something?"

So I said, "Well, you have catering there." And I said, "OK. One stipulation is, whenever I do these seven things for you guys..." I did brisket. I did cabbage. I did fried corn. I did rice and gravy. So I said, "The only thing is, make sure you write 'Patti LaBelle' on all seven of my big bins that I'm going to send you guys." I said, "I don't want to offend the people who are going to do the regular food." You know, when we have caterers for the shows. But I said, "And share it with Living Color." I think that was the group that was on with them.

Anyway, Richard Pryor. Arsenio Hall. Elton John. Yes, I cooked for Elton.

MARTIE Oh, wow!

PATTI He paid me back with a diamond ring.

MARTIE What?

PATTI Because back in the day, he was my piano player — when we were in London at the Scotts Club or somewhere. So, he was Reggie at the time. And whenever we finished a show, they were all hungry. Nobody had any money, so I would bring them to my flat and we would all cook for, you know, for the group. And I would always send them home with Tupperware.

Now, one thing I love are beautiful shopping bags and beautiful Tupperware. I don't give it away. So that night, I gave him my Tupperware. And about 10 years later, he calls there. He said, "Patti, hi, it's Reggie." I said, "Oh, hi, Reggie." I said, "What's up?" He said, "I want you to come to my show tonight." I said, who are you opening for? He said, "I'm Elton John now." I said, "What? Where's my Tupperware?"

It's a long story. Anyway, we recorded a song at the Red Piano in Vegas. After it was finished, I said, "Elton, here's your rings." He left them on the piano. He said, "That's for your Tupperware." So I have a beautiful ring that he gave me. Instead of giving me back Tupperware, he gave me a diamond.

I've cooked for so many people, thank God.

MARTIE That was a pretty good exchange right there. Tupperware for a diamond.

PATTI Yeah!

MARTIE You got the better end of that deal. Yeah. He's been one of my favorites. When I was a little girl, I had his picture plastered all over my walls.

PATTI Really?

MARTIE Oh, yes, I did. I loved it. And I saw him last year. I did a bucket list year of artists that I have always loved but maybe that I haven't seen in like 30, 40 years. And I mean, I saw everybody, everybody, everybody. I saw him a couple of times.

PATTI Wasn't he good?

MARTIE Oh, my gosh. Amazing. He still is. He's still a showman.

PATTI He'll never stop.

MARTIE Just like you — and me now. I'm never going to stop either.

PATTI Right? We won't stop. No reason.

MARTIE I had Carla Hall on this podcast a couple of weeks ago, and I asked her the same question I just asked you about who would she most want to cook for? And you know she said? Miss Patti LaBelle.

PATTI No she didn't.

MARTIE Yes, she did.

PATTI Are you serious?

MARTIE She did. I can't wait to text her and say...

PATTI What a compliment! Tell her you know I watch her every chance I get to watch her because she reminds me so much of my cousin. And when we met, she has such a soul spirit.

MARTIE She does.

PATTI And just tell her I love her even more now.

MARTIE Well, you know, she's a Biscuit Queen. And I'm the Biscuit Boss. And you are the Godmother of Biscuits. We need to get together and sing and cook.

PATTI What? Can you sing?

MARTIE Honey, I will! I know there's a big difference.

PATTI But as long as you sing. It doesn't have to be like Mariah Carey or anything. Just sing.

MARTIE There is a big difference between can and will, but I will. I will definitely sing. I mean, it's in my heart. I wish I had your talent. I don't. I can cook.

PATTI But I love Carla Hall. Tell her I send my love.

MARTIE I will tell her that.

PATTI Yes. That's my girl.

MARTIE She talked about peach cobbler, too. She gave us some pretty good tips on her peach cobbler. And the way she does it is very different. She kinda blind bakes the bottom crust.

PATTI So do I.

MARTIE And gets it like brown. And then she cooks her fruit. She said on the peaches, she just cooks them to death, like soul food style. And then she puts her crust on the top. So we just had such a fun time talking peach cobblers and biscuits and all those good things.

PATTI Right. Well, we do that the same way. The peach cobbler.

MARTIE What fruits and vegetables are you most excited about this summer season?

PATTI Well, I love to cook cabbage, and I love sugar snap peas. You know, you cook them for like five minutes with the fresh garlic and butter and then you bite them, of course, they’re gonna crunch, crunch.

MARTIE Yum.

PATTI So I love making those. And any time string beans — with Patti Labelle, that's with mozzarella cheese, fresh tomatoes. And the kids eat that. They'll eat that because it's mozzarella cheese on it.

MARTIE So you put that on your green beans?

PATTI Yes, honey. And broccoli also. They love broccoli. So you steam the broccoli, like you normally do.

MARTIE OK.

PATTI And at the end, add the provolone or the mozzarella cheese.

MARTIE Ooh, nice.

PATTI And they love it because they're not crazy about veggies. But when kids see cheese and pulling cheese when it's pulling, like pizza — they love it. So I've been doing a lot of those things for the babies, you know, other than my macaroni. I just go in the kitchen and just start cooking. I'm that girl.

MARTIE Yeah. My mother was like that, too. I would always think, I don't have anything in here to make. And my mother, already over there, had like three things made over there. I'm like, "Oh, my gosh. How did you do that while I'm still over here looking in the pantry? And you've already made three things."

PATTI She's an O.G. Original gangster.

MARTIE Yes ma'am.

PATTI She knows how to do it.

MARTIE She did. She surely did. I'm telling you what, it's the greatest blessing to have grown up in a family of cooks. My mother was a great cook. My two aunts were really great cooks.

PATTI Yes.

MARTIE And when we would have family get-togethers, all the things that would come to the table. My Aunt Buss was known for her coconut cake. What's your favorite cake to make at home for a birthday?

PATTI Lemon cake. Lemon bundt cake. As I told you, I love lemon zest. Anything with lemon in it. And the kids, they don't eat it. They don't really like it. You know, the older folks like it.

MARTIE Miss Patti, I tell you one thing we always ask our guests on this show: What is your guilty pleasure? I know being a diabetic, you probably have to keep yourself in check. But if you're going to let yourself have one thing, what would it be?

PATTI OK, I'm going to say this. But I don't do it often.

MARTIE OK.

PATTI The Starbucks lemon cake with that white icing

MARTIE I love that, too. I love that.

PATTI I love lemon! And so every now and then, when they go to Starbucks, they might treat me to one slice. And I'll take a little piece, a little piece until I'm finished, like in four days. But that's one of my weaknesses. I love that cake. And I used to love Haagen-Dazs chocolate ice cream. I don't do it anymore. I used to love it.

MARTIE I can’t stop. If I start on the ice cream, man, I'll eat the whole thing.

PATTI But see how strong I am. I make sure they fill the freezer with it. And every night the next morning I wake up, I say, "I didn’t do the chocolate ice cream. I'm good to go." So I can have it around and I'm not tempted. So that's how good I am now.

MARTIE Is your lemon bundt cake sort of like a version of that Starbucks lemon?

PATTI It’s like that. Yes, it is.

MARTIE Tell me how you make yours. Do you put a confectioner's sugar-type of glaze sort of like theirs or?

PATTI It's like the ingredients that you do for lemon cake with extra lemon zest. And I don't do icing on mine. I don't do icing. Just a plain bundt lemon cake.

MARTIE Well, just so you know, this podcast is produced by Allrecipes. You know, we're a community of 60 million home cooks.

PATTI What?!

MARTIE Sixty million home cooks. Yes, ma'am. We just did a copycat version of the Starbucks lemon cake. You can find that online. And now, you — you won't even have to go to the Starbucks. You'll be able to make it at home.

PATTI I can just make it myself. Yes, I will. But I know what else I was thinking about too, Martie?

MARTIE What's that?

PATTI Okra, corn, and tomatoes. Do you ever make that?

MARTIE I just picked a basketful of okra yesterday.

PATTI Really?

MARTIE You know how okra is when you plant it, girl. You can't cut it fast enough. You look at it and it's like a teeny little thing, and if you look at it an hour later it's so big you can't fry it because it's tough. You have to stew it. But I am a okra lover.

PATTI People either love it or hate it. I love okra, period. I don't know why that came to my mind, but since you're such a Southern girl, I know you know about that okra.

MARTIE I’m growing a bushel of it out in my backyard right this minute.

PATTI I wish I lived near you, my God.

MARTIE I you did I would come over there and I would get you to make me some fried corn.

PATTI I would.

MARTIE And I would make you some okra.

PATTI Anything. Aw, well we have to meet one day.

MARTIE I am hopeful for that.

PATTI OK. Me too.

MARTIE And I'm gonna tell Carla Hall when she comes to cook for you, I'm gonna be her sous chef. I’m gonna be her sous chef, for sure.

PATTI Aw, really? Well, just give her all my hugs.

MARTIE I will. Miss Patti, thank you for your generosity of your time and your spirit. And thank you so much —

PATTI Thank you.

MARTIE For telling us some of the great stories behind your food on the Homemade podcast today. I am so thankful and so appreciative. Thank you.

PATTI Nice talking to you. Very nice.

MARTIE All right, I’m gonna have a new attitude

PATTI You better get one, honey.

MARTIE Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh, I got a new attitude, baby. I can’t wait.

PATTI Ooh ooh ooh.

MARTIE That’s right.

PATTI Yes.

MARTIE All righty.

PATTI Thank you, Martie.

MARTIE Thank you, Miss Patti.

PATTI Have a great life.

MARTIE You too!

PATTI OK, honey.

MARTIE You too. Keep on kicking, sister.

PATTI Thank you.

MARTIE OK.

PATTI I can't stop. OK, honey, bye bye.

MARTIE Bye bye.

PATTI OK.

MARTIE You can find Patti LaBelle's cooking videos on YouTube, and you can follow her on Instagram @MsPattiLaBelle.

Up next on Homemade: Baking with kids with pastry chef Duff Goldman.

DUFF GOLDMAN I got to the age where I went to friends’ houses, and their parents would make dinner. And I was like, you guys eat this way all the time? It was weird because, like, all you know is awesome food. And then you get out in the world, and you realize not all food is awesome.

MARTIE: Duff is known to use blowtorches and other power tools to build elaborate structures to support his even more elaborate cakes. We’ll hear all about it on the next episode.

Subscribe to the podcast. I’m not sure exactly how this happens, but when you rate us and leave us a review, it makes it easier for other people to find the podcast. So, if you could, please leave us some feedback. I’d really appreciate it.

And don’t forget, you can find thousands of recipes, meal ideas, and cooking how-tos from the world’s largest community of cooks at Allrecipes.com. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

This podcast was recorded in Birmingham, edited in Atlanta, and can be found wherever you get your podcasts.

Homemade is produced by Allrecipes with Executive Editor Jason Burnett. Thanks to our Pod People production team: Rachael King, Eliza Lambert, Tanya Ott, and Maya Kroth.

Thanks for listening. I’m Martie Duncan, and this is Homemade.