I hope your Thanksgiving was warm and spiced, and that your Black Friday was fruitful and civilized. A few highlights from my own, to kick off. This year I was in charge of the corn casserole, and my mom’s stuffing. Mom’s stuffing is my religion. I don’t always get to spend Thanksgiving with her, but I always celebrate her with my attempt at her holiday specialty in her absence.
Mr. PB was my sous chef. A crowd began to gather at his feet. A furry, scavenging crowd.
Dad made an Un-Turkey for himself and me to eat, which I sadly did not photograph as I was too busy devouring it.
Dad and my brother’s fiance. You’ll remember they got engaged a week before I did.
There’s my little brother second from the left. I’m told we look nothing alike. I see more a resemblance as we get older.
Friday we embarked on the exciting task of addressing (me) and assembling/sealing (him) our wedding invitations. Blue Eyes made them all by himself. He’s such a Type A bride.
Today we got a tree. Tomorrow we are going to be up to our elbows in Christmas finery. You know that’s a post all its own. Sorry I’m not sorry.
We are in the middle of another long, delightful holiday weekend, and I for one have parted with my soft green penguin pajamas as little as possible, and indulged to the fullest extent of my stomach, and then indulged some more. I’m now back in my trusty penguin PJs at my darkened breakfast nook, wrapped in the fuzzy light of the under-cabinet glow, and I felt the want to drop in with a few thoughts on thankfulness and the best cotton-pickin’ Southern Chocolate Pie anyone ever did taste. In case you didn’t eat quite sinfully enough.
The other day I was talking to Amanda over at Voyage of the MeeMee , and I had a thought. She had blogged about the fact that not many who know her in life read her blog, and she likes it just fine. I tend to nod along in agreement when this one starts a’typin’, and this occasion was no exception.
Funnily, I just had this conversation the other day. A close friend asked me why I no longer posted or “shared” each post on my personal Facebook as I did in the beginning. The only answer I could come up with: Because it’s not for them anymore. In the infancy of this blog, the only people who read it were those who clicked through when I posted a link on Facebook. Which – let’s be honest – was every post.
But that’s changing. I’ve retained a few readers in those I know, they follow the blog’s Facebook page and they come back, each day, they come back – there’s something so special about that. I like to think that those few who were so inclined in the very beginning are still following along. I know that some of my family and close friends read this, and I’m so humbled and honored. Even my brother, who hates to read, will call me to remark on a post here and there.
I know that not everyone is a reader, so to speak. Not everyone is built to enjoy reading the lengthy passages that make up a blog’s meat, and I’m sure many of my casual acquaintances and even close family never wanted to know this much about me. Sorry about that, folks. My point is that if they come and read and really enjoy it then they are welcomed to be here, but I’m no longer obliged to spoon feed every person on my FB friends list my most intimate thoughts, just there, with the click of a button.
I’m building a family outside the people I might “know” in life, a family that is getting to know me better than almost anyone else. I come here every day and your comments and visits and tear-jerking emails are just like buttery, marshmallowy hugs. You are my blog family.
There’s a certain unique elegance in that, I think…
In honor of that, and the official start of the holiday season, a time at which indulgence knows not of the boundaries we covet… pie. Here is pie. The absolute best pie I or the mouth of anyone I’ve gifted with it has ever experienced.
This is the Southern Chocolate Pie baked for (and consumed in multiple on the set of) The Help.
I lifted this straight off the pages of Food & Wine magazine. What? I never said I was a pastry visionary. I have since made it for parties, holidays, birthdays and random Wednesdays. I’ve also nicknamed it PMS Pie. I then passed along the recipe to Dagmar. She has never forgiven me. And continues to join me in baking this on the way-too-regular.
1 pie crust. I’ve used them all, they are all individually awesome.
1 1/2 cups of sugar. I’ve used both bleached white and raw, organic turbinado. No difference. Keep it healthy, people.
3 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
4 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 TSP vanilla extract
1/4 TSP salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, whisk together the salt, sugar, and cocoa powder (Alton Brown always says, wet on top of dry), then add the butter, eggs, milk and vanilla. I use one of those little handheld electric whisks. Make sure you pour it right into the shells and then straight into the oven. Twice (yes twice, I’m a proven kitchen disaster) I have walked away or gotten into an in-depth text conversation or for whatever reason let the filling sit in the bowl for 5-10 minutes before depositing it in the shell, and the resultant pie was less than delicious (Mr. PB does not agree with me but I’m telling you it was bunk). It seemed like the chocolate disintegrated from the rest of the filling and sort of floated to the top, leaving a super cocoatastic crunchy layer atop a sort of half-ass chocolate tinged pie.
So whisk then dump. Whisk then dump. Then into the oven. Directly into the oven. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.
Bake for 45 minutes. The edges will be set and the center will jiggle. Just like my derrière after too many slices.
You’re welcome. Or I’m sorry.
Original recipe found here.