A true friend…
What are the ingredients for a true friendship? Love? Time? Dedication? Selflessness? I recently saw evidence of what a real, true friendship consists of. My Granny Emma was recently taken to the emergency room after a fall to have her hip evaluated. It was a cold, windy Kentucky day, and snow began falling just as we loaded her into the ambulance. My family and I waited with her as the doctors read her x-ray. The phone rang at the nurses’s station, and she quietly motioned that it was for me. I anticipated that it would be family, calling to check on Granny. When I answered the phone, a frail, worried voice met me. It was one of Granny’s oldest friends, Anna Lee. Into her nineties, she had braved the weather to deliver a home-cooked meal to my grandparents. When the door was locked at midday, she knew that something was wrong and returned home to call the ER and check on her friend. I assured her that Granny was fine, but that didn’t stop her from delivering the meal the next day, after the health scare was over and Granny was home. Not only did she cook an entire meal, but also made a beautiful chocolate pie. She insisted on blessing her beloved friend in the one way that she could. Ecclesiasties 4:9-10 says, “Two are better than one…if one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up.” What a virtuous woman, and a blessing is Anna Lee! Now let the blessings continue as I share with you her Chcolate Pie!
Anna Lee’s Chocolate Pie
Anna Lee’s pie recipe is different than the chocolate pie traditionally made by my Granny. It doesn’t have milk, but water as an ingredient. Over the phone today, Anna Lee credited the pie to a friend, who had put the recipe in the Fairview Baptist Church Cookbook years ago. As I read the ingredients I began to doubt that it could work out due to its lack of milk. As I added the ingredients into the saucepan, it appeared thin and watery, but I continued on, faithfully, as Anna Lee had instructed. “Do exactly as the recipe instructs,” she had warned me. She even noted that it was different than other pies in her repertoire. As it slowly cooked, it thickend to a beautiful, silky filling. Lesson learned. Don’t doubt a 91-year-old experienced baker.
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup all purpose flour (increased slightly from the original recipe by Anna Lee)
3 heaping tbsp. cocoa
2 cups of water
3 egg yolks (whites aren’t used)
1/2 stick of butter
A dash of salt
1 tbsp. of vanilla
1 (9 inch) pie shell
Bake the empty pie shell as directed on the packaging ( if using a store-bought one like me).
Mix the sugar, flour, and cocoa together.
It will look like hot chocolate mix. Next, add some of the water into this dry mix and stir it to form a paste. Beat in the egg yolks. Here is where I started to doubt it…heat the remaining water with the butter and salt in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Make sure the pan is large enough to give you room to stir. When the butter is melted, add the chocolate mixture into the pan. Cook on medium, stirring constantly until thickened to a pudding consistency. It will look really watery at first, but it will thicken very quickly. Use a whisk, and make sure to get to the bottom, as it will thicken there first, and tend to stick. Anna Lee must have some serious biceps, as the more you whisk, the silkier the filling.
I am now going to challenge my readers to pass on this blessing to a friend or two who need it!
Let’s pay Anna Lee’s blessing forward, and surprise a friend who is sick, lonely, or just needs some TLC. Please leave a comment if you take me up on this challenge. I would love to hear of all the blessings being spawned by one lovely, Godly woman and her wonderful pie!