For those of you new to Sugarmamma, my blog consists of family recipes, stories about caring for my Granny Emma (who has dementia), and the occasional pointless rabbit trail of a story. I have posted several of our family favorites, and I’m warming the oven for another season of baking!
Two years ago, when Granny Emma gave me her recipe box, I jokingly commented that it probably contained the recipe for world peace. Little did I know that my statement would be true! Deep within the box’s contents, amidst cakes, breads, casseroles, and salads, was a shopping list or part of some mysterious untitled recipe (which I found many of):
1 cherry pie filling
1 can of crushed pineapple
1/2 cup of chopped nuts
I have no idea what dessert these ingredients combine to become, but if any of you want to take a stab at it, you are more than welcome!
I flipped the paper over to see what was on the back, and what I found was reassurance…the ground rules that guided my grandmother’s life.
He is an eternal God.
He is with me at all times.
He is a loving God.
He will never fail me.
I can trust him at all times.
He is my priceless Savior.
These truths will be a stronghold for whatever situation stands before you…world peace on an index card!
It’s been quite a while since my last post. Ok, so it’s been a LONG time since my last post. Time goes by quickly, and my focus changes with the seasons. My boys and the dogs (especially Sam) have missed taste testing our heirloom recipes. I’m ready to get back in the saddle for some southern comfort foods, Granny Emma stories, and more family recipes…Sugarmamma’s kitchen is back open for business!
Good news! Sugarmamma was a featured link on http://www.cakespy.com (for the third time!) in her weekly Bakers Dozen! Take a look and enjoy all that Cakespy has to offer! A little package from Mom Blakeman’s candy via Sugarmamma is headed her way, so Seattle will be sweeter for sure!
Today’s recipe comes with a bit of mystery. I came across the “Mom Blakeman’s Chess Pie” recipe in my Granny’s box, and immediately thought of the local Kentucky candy company, Mom Blakeman’s. Imagine that. I don’t know what would have ever linked those two. [Insert sarcasm here]. Mom Blakeman’s candy is a regional favorite. They are famous for their “Pull Candy”, which is super sweet and melts in your mouth. The company dates back to 1961, and Mom Blakeman was the matriarch in this legacy.
Mom Blakeman, photo from http://www.momblakemanscandy.com
Now I don’t have evidence that this recipe has anything to do with the famous “Mom Blakeman”. It could be completely coincidental. Now, let’s add even another layer of complication to this recipe…
I always do some research on Granny’s recipes that I am unfamiliar with. Sometimes I like to compare her recipes to others, but mostly because she was infamous for just writing down ingredients with no real instructions…hence the blog you are currently reading, pictures and all. I’m sure she knew exactly what to do, but now that she has Alzheimer’s, those intricate details are lost for the most part. She does surprise me at times, though! Ok, I digress. My family is always excited to try my featured blog recipe, and when I told them that I was featuring the “Mom Blakeman’s Chess Pie”, my oldest son announced, ” I ate that at Claudia Sanders restaurant on my birthday and it was REALLY good!” Ok, I hadn’t connected “Mom” with the Claudia Sanders Dinner House (Sanders, as in Colonel Sanders…as in KFC fried chicken…)? When I searched the recipe by name, however, the only link for the pie was on the Claudia Sanders menu. So it wasn’t just Chess Pie on the menu, as I had suspected, it was “Mom Blakeman’s Chess Pie”. Of course Alex was correct. He always is. I say he has “elephant memory” all the time. Dang, I wish I could catch him wrong…just once! Here is an excerpt from the menu:
Claudia’s Kentucky Pie “The Best” $2.95
Made with chocolate chips and pecans
Mom Blakeman’s Chess Pie (Custard Like) $2.95
Homemade Cobblers $2.25
Blackberry, Cherry or Peach
Apple Pie w/hot butter rum sauce $2.95
Claudia’s Sundaes $2.25
Chocolate, Butterscotch or Strawberry
Ice Cream $ 1.25 per scoop
Vanilla or Orange Sherbet
So now, I’m really confused.
Well, I just had to do some more investigating. I called Matt’s grandmother to ask her about the pie, since her favorite restaurant is Claudia Sanders. She informed me that it was probably in the Claudia Sanders cook book. My mother-in-law e-mailed me the recipe, but it was labeled “Chess Pie”. No “Mom Blakeman” in sight. It was also a different recipe than Granny’s. Who knows? I am going with Granny’s version, so let’s see how it goes!
“Mom Blakeman’s Chess Pie” from Granny’s recipe box
Put your butter out at room temperature several hours before, or overnight. It makes the next step much easier. Cream the butter and sugar well with spices. I use my mixer with the paddle attachment, but you could easily use a hand mixer, or even a spoon for that matter. Add the egg yolks one at a time, making sure you scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Add the Carnation Milk and mix well.
Bake in an uncooked crust at 350 degrees until filling is like soft jello.
Now I am personally not a huge meringue fan, but the recipe calls for one, so feel free to add that if you wish! It smells a lot like pumpkin pie, just no pumpkin. The pie came out super sweet and rich, so don’t cut it into huge pieces. Or go ahead, just have that glass of milk ready to go! Wait for the pie to cool before cutting, that is if you can!
When I get some more information on this pie mystery, I will let you know! Would the REAL “Mom Blakeman’s Chess Pe” please stand up? Until then, keep baking and let Sugarmamma know how things are going!
It has been a very long week in Sugarmamma’s house. I can’t even get started, lest I open the floodgates. Needless to say, I’ve been leaning on Him this week to hold me up when I can barely stand alone. Too much stress, too many problems, not enough time. It’s so easy to increase our burdens that we carry with us. Little burdens, big burdens, in-between burdens. They have all been weighing on me this week.
My son loves to collect rocks when we go hiking. He loves their variations in color, size, and sparkle. As we continue on our journey, however, his backpack often becomes too heavy. It’s hard for him to discard any of the potential additions to his collection. Often, he asks me to carry some of his rocks in my backpack, which also becomes heavy with rocks. I suggest that he edit down his collection as we travel, as it would ease his walk, but it is too hard for him to let those rocks go. He continues on, lugging with him the weight of his acquired burdens, and beside him I also tire from the weight of his rocks.
Stress and worry are burdens that I acquire for my personal collection. I can create things to worry about even in the best of days. I told my Sunday School class recently that I was “gifted in worry.” My backpack is full of doubts, heartaches, and fears. Sometimes, I even pass some of my burdens on to those who walk beside me, slowing down their walk. Why do I continue to collect these, when it would be so easy to give them to Jesus? When I was a teenager, I would walk to Buck Creek Lake, which was near my home. Whenever I had an especially heavy heart, I would pick up rocks, pray over a burden with each one, and then cast it into the lake as far as I could. This physical act would help to rid me of a lingering problem, when my soul wouldn’t let go on it’s own. It was so comforting to watch it hit the water and disappear, the rings calming me as they spread throughout the lake. That solace with God is what I need now, more than ever, in this busy, stressful life. Why hold on to something that will do nothing but weigh your journey down? “Cast thy burden upon the LORD and he shall sustain thee.” Psalms 55:22
What are YOU waiting for? Let your burdens go to the One who walks beside you every minute of every day. He is waiting patiently to carry the load.
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!
This recipe is a special request from good friend! I had to do my candy making at night, so I don’t have pictures, but I wanted to get it posted before Christmas. Texas Millionaire Candy has been a Christmas tradition in our family for years. Granny worked weeks in advance to make candy for the holidays. We would have walnut fudge, peanut brittle, peanut butter fudge, peanut butter balls, and the infamous Texas Millionaire Candy. It’s a chewy, caramel, nutty combination covered in chocolate. This was my first attempt making it, and it wasn’t as chewy as Granny’s, but definitely edible! My grandfather, Fonzo, worked at the Board of Education for years, and Granny would send boxes of candy for his coworkers to enjoy. Our friend Janet (who may as well be family), asked for this recipe for by name!
Texas Millionaire Candy
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 pound of pecans
2 cans Eagle Brand Milk
2 sticks of butter
1 cup of white syrup
Prepare a 9 X 13 pan by buttering the bottom and sides. Mix all ingredients except one of the cans of milk and the pecans in a heavy saucepan. Bring this mixture to a rolling boil, then add the second can of milk. Do not stop the boiling, allowing it to “form a soft ball.” I translated this as the “soft ball” temperature on my candy thermometer (because I am so smart!). Remove the mixture from the heat and carefully stir in the pecans. Pour the mixture into the buttered pan and let it sit overnight. When hard, cut it into small squares and dip into a melted mixture (a double boiler recommended) of 12 oz chocolate chips and 1/4 of a paraffin cake. Place on wax paper until cool. Store the covered candy in the refrigerator, but it’s best when allowed to warm a little at room temperature.
Honestly, I think I may have cooked it a little long (even though I watched the temp) as the sugar mixture got harder than it was supposed to. I have learned that candy is surely an art form. Let me know if you have any ideas on this! Also, if you have special requests for Granny’s recipes, please feel free to send them on. I love getting feedback and hearing stories about Granny and her wonderful recipes!
Also, let’s see who can “Name That Fabric” from the image above! I know someone out there can! First one to leave the correct answer below will get a free sampling of my next test recipe! Hint: you have to be family or friends to know, so it’s a little rigged!
Merry Christmas to all! May you have a blessed celebration!