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VOL. 36 | NO. 40 | Friday, October 5, 2012

Yes, Mama, this chocolate pie is that good

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Hubby and I have been visiting the Windy City of Chicago for the last few days, and it was true to its nickname. It was been windy and just a bit on the cool side, but the sun was out the entire time so it was nice. The coolness gave me an excuse to go to Macy’s and get a new jacket.

We had several reasons for making this trip, but at the top of the list was our daughter, Amy, who lives in Colorado but was in Chicago attending a conference. Since a brother, Jerry, also lives here, we thought it would also be a good time to visit with him.

As it turned out, Jerry had traveled to Colorado for a meeting. However, my husband was able to get his project done, I was able to get my project done, and we did enjoy Amy, so a lot was accomplished.

One of the things on our checklist was to have a Chicago-style hot dog. We travel to Chicago often, but usually dine with Jerry and Hongqiu, so the meals are usually more “cultured.”

In fact, here’s a story: Once when Jerry was visiting Little Rock (Jerry, don’t get mad at me for sharing this story), he was late getting out of the event he had attended and was hungry, so on the way home, he decided to grab something, although he didn’t know what, at this place called Taco Bell.

Seriously, I would have loved being a fly on the wall during his ordering because he’d never been to a Taco Bell. I know what you’re thinking. Anyway, he came home raving about this place and how it was “actually quite good.” And yes, there are Taco Bells in downtown Chicago. He has probably never had a Chicago dog, either. However, in Jerry’s absence, we had that dog! Boy, was it good!

I don’t know if all Chicago dogs are made this way, but ours was put on pretzel bread, which has now started a new love affair with me. I became addicted. There were pretzel bread hamburgers, pretzel bread hot dogs, and even one of the fancier restaurants had pretzel bread appetizers. Still, I did not get my fill. I have heard of it before, but it just never sounded that good to me. It was my loss.

Another wonderful thing we had for dessert one evening was a coconut banana split. Oh my gosh! I know I’ve probably gained back the five pounds I worked hard at losing this past month - all in a matter of three days.

The coconut banana split was made with vanilla ice cream, lightly caramelized bananas rimming a martini-looking bowl, a small amount of chocolate fudge drizzled throughout the two scoops of ice cream, a ton of whipped cream covering it all and toasted coconut sprinkled all over the whipped cream. It was awesome. Or, as my 2-year-old granddaughter says, “coolawesome.” Food to remember in Chicago, but indulging would have to be on such a limited basis. Why is all the fantastically tasty stuff always this way?

Even though I have done nothing but write about good food, I have yet to mention the recipe for this week, which one of our other daughters, April, told me about. It’s another fantastically tasting dessert.

She texted me while we were in the Windy City and said she was not meaning to be disrespectful, but that she had just made a “Slap Yo Momma” chocolate pie, and that it was THAT good! That was also the name of it, so I had to investigate.

The Pie Folks is a family-run homemade pie business on Highway 305 in Southaven, Miss., that customers agree lives up to its slogan – “Better than Grandmother’s.”

Audrey Anderson’s first experience with pies was licking bowls her mother had used to make pumpkin pie. She developed an ability to distinguish the contents.

After being laid off in 2006, Anderson decided to open her own pie business.

She first brought her pies to Southhaven in 2007. Then she moved the business to Olive Branch, where there were bakeries but no pie stores.

As for the chocolate pie, she thought at first her attempt was a failure. It came out of the oven a liquidly disappointment, but she stuck the concoction in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, the pie was set – creamy, fudgy and tasty – and “Slap Yo Mama” was born! It’s now her most popular pie. Here’s the recipe, courtesy of The Pie Folks in Olive Branch, Miss.

All I can say is, “so much food, so little time!” Enjoy!

Slap Yo Mama Chocolate Pie

2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted

1 stick margarine

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons imitation vanilla

2 large eggs, chilled

1 baked 8-inch pie shell

Whipped cream or topping

Cream sugar and margarine, beat in the cold eggs one at a time. Mix vanilla with chocolate and beat into margarine mixture, beating two minutes. (April says mixing is easier while still in the double boiler.) Pour it all into the pie shell, chill and top with whipped cream. Decorate by drizzling chocolate syrup on top.

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