Mary’s Memo #2211

     I have been in the south enough times to know that southern cooks have a flair for food and Nancie McDermott, born and raised in North Carolina, is no exception. She’s a food writer and cooking teacher whose ten cookbooks include best-selling “Southern Cakes: Sweet and Irresistible Recipes for Everyday Celebrations” (Chronicle Books 2007).
     If you like German Chocolate Cake you can’t resist making German Chocolate Pie. There are other delectable pies like Buttermilk, Peach Pecan, Shaker Lemon or Spicy Peanut Butter but what can I say: I am a chocoholic through and through! Each recipe is accompanied by a full page color photograph by Leigh Beigh.

 Pastry for 9-inch single-crust deep dish pie 1-1/2 cups (about 6 oz.) shredded sweetened coconut 1 cup chopped pecans 4 squares (4 oz.) semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate 1/4 cup (half stick) butter 1-1/4 cups evaporated milk 1-1/2 cups sugar 3 Tbsp. cornstarch 1/2 tsp. salt 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1 tsp. vanilla extractHeat oven to 375ºF. Line a 9-inch deep dish pie plate with crust and crimp edges. Combine the coconut and pecans in a medium bowl and mix them well. Break up or chop chocolate into small chunks. Combine with the butter in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until melted, swirling the pan to help things along. Add the milk, stir well and set aside. It will not be smooth and that’s fine.
In medium bowl combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Use a fork and whisk to combine them evenly. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir to combine everything well. Scrape it into the chocolate mixture and stir well. Pour this fairly smooth chocolate filling into the pie shell. Sprinkle coconut-pecan mixture evenly over the top. Place pie on the lower shelf of the oven. Bake until filling is puffed up, lightly browned and fairly firm, 45 to 50 minutes. Place pie on cooling rack. When cool cover and refrigerate until shortly before serving. Serve lightly chilled or at room  temperature.
Source: “Southern Pies, A Gracious Plenty of Pie Recipes from Lemon Chess to Chocolate Pecan,” by Nancie McDermott: Chronicle Books October 2010, $22.95 soft back


     Would you believe there’s cupcake flavored toothpaste, and pickle and bacon, too. And that’s not all, pickle andbacon flavored dental floss is available. Don’t look for it anytime soon at Chief and Rays but for more information or to order log on to
     If you’re inclined to chew on the end of your pen a young Dutch designer Dave Hakkens came up with an edible one. It comes with twenty itty-bitty pieces of candy, stacked on top of each other, and filled with edible ink. The only thing you can’t eat is the small point that you write with. When it’s finished you can throw it away or put it in a new re-fill pen. That’s all I know about having your pen and eating it, too.

     People who watched a video of a laughing baby and listened to upbeat music did better on a cognitive test than those who watched a report on an earthquake and heard sad music, according to a study published in the December 2010 issue of Psychological Science.
Source: Consumer Reports on Health, April 2011.

     Hummus is a great low calorie spread. I don’t like plain hummus but I love the flavored kind. I am particularly impressed with the Sabra brand you’ll find near the deli area at Chief and Rays. Most dips have MSG but not the Sabra brand. I just finished Sabra Greek Olive but other flavors include Roasted Red Pepper, Luscious Lemon, Sun Dried Tomato, Pine
Nut, Spinach and Artichoke and Salsa. Hummus is a natural source of protein and fiber. In addition to being good tasting and good for you, the container is earth friendly and recyclable.

     I do have parfait glasses because in the 60s a filling station in town gave them away with a tank full of gas. But not to worry if you don’t have any, you can make parfaits in wine glasses or goblets. With only 6 ingredients Orange Raspberry Parfaits are easier to assemble than baking a cake or making a pie.

 2 Tbsp. sugar 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. cornstarch 1/4 cup orange juice 2 tsp. orange zest 1 quart orange sherbetMix sugar and cornstarch together. Blend in orange juice. Stir in raspberries and orange zest. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil for 1 minute. Chill. Layer sherbet and raspberry sauce in parfait glasses, starting and ending with raspberry sauce. Store in freezer. Remove from freezer to soften slightly before serving. Recipe makes 8 to 10 parfaits. Download PDF of Memo #2211

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