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thanksgiving & chocolate rum pecan pie recipe

November 23, 2007

GROWING A PECAN PIE REVOLUTION

Nothing says Thanksgiving or Christmas to me like warm pecan pie…with a little rum in it and some chocolate chips, maybe a little vanilla ice cream on the side…mmmm!

Give thanks to the universe this holiday season by making two homemade pecan pies—no measuring required! If you make two, you might even have some leftover to take with you—ours last year went with us to the Granite Mountains in the Mojave where we warmed them by the fire on a frosty night and enjoyed with a little tawny port!

My dad’s dad grew his own pecans out in Bakersfield. He and my grandma–with her beautifully gnarled arthritic hands– spent hours watching TV and shelling them so come Thanksgiving and Christmas, we’d have pecans for pie and candied yams. I remember cold fall evenings climbing the trees with my cousins, and shaking the limbs until the pecans rained down.

One Thanksgiving in Santa Cruz I set my former husband and housemate to shelling pecans from a huge jar. The house smelled of the oven warming, butter melting, and nutmeg, strong scent of fresh nutmeg. “We can’t find the pecans–it’s all shell,” they complained. No wonder–they were trying to find the pecan meat inside nutmegs!

All over the east end of Ventucky, before they grew avocados, before they grew oranges and lemons, they grew walnuts by the acre. I grew up out there near the government center, on Burl Street, so-named after walnut burls. Every house had a walnut tree in the yard; some even launched walnuts for us to find on our way to Mound School. We’d crack them open with our teeth, maybe find a nest of spiders. Maybe not.

If we can grow walnuts here in Ventucky, why not pecans? Perhaps we can plant a pecan or two dozen here in midtown, and some downtown, gather us enough pecans to make us a few pies for one of those second Thursday Midtown Council meetings, or Monday city council meetings. Don’t forget to put in the rum or chocolate chips. Vanilla ice cream on the side would be nice too (and maybe a little extra rum!)

We could grow a pecan pie revolution! It’s really easy to make pecan pies—epecially if you make two at a time. Change the world– make it a better, sweeter, richer, more satisfying place—one slice at a time.

This Thanksgiving we’re taking our leftover chocolate rum pecan pie and port off to Joshua Tree National Park for some bouldering, exploring, and cycling plus a stop for some r & r at Desert Hot Springs –leaving momentarily!

How to Make 2 Revolutionary Pecan Pies w/o measuring:
because one is never enough and it’s just as easy to make 2

You need–
2 pie shells
a bottle of dark corn syrup (Karo)
1 box brown sugar (or a 1/2 bag or 2 cups)
some molasses (optional—up to a 1/2 cup)
half dozen eggs, slightly beaten
a bag/pound of shelled pecans (whole halfs or broken)
2 handfuls chocolate chips
2 tsp vanilla (small spoon)
2 T dark rum (large spoon)
4 T melted butter (cut a cube in half and melt in the microwave)
a pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat the eggs lightly with a fork in a big bowl. Mix in the brown sugar, corn syrup, salt, molasses, rum, vanilla, butter. Spread pecans and chocolate chips across the pie shells, then pour half the mixture into the two pie pans and bake at 350 degrees for an hour or until a knife stuck in comes out clean. If the pans are overfull, you can put the extra in to any oven safe baking dish and cook it for a shorter time with the rest. TIP: You can usually find glass pie pans in a thrift store. Buy crusts already prepared (check to see if they use lard!) and lay them out in the pan; be sure to “marry” any creases or cracks by blending the edges together with your fingers.

Update; Thanksgiving 2008–my pies are in the oven! are yours?? Happy Thanksgiving!

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