Aunt Mary’s Chocolate Pie

Aunt Mary's Chocolate Pie

Even though Aunt Mary and Uncle Walter Lee lived close to town, we didn’t visit very often. But every Christmas, we’d drive to their house on Brigham Branch. My memory of the meals she prepared is the opposite of the rigid Thanksgiving menu from my childhood. It seemed like Aunt Mary cooked everything imaginable and it sat on her dining room table for anyone who came to visit all day long. If you didn’t sample some of all of it, you’d truly offend her and she’s say, “Well. I guess it wasn’t fit to eat.”

Aunt Mary kept her desserts on the back screened-in porch where it was cool. Premier among them was her chocolate pie.

Preheat oven to 350°.


1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening
2 to 3 tablespoons cold water

Mix flour and salt in a medium bowl. Cut shortening into the flour by crisscrossing 2 knives until it’s the size of small peas. Add water a tablespoon at a time and mix with a fork until dough holds together. Form into a ball, handling the dough as little as possible. Do not knead the dough.

Prepare surface with flour and flour your rolling pin. Roll one ball of dough into the size of the pie pan, being sure to turn the dough over and reflour the surface at least once, and leaving enough dough to hang over the edge of the pie pan. Roll the crust onto the rolling pin and roll it out over the pie pan. Pierce the crust with a fork. Roll dough along edges of pan and crimp with a fork or with your fingers.

Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Let cool.


1 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 (maybe even 3) Baker’s unsweetened chocolate squares (4 squares of their new packaging)

Combine sugar, flour, salt, and broken up chocolate squares. Add milk and gradually bring to boil, stirring constantly or using a double boiler. When the chocolate melts and the filling is thick, add the hot mixture to the egg yolks a tablespoon at a time, gradually increasing the temperature of the yolks. If you add the yolks to the boiling pot, it will cook the eggs and you’ll have to start over. Add the heated yolks to the pot and stir about 3 more minutes. Stir in the vanilla. Cover the top of the filling with plastic wrap. This keeps a film from forming. Let it cool completely before spooning it intot the baked pastry shell.


Beat 3 egg whites. Gradually add 6 tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla. Poor filling in to pastry shell. Spread meringue, sealing it to the edges of the crust. Bake at 350° until meringue is golden brown. Cool and keep the pie refrigerated.

Meals Kids Can Make: Make-Your-Owns

Sam Smiling Over His Make-Your-OwnsIt’s a family tradition, and Sam pulled it off without a hitch. It’s a variation of taco salad. We call it Make-Your-Owns because each person decides what he or she wants to eat.

  • crushed tortilla chips
  • browned hamburger,
  • refried beans,
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • sour cream
  • tomatoes
  • lettuce
  • A1-Sauce
  • ketchup


Meals Kids Can Make: Sloppy Joe’s

It’s Ben’s turn to cook and he’s not feeling well this evening. All of us pitched in a little. My Uncle Joe used to say, “Thirty minutes after you’ve eatin it really doesn’t matter what you ate.  Whatever it was, you’re full.”

Okay. So the sloppy joes weren’t as bad as all that. I should probably be thankful that nobody has thought to get overly creative yet.


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Meals Kids Can Make: Tuna Casserole

Ruth serves up Grandmommy’s Tuna Noodle Casserole. And she does a fantastic job.

Tuna Casserole1/2 16 oz pkg egg noodles (uncooked)
2 12 oz cans tuna
1 can cream mushroom soup
1 can green peas
1/4 cup milk
1/2 sleave saltine crackers, crumbled

Cook noodles according to directions. Drain tuna. Mix all ingredients except crackers and transfer to greased cassarol dish. Dot with butter. Cover with crumbled crackers. Bake at 350° until hot, about 30 minutes.

Meals Kids Can Make: Chili Mac

Served up this week in Meals Kids Can Make: Sam’s in charge of mac and chili. Simple, delicious, and gone! So what if it was the hottest day so far this summer? It was great!

Sorry for the lack of pictures. We ate late because Sam pulled this off after piano lessons so I just sorta wolfed down the yummy goodness without thinking about the blog.

Sam decided on the menu, went to the store to purchase ingredients, and prepared the meal. I never went downstairs. As far as I know, at 17, this is the first time he’s cooked on the stove.

The recipe is simple. He followed the directions on the back of a McCormick chili seasoning packet and made Kraft Mac and Cheese out of the box. Throw in a couple of apples on the side and he had a meal!


Meals Kids Can Make

ben is excited about the idea of cooking.

ben is really excited about this idea

Summer break starts today for my kids. I have two boys and a girl, ages 16, 14, and 12. I woke up this morning worrying about what I was going to make for dinner. Then I thought, “Why can’t they make it? All they’re going to do all day is play World of Warcraft.”

To make this work, I’ll have to get a little more organized. That’s where you can help. Share with me  your ideas and recipes and help me get my kids cooking. I’m looking for healthy family meals that teenagers can successfully prepare from start to finish.

After we make the meal you submit, I’ll come back and share the results. I’ll even take pictures!