Monday, February 1, 2010

Stay on Guard and Chocolate Chess Pie

Writing Tip

Thank you for the news, inspiration, and ideas you sent while I was away with my gentleman friend for a wonderful week by the ocean in La Jolla, California (between storms).

Do you ever feel like the lifeguard in this photo? Always on the lookout? The lifeguard at La Jolla Cove was watching for swimmers in the rough surf. We writers are always looking for new ideas, new characters, and new experiences to write about. Here are some writers who have been on the “lookout.”

Did you see the very, very important comment from
Velda Brotherton about last week’s editing suggestions? She reminded us to save a copy of the original document before we start making changes. Give your edited document a new name. If your story is named “Blue Tulips,” for the sake of your computer files, you might name the revision just that – Blue Tulips 2 or Blue Tulips Revision. You can see more helpful suggestions from Velda by visiting her blog. See the blog list.

Maureen writes that Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea has a new book out called Stones Into Schools. She says "Three Cups of Tea was really a good read and hard to put down so I hope this new book will be the same.” I loved Three Cups of Tea so I definitely plan to read Mortenson’s new book.

Wendy wrote, ”I'm going to take you up on the writing challenge of a Christmas letter to myself. The last two years have been, to say the very least, challenging. I haven't written anything or a Christmas letter to anyone because my life was so depressing. I kept breaking bones (7 to be exact) and my asthma had me coughing 24/7, not to mention the pneumonia and back trouble. After reading your blog, I think I may have a more entertaining vs. depressing way to report my life in a letter.”

Wendy, we are hoping the next two years are better for you. And – good for you for trying to refocus the events.

Terri-Lynn says she is going to try the chocolate bacon recipe. She is a good cook and has shared some great chocolate with us so I’m looking forward to hearing about the result.

Lynda wrote that she is not, not, not going to make the Heath Chocolate Trifle recipe, but that if she can’t control herself and does make it, she will being me a sample.

Speaking of the Heath Chocolate Trifle, Shirley said she made hers with Heath bits and avoided the process of freezing and chopping the candy bars. Good tip. Thanks, Shirley.

Here’s what Wikipedia says on
Think-Like-a-Genius: Be prolific. Try for quantity before quality. To produce exceptionally good work, do a lot of whatever you're doing. It increases your chances for success and it means you will get more practice along the way. It also takes the pressure off, knowing that while an effort may be your first, it will likely not be your last. Most geniuses in history, whatever they were doing, they did a LOT of it, and not all of it was genius!

Writing Prompt

Write like a genius. Every day this week, write something sweet or about something sweet or someone who is sweet or about sugar and its evil twin high fructose corn syrup. (Why sweet? See below.)

The chocolate chess pie recipe that follows is pure genius, too. Chess pie can be made plain or in a variety of flavors, including pineapple. According to Wikipedia, chess pie is a sugary dessert characteristic of Southern cuisine. Another Southern attribute is the inclusion of corn meal in all variations. The name has no relation to the game of chess. Some suggest it was referred to as "just pie," shortened to "jus' pie," and then "chess pie." Or some think the name came from the piece of furniture: pie safe or pie chest. I sort of doubt that. If that were the case, would all pie be chess pie since all pie would have been kept in a pie "chest"?

Doesn't matter does it because Judy sent this recipe which she received from Shirley who found it in an old Baptist church cookbook with the recipe attributed to her mother. Now this is a pie with lineage. Here's what Judy said about it: (Thanks, Judy)

I made the chocolate chess pie, and it is divine. It is extremely simple to mix up and pour in an unbaked pie shell. It sort of separates into 2 layers while baking. The bottom is like pecan pie filling, and the top has more of a crunch texture. I assume that is the cocoa and corn meal. Yummy!


Oven: 325 degrees 45 minutes Yield: 1 (9-inch pie)

1 unbaked pie shell
1 cup sugar
3 Tbls corn meal
3 Tbls cocoa
3 whole eggs
½ cup melted margarine
½ cup white Karo syrup
1 tsp. vanilla

Beat eggs well. Add other ingredients. Pour into unbaked pastry shell. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes or until firm. Tob each slice with whipped cream before serving.

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