Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Legend of the Chocolate Pie...and the Passing of the Torch

I am going to talk about pie. Yes, pie...chocolate, to be exact. My mother makes a chocolate pie that has become folklore. For those not in my immediate family, you should know that this pie recipe has been passed down in our family for a long time and is the highlight of every single holiday. The whole thing is from scratch, crust included, of course. It would be hard to accurately explain the deep love that my family has for this one single pie. I don't remember a Thanksgiving or Christmas that did not include the pie, although the older we got, the quantity that my poor mother had to make got higher and higher. If I was asked to pick one thing, one object, one memory that would encompass my family, it would simply be two words. Chocolate Pie. The stories are legendary. I grew up in a family of 5 and we did not have much in the way of extended family. The 5 of us were (and are) extremely close and our holidays were amazing. My mom used to attempt to make two pies, but we always ate both in one afternoon. We begged my mom to start making more of the pies and it finally spun out of control into 5 pies...one for each of us. Now, my mother did not need her own pie. No, the 5th pie was for the whole family to eat like normal people and then my sisters, my dad, and I had our own pies to subsequently destroy on our own time table. Sad, but true. One Thanksgiving several years ago, I was home from New York. I was only home for the long weekend and as I was getting ready to go to the airport, I realized that my pie was still over halfway full. Time had gotten away from me and I had not eaten my whole pie. So what did I do? I stood at the island in the kitchen and proceeded to eat the WHOLE pie before I left. My sisters and Dad were all standing around me ranting and I was eating like I was in a contest. I'll be damned if they were going to get my pie! I was physically ill on the airplane (how shocking) but I was so pleased with myself! I told you the pie was serious. My whole family just LOVES to retell that one. Then there was the Christmas that my father took one of the whole pies and HID IT in the top of his closet. During that particular season, we were having trouble keeping track of whose pie was whose, so we were just all eating them like the pack of wolves we are. We finished them all off and were rather distraught over how fast they went. Then all of a sudden, my FATHER appears at the island...eating a PIE! You have never seen a man so proud of himself. Ever since that year, we all go running into my dad's closet to check every nook and cranny for hidden treats. As we got older, we started having boyfriends over during the holidays. That really threw a wrench into things. If a boyfriend wanted to try the pie, they got a piece of your personal pie only. Well, I am sure you can imagine that it had to be pretty damn serious to go that far. I remember my sister Meredith dating one boy that hated chocolate and we all LOVED him. That was the best news we ever got. :-) That same sister has a new boyfriend this year and it is pretty serious. We told him at dinner last month (yes, in June) that if he wanted pie at Thanksgiving, he would have to talk to Meredith. (have I mentioned that marrying into this family is a risk few would want to take??) :-)

So, needless to say, this pie is basically our family crest. My mother finally gave me the recipe a couple of months ago. I had never laid eyes on it before, but she said she was ready to pass it on to me, as the oldest sister. She is officially tired to the bone from making 74 pies per holiday season (I exaggerate only slightly) and this will be my year to step in and if not take over, at least help her. This, my friends, is a huge undertaking that cannot be sneezed at. I decided to give it my first try yesterday. It took me a LONG time (like all afternoon) to make it. And I only made one. However, it is good. REALLY GOOD. It is not as good as my mother's...you know how it is...nothing we ever make is as good as moms. But it is pretty dang good. I feel like I passed a big test at being a mother in my family...it solidifies that I am officially a mommy. I can make the pie!!! I wonder if Colin will love it as much as we do. Probably. He does have my crazy genes running through him, you know.
**edited to add picture of half eaten pie to prove to family that I actually did make it. I swear. :-)


Melibelle said...

OMG I feel like I've missed out on a very important part of your crazy family... That is so funnY! i can see you in your moms kitchen eating that pie! That's so funny!! In my head it went kind a like that friends episode with the cheesecake that they ate off the floor! My family prolly thinks I'm crazy as I sit here laughing out loud!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE that story!!!

Chalna said...

Yes, Melissa...that is pretty much EXACTLY like it went. VERY close to the cheesecake episode. You should come by the house in T-town sometime this holiday season. I **might** give you a bite. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hahaha!! Ahhh, the chocolate pies...and the stories that go along with 'em. Yeah, Cory's eating from Meredith's pie! Lol! ;) So you're gonna be helping out with the pies this year, huh? Hmmm...jury's still out. *raised eyebrow* :P

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