The Recipe

December 8th, 2014

beach path color web

For several months I’ve been trying to remember how to make a Chess Pie. I’ve searched cooking sites and found plenty of ┬ávariations on the recipe but not one exactly like my grandmother’s. To this day, I can recall the delicate consistency of her ultra-rich pie filling, but the handwritten recipe has vanished — just like the years of Christmas past. The separate tables for adults and children, winter scenes we painted on the kitchen windows, tinsel strands that were carefully smoothed and saved from year to year, fireplaces blazing all day, oranges in our stockings and Chess Pie for dessert. Maybe I’m just trying to find the recipe for that brief period of innocence, those days before I took my own place at the adult table, with all the knowledge of good and evil that was served there. We’re always searching for the elusive path that will take us back to that lost home, lost childhood, lost safety — even if we never actually had it. If I succeed in making Chess Pie this year, I’ll call it The Homesick Pie and close my eyes and taste my way back for a few sweet minutes.

3 Responses to “The Recipe”

  1. Mary McDaniel says:

    I applaud how many posts you have recently written. Seriously hard work here! Thank you for your shared introspection and illumination. “Illumination” perhaps that is your purpose for the rest of us. Your writing resonates deeply!

  2. Sandy Donn says:

    Chess Pie – written down in the 1940’s for my English mother, a war bride. Alabama southern women shared all their recipes:

    1 cup white sugar
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1 tsp. vinegar
    2 tsp. cornmeal
    1/2 stick margarine (melted)
    1 tsp. vanilla
    3 eggs.
    Beat eggs, add other ingredients.
    Pour in crust and bake 35 min. at 350.

  3. Veronica says:

    Oh this brings up memories of a boy I loved and the dessert his mother made for his 18th birthday. She gave me the recipe, forever associated with the sweetness of that moment, that day, that summer. When I lost the recipe,I lost it all.

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