Friday, December 2, 2011

Ronda from~ The Family Table, brings us "Collin’s Pecan Pie!"

Dear SkyMoms,
I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with your families. It seems we can’t get the bird cleaned up fast enough before we start putting up the tree for Christmas! 
I have so  many thing that I am thankful for and this time of year always makes me think on holidays past and loved ones that are no longer with us. Have you ever noticed how certain smells remind you of loved ones? For me it is the smell of their cooking that takes me right back into their kitchens and I promise you I feel as if they should be walking in the back door at any moment. I don’t know about you, but our holiday cooking is full of family traditions that we just have to make each and every holiday. 
The big question I have for you is this… Are you teaching your children these family heirloom recipes so they will have them for their families when they are older? I don’t mean just writing the recipe down and passing it on, I mean teaching them how to make their favorite family recipe so that they not only learn the tips and tricks on how to make Grandma Betty’s peach pie, but they hear the stories of how great a cook Grandma Betty was and how she took that peach pie to all of her friends each July 4th or how she was known for her pecan pie at Thanksgiving and that she liked her pecans chopped just so. Better yet, if Grandma Betty is still around, have her do the teaching and you take the pictures. Now you have taken an ordinary recipe and made it extraordinary.  I can assure you in 30 years your child will remember that feeling of being with Grandma like it was yesterday. 
Each of our kids has an old family recipe that they cherish and have learned to make. Collin’s is pecan pie. He loves and adores that pie. I have told him how his Great Grandmother made the best pies ever and now I have passed on how to make that pecan pie to him. When we eat it, he is all smiles knowing he made that pie for the family.  Grace makes deviled eggs that are so delicious that I could eat a dozen of them! So, each year, she is in charge of the eggs. I can remember when all she could do was peel the egg over the sink on a step stool. Now she is doing it all. When we eat those eggs and we are all raving to her about how delicious they taste, I know it makes her feel good. Little Ashton made fruit salad with his grandmother this thanksgiving and he peeled all of the potatoes for the mashed potatoes. As he gets older, I am sure he will settle on a favorite and soon he will be the master of that recipe just like the others. 
I leave you today with Collin’s Pecan Pie, I mean Mama’s, well it was originally Grandma Mable’s Pecan Pie. We have tweaked it a bit here and there but I can still remember eating that pie with her all those years ago.

Collin’s Pecan Pie
1 cup Karo Light or Dark Syrup
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 T real butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 heaping tsp of vanilla bean paste 
2 T of bourbon
1 ½ cups (more or less), chopped pecans
1 unbaked 9 inch, deep dish pie crust 
Using a mixer, combine all of the ingredients except pecans. Place pecans into the unbaked crust and pour mixture over nuts. Place pie on a foil lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees until the center barely jiggles for 45-60 minutes depending on your oven. It will continue to set as it cools. Cover the top of the pie loosely with foil at the end so the pecans don’t burn.
This pie tastes best if you let it sit overnight before eating. The vanilla bean paste can be omitted, but I love the flavor of those beans. Once you start cooking with paste, you will find you start throwing it into everything! And lastly, the bourbon can be omitted but it gives a nice subtle background flavor. If my crust is extra deep, I have made a recipe and half worth of mix by just eyeballing the extras-another egg, a little more karo, sugar, nuts. Right now my crust of choice is the homemade version on Pioneer Woman’s Website. There is a great crust tutorial for those ready to tackle the crust (which I highly encourage you to do!)
I wish you all a very, very Merry and Blessed Christmas!
Love, Ronda from …… The Family Table

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