I love the way food brings people together. Sharing a meal with someone can bond you together for a lifetime.
That may sound a little dramatic unless you’ve had a first-date dinner that started a lifelong romance.
On our first date, Darrell cooked dinner for me and we’ve been married almost 31 years. He whipped up the standard bachelor meal of steaks and baked potatoes and asked me to bring a salad.
I thought I would pull out all the stops and make homemade garlic croutons. He tells me he was so impressed with those croutons he knew I was the one for him that night.
It must have been true because we were engaged 2« months later and married in less than 6 months. My poor momma and daddy, I’m sure I gave them quite the worry.
For some reason I didn’t make those homemade croutons too often after that first date, much to Darrell’s dismay. I guess I thought if they were that life-changing, I had better only make those on very special occasions. But every time we see a garlic crouton, we can’t help but think about that fateful first encounter.
Wow, that’s pretty lame, isn’t it? But it’s part of our story.
I remember when I was growing up my grandmother would make pies every Saturday. She made many different flavors, including rhubarb and raisin pies. You don’t see those around much anymore. Every time I make a pie I can’t help but think about those wrinkled hands kneading that pie crust week after week, all because she wanted to share her love of pie with others.
My mom and I would go over early every Saturday morning, because she wanted us to have first pick off the pie buffet. The others she would distribute to friends and neighbors or folks who would come “to sit a spell” with her. That’s one of my favorite things she used to say.
Another one I love and use often is when she would ask me if I was having a “sinking spell,” which meant I would be feeling weak or woozy all of a sudden. She would say the best thing for a spell was a big swig of Coca-Cola. That apparently would cure anything. And the funny thing is that I still do that today.
So in memory of my sweet grandmother and her sinking spells, I’m sharing this amazing recipe for chocolate chunk pecan pie. This double-crust, chocolate and pecan goodness is certain to cure whatever ails you.
Deep-dish chocolate chunk pecan pie
- 1 (14.1 ounce) package refrigerated piecrusts (2 sheets)
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups pecan halves
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Unroll 1 pie crust and place on a flat surface. Lightly brush top of dough with water. Unroll remaining pie crust and place over first sheet.
Line a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate with dough. Fold dough under and crimp.
Whisk 1 egg and brush over top of unbaked pie crust.
In a large bowl, combine butter, sugars, corn syrup, eggs, vanilla and salt, stirring well. Add pecans and chocolate chunks, stirring to combine. Pour filling into prepared pie crust.
Bake until set, 50 minutes to 1 hour.
Cool completely on a wire rack.
Crevolyn Wiley is a Gainesville resident with her first published cookbook “Cooking with Crevolyn” available at J&J Foods. She can be contacted at email@example.com.