Tried and true

The last post I wrote sought advice about clam chowder because I had questions about a descriptive idea I had used in Well Considered. It involved cooking clam chowder when neighbors in the interracial neighborhood in the novel were getting acquainted. I wrote about pecan pie during another neighborhood party that occurred before the thriller action started. This recipe is tried and true in our household; It starts with my wife’s standard pie crust, which is usually eaten to the last bite: Combine one cup of flour and 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) margarine and moisten with 2 tablespoons of water before rolling it. Place it in a 9-inch pie plate, crimp the edges, and set aside while preparing the filling. My wife has been using the pecan pie filling since 1964 and thinks it came from Favorite Recipes of Home Economics Teachers — possibly the dessert edition.  An interesting bit of history is that Millard Fuller (Habitat for Humanity) and Morris Dees (Southern Poverty Law Center) once had a business together that published cookbooks, including this one. Here’s the recipe: Cream together 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine or butter and 1 cup dark brown sugar. Add 1 cup dark Karo syrup, 3 eggs, 1 tsp. vanilla, and 1 cup chopped pecans. Pour into your 9-inch unbaked crust and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

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