~~Today is the last day of Spring Break. (I know. It's strange to have a Monday off.) I had hoped to start blogging more regularly but this past week has been a little out of the ordinary. My husband is in the autobody business and we made a quick overnight trip on Friday to pick up a car. Plus we've had other fun Spring break things going on. After today things will probably get back into a more normal routine.
~~I've been thinking a lot lately about traditions. My Nana's passing has been hard on me. I keep expecting her to call. But it has also brought up so many memories that I hadn't thought about in a while. I'm remembering all the little things she did that made her unique; her chocolate cake and peanut butter cookies, the way she always kept a beautiful garden, how she loved to treasure hunt at antique stores and garage sales...
~~My Mother's parents brought a meal over the week of the funeral and they brought their special chocolate meringue pies. Those pies were the most comforting thing, not just because they taste so good, but because of the love behind them. You see, chocolate pies are a tradition of my Grandparents. For as long as I can remember, you could always count on Grandpa and Grandma's chocolate pies for holidays and special occasions. And every family member from the youngest to the oldest all claim them as a favorite. There's a lot of love in those pies.
~~Traditions can be purposefully created or they can happen by accident. I've somehow become known for my chocolate chip cookies. I wonder if that's something my grandchildren will remember me by.
~~Easter is time of traditions for us. My Mother always left a trail of candy eggs from our bed all the way to our Easter baskets in the living room. She kept doing it even after we were teenagers and much too big for the Easter bunny. Dustin's family had a tradition of hiding the baskets in the yard. The kids would all jump up, get dressed and run outside to find their baskets. As a family we carry on both traditions. I leave a trail in the night and after the girls have followed it to their baskets, Dustin then hides them outside along with some eggs.
~~I read a quote by Ellen Goodman:
"Traditions are the guideposts driven deep in our subconscious minds. The most powerful ones are those we can't even describe, aren't even aware of."
This is so true. Traditions are those little things that bind us together as family. They are the little things that let you know that you belong. I've been thinking more and more about what traditions I might be creating for my children. What will they remember in the future?
~~And as a way to carry on tradition, I took a try at my Grandparent's chocolate pies. I was short on time and cheated with frozen pie crusts. To get the real effect you need the flaky, perfect homemade crusts.
~~I need a little more practice before mine will be anywhere near as good as theirs, but they didn't turn out bad at all. One of my cousins came up to me and said, "The pie was really good." I answered, "Well, it was Grandma's recipe," and he just smiled.
~~If you've made it down this far in the post, then you deserve a treat!
Grandma Beth's Chocolate Meringue Pie
1 1/2 C. sugar           3 C. milk
9 Tbs cocoa           4 egg yolks
1/2 C flour           5 Tbs butter
1/4 tsp. salt           1 1/2 tsp vanilla
~In a sauce pan, combine sugar, cocoa, flour and salt; gradually stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until bubbly-cook 2 more minutes. Remove from heat. Stir small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks; return to hot mixture and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add butter and vanilla, stirring until butter is melted. Pour into 9" baked pie shell (deep dish) Top with meringue (see below) and bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes until meringue is browned.
Meringue for pie
3 egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
6 Tbs sugar
~Allow egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In large mixing bowl combine egg whites, vanilla and cream of tartar. Beat with electric mixer on medium for about 1 minute
~Gradually add sugar 1 Tbs at a time, beating on high speed about 4 minutes or more until mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks.
~Immediately spread meringue over hot pie filling, carefully sealing to edge of pastry to prevent shrinkage. Bake as directed.
I'm so glad you're here! "The Art of Life" is where I share my journey as an artist & Momma. It's a place where I hope to encourage other women that they are artists too. In this small little space I seek to share, document, and be reminded of God's wonderful grace, all around us. ....And I would be so happy to have you journey alongside me! So grab a cup of coffee and linger for a while. I hope you leave feeling refreshed.