One of my favorite things about cooking is the nostalgia of it. To this day, when I smell chicken soup I think of my grandmother’s house, which always smelled like bay leaves. Or when I am slicing an apple, I think of my other Grandmother, who used to have me over after school for an “apple party,” AKA, a sliced apple while we sit on the couch and talk. Aren’t grandmothers the best?!
My friend Allison shared this recipe for Chess Pie that her Granny, Betty Coles, used to make, and I love the simplicity of it. There are no frills, just lots of sugar and butter, the key ingredients to make literally anything good. Allison lives at Granny’s old house, now that Granny’s gone, and it’s full of the most beautiful dishes and little figurines, vining plants, and a garden full of daffodils. Her uncle says he likes to water the plants because it helps him to remember Betty.
Betty was a home economics teacher with a bossy personality. She shared her home with everyone, teaching her grandchildren how to cook and treating them like her own children. Betty, the beautiful soul that she is, shared her home every Valentines Day for a dinner party, inviting all her friends. This is a lady who knew how to entertain!
So of course this recipe was perfect. I was so worried it wouldn’t set, but Betty knows best. This is the easiest pie you’ll ever make. And if you let it cool before slicing, you’ll look like a star at your next dinner party. Fun fact, the recipe was also published in Western Kentucky University’s (my alma mater) Home Ec cookbook.
Just look at all her beautiful things! The woman had some serious taste!
We spent an afternoon looking through all her handwritten recipe cards and photos of Granny. We drank tea out of the most gorgeous vintage collectible teacups.
The photo below is Granny holding a whisk and scolding her husband Jim. I love it!!!
Look how beautiful it looks! Full of butter!
We took a selfie, and then we found the picture below which taken in the very same mirror! I had to post it.
After we were done we miiiight have had a tea party. I didn’t want all the fresh cut daffodils to go to waste.
Isn’t that cup the sweetest? I need a whole collection of those! Also note the tiny swan figurines.
BETTY’S CHESS PIE RECIPE
makes 1 pie
1 stick of unsalted butter melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp corn meal
1 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs
1 store bought pie crust
Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Let the melted butter cool slightly after melting(so you don’t cook the eggs). Once cool whisk the butter, sugar, corn meal, vinegar, vanilla into the eggs. Pour the mixture into the pie crust. Bake at 350 for about 30-35 minutes or until set a little bit. It will still be jiggly from all the melted butter. Let cool completely before slicing.
What are some of your favorite, or not so favorite, recipes that your grandmother used to make? My grandmother makes a green jello salad that we call “The green salad of life.” It’s… different… My aunts are going to kill me for writing that 😉