After nine years of courtship, Jesse James and Zee Mims finally tied the knot on Friday night, April 24th, in 1874. During the week of the wedding, my heroine in Almost An Outlaw, Darcy Branson, is reunited with her champion from years ago, Austin Cade, and she becomes a pawn in a bounty hunter’s scheme to find her infamous cousin, Jesse. But, the heart of this story lies within Darcy’s troubled soul. When I created Darcy, I gave her a mistake she could not undo. Things happen in life that leave us furious, humiliated, and heartbroken. In retaliation, we do things that will stay with us the rest of our life. Sometimes, our slate cannot be wiped clean. And that is the theme of this story. Darcy realizes redemption comes from acceptance, not absolution. Her reward? Besides the hero? How about chocolate pie? Her favorite treat!
I think a writer should have something in common with a character. I love chocolate pie, too. Not the store-bought kind and not the kind served in most restaurants either. No. Chocolate pie, made by old Southern ladies who know their way around a kitchen, is what I’m talking about. The kind of chocolate pie my mother made from the passed-down family recipe.
Unfortunately, for a Southern gal, I’m a terrible cook and I have never been able to make chocolate pie like my ancestors did. Take meringue for instance. Theirs was always fluffy, covered the entire pie and had peaks! Perfect every time. Mine, on the other hand, never came out fluffy. It barely covered the pie, there were no peaks, and, after the pie came out of the oven, the meringue had shriveled up. It kinda resembled a little pancake in the middle of the pie. You wouldn’t think something made out of sugar and egg whites would be so trying! Also, my mother’s pies were firm and you could actually cut and lift a slice right from the pan. My pie could not be cut. It had to be scooped out like pudding. I remember my son saying, ‘Is pie supposed to run like this?’ When I make it, yes.
For all you readers and intrepid cooks, I’m going to post the old-fashioned chocolate pie recipe that dates back generations in my family. Let me know how it turns out. Send me a photo and I’ll post it on my blog.
Darcy’s 1874 Chocolate Pie
You need a baked pie crust. (For me, that definitely means store-bought.)
You mix together: 4 tablespoons self-rising flour, 3 tablespoons cocoa, 1 cup sugar (Note: I would add about half a cup first and taste mix to see if it is sweet enough. You can always add more sugar when you are cooking the pie mix until you like the taste.)
Separate 3 eggs. Mix the egg yolks with 1 ½ cups of milk and tsp of vanilla.
Add to the dry ingredients, add a dash of salt. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in saucepan, add mixture and cook until thick, stirring constantly.
Pour into baked pie crust. Then make meringue using the three egg whites and 2 tablespoons sugar. Use mixer on high to beat egg whites until fluffy, add sugar, and continue mixing until peaks are formed. (Yeah, right.)
Spread meringue on top of pie and bake at 350 until lightly browned and not shriveled up. Cool, cut and serve.
Excerpt from the book: Darcy, Austin and Chocolate Pie
She sighed. “I wish you could stay.”
“You do?” His heart jumped on that comment. Maybe he did need more than just pleasure. The loner inside him was shocked. Women were the ones who needed love. He had done without love for years, and now he knew he couldn’t do without it any longer.
“Umm,” she responded in a wanton moan that made him want to grab her and kiss her. She closed her eyes as if they were too heavy to keep open any longer. “You are like chocolate pie.” She nestled her head on one of the pillows. “I love chocolate pie.”
“Chocolate pie.” He crawled out of the bed and reached for his pants. He had been accused of a great number of things in his time, but no one had ever said he was like chocolate pie.
Do your favorite characters have a comfort food? I hope everyone has a happy Monday. I plan to have my newest historical up on Amazon for pre-order later this week and I'll be doing a cover reveal soon!