Saturday, May 5, 2012

Detours and pie

I took Jossie to get her bangs trimmed this morning. As I'm scared to even cut my kids' fingernails, I leave haircuts to the professionals. As we headed to Jossie's beauty parlor, we drove over the recently completed Halsted Street bridge.

This bridge closed in December 2010 for heavy-duty reconstruction, a month before Jossie's birth. I complained mightily. It stood between our condo and my life's essentials - the pediatrician's office and the grocery, to name a few. We learned the detour and gave ourselves extra time to accommodate for the extra traffic.  This past December, the bridge opened to our glee, until we found out that the portion of Halsted just south of the bridge was now closed for construction work. And this detour was even worse than the last. Fooey, I stomped my foot.

Just a few days ago, I started think about the good that came from these closures. Our stretch of Halsted was a lot quieter. There was significantly less traffic. I could easily make a left turn from my own street without having to wait for forever.

Yet now the street is open again. Jossie and I took our first victory lap over the new bridge this morning as we sped along to our morning full of bang trims and errands. The distance between Points A and B has shortened once again. But this time around - that darn detour has taught me to really appreciate this little life's ease.


Despite my fear of making my own pie crust, I do like to make pies. I summon my inner-Southern lady as I pull out ingredients like pecans, corn syrup, vanilla, and brown sugar. Since it's Derby Day, I consulted one of my Kentucky-born and -bred friends for the best Kentucky Derby Pie recipe; it is not for the faint of heart.

The best Kentucky Derby Pie

1 refrigerated pie crust
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 cup (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup bourbon or water
4 large eggs
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons cornmeal
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

Sprinkle pecans and chocolate chips evenly onto bottom of pie crust; set aside.

Combine corn syrup, sugar, brown sugar and bourbon in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Whisk together eggs, melted butter, cornmeal, vanilla extract and salt.  Gradually whisk one cup of the hot corn syrup mixture into egg mixture; add to remaining hot mixture, whisking constantly. Pour filling into prepared pie crust.

Bake at 325 degrees for 55 minutes or until set; cool completely on wire rack. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

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