Three cups of sugar. That’s how much sugar it takes to make two chocolate pies. Not just any chocolate pies, the chocolate chess pies I made at with great grandma, whom I lovingly called “Big Grandma.”
We never made just one. We always made two – each and every time. I remember standing in her kitchen at the marble table pouring the ingredients into the silver mixing bowl. It didn’t start with chocolate chess pie. It started with homemade chocolate chip cookies. Made with Nestle Toll House chocolate morsels. Bitter sweet.
It’s what I longed for, and all I wanted to do when I was there. Bake. I learned to bake before I ever knew how to cook anything. And chocolate chess pies became my specialty.
My Big Grandmas house was small. She used the back porch as the main entrance. From there you walked into the kitchen. The rest of the house was four rooms and a bathroom. It seemed so big when I was a little girl running from room to room. Like a castle meant to explore. I never felt like I had seen every treasure there was to see.
In her tiny kitchen sat the marble and silver table with yellow vinyl chairs. At one of the table she kept a tiny black and white television. On that we usually watched The Andy Griffith show. And we baked and ate.
I don’t know how many pies I actually made with her as a child. It probably wasn’t as many as I should have before she died when I was 16. That was like a crushing blow. But today, the recipe we used then is the only chocolate pie recipe I will use. When I mix the ingredients I feel like that little girl again just learning how to do the steps for the first time. When I smell the flavors as the pie bakes in the oven I close my eyes and imagine myself stretched on the sofa in her living room waiting for the pie to be ready. And when I bite into that flakey crust, I swear I feel like she’s sitting right there with me with a smile.
There’s no food I love more than chocolate pie. It’s like an amazing memory with each and every bite and nothing tastes more delicious.