The first week of February has come and gone, and I’ve left all of my readers hanging since the 9th of January? How unfortunate, for both of us. A couple weeks ago we had to say goodbye to Mikki, Dustin’s grandma, an extraordinary woman whose kindness left a huge imprint on all of our lives. She always treated me like an honorary granddaughter, and I was especially blessed to witness her interaction with her great-grandson, from the first time she met him at 5 days old, to last month when we visited her and he displayed the art of tantruming in her living room, to which she calmly and sweetly responded, “Brianna, I’ll definitely be thinking of you during this phase.” That meant a lot, coming from an experienced mother of two, especially in light of Levi’s new habit of screaming at the top of his lungs at me and then waving “bye” (translation: mom, I’m done with you) when he can’t do what he wants. Levi had his sweet moments as well during our great-grandma visit. After he was over whatever trivial thing set him off, he gave her a kiss, and she offered him a couple bites of the egg she was eating for breakfast. It was one of those moments you wished you could have frozen in time.
I know that Mikki loved reading this blog. As she tasted the baked mac and cheese that we made for her (per her request) while we were in town for that last visit, she looked up at me and said that she loved our recipes and that I write beautifully. I don’t think I’m worthy of that comment, but it obviously stuck with me and I find myself drawing strength from it. Anyway, Mikki wouldn’t have wanted me dwelling on how sad we feel that she’s gone. She’d want me to get straight to the point; the food. In this case, a butterscotch pie, and one that her family loved.
This is a recipe from The Purity Cookbook. It is a Canadian cookbook that Mikki’s family has used for decades. It was also Dustin’s Grandpa’s favorite pie and he made it often as well. Mikki loved a crust made with lard and now we know why. Thanks to El Salchichero, our local butcher shop, it was easy to find, and it produced a texture and a flavor that I’d never experienced before in a pie. It’s definitely the way to go.
When my mom asked what dessert she should make Dustin for his 29th birthday dinner last weekend (I’m working on another blog post about that dinner … stay tuned!), I suggested this recipe, which my mother-in-law had emailed me a couple months ago, but I hadn’t had a chance yet to make. It was a little piece of nostalgia for Dustin, and it made me happy to see him happy. Happy Birthday, Dustin. You had an amazing grandmother. I celebrate both of you.
(From The Purity Cookbook)
4 TBS. butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/3 cup hot milk
5 1/3 TBS flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup cold milk
Pie shell (use lard for best results; my mom used the recipe from Big Sur Bakery & Restaurant)
- It is suggested that you use a double boiler for this recipe.
- Cook butter and brown sugar for 3 – 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Add hot milk (it is important that the milk be hot but not quite scalded), and simmer until sugar dissolves. Mix salt, flour, and cold milk; add gradually to hot mixture*. Cook for 15 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly ( if you are not using a double boiler, this will not take as long). Beat eggs and pour into hot mixture, stirring briskly as you add the eggs. Cook 2 – 3 minutes on low heat. When thickened, pour into cooked pie shell. Top with whipped cream. Levi recommends licking the beaters 🙂
* This is a very old fashioned recipe in that it uses flour instead of cornstarch for thickening. If you find that the flour produces lumps, strain the mixture before adding the eggs.