Chocolate Pecan Pie
Today is the day that my daughter’s boyfriend finally reached Ashland, Oregon from Copenhagen, Denmark. He left Copenhagen on Sunday morning at 5AM… which was 8PM Saturday our time. His first flight took him to Newark, New Jersey. Not very exciting as far as destinations go, but Kristian is a brave soul and decided to take the train into Manhattan for the day (he had an 8 hour layover!) He made it to Times Square, the Empire State Building, and Central Park. He also walked along Broadway and saw Madison Square Garden. Imagine doing all that on your first day in New York!
Kristian’s flight from Newark to Portland, Oregon was at 8PM… and with the time changes, he arrived in Portland at about 11PM last evening. We’d arranged for him to spend the night in a hotel near the airport. His flight to Medford wasn’t until this evening at 5:30PM and so he took time today to explore downtown Portland. He visited Powell’s Bookstore, walked along the waterfront, and visited a few of Portland’s finest breweries.
Finally, Kristian boarded his flight to Medford at 5:30 PM this evening. And at just about 6:30 we met him at the airport. It is lovely that he has come to see our little part of the world… and we are very happy to host him. Tonight, I gave Kristian a Chocolate Pecan Pie. I want to welcome him to our town, to our home, to our lives. And I want to wish him a very happy visit to the west coast of America.
Several times this week I found myself thinking about a lady named Esther from church, and that seemed enough of a reason to select her as today’s pie recipient. As I wasn’t sure what type of pie was her favorite, I decided to make a simple Apple Pie and used a heart shaped cookie cutter to decorate the top crust. That little touch made such a difference to me… and Esther seemed to appreciate the added touch as well.
In yesterday’s post I mentioned that I had found a recipe for Chess Pie and I asked if anyone had ever made it… and what they thought of it. This afternoon I received several emails about this pie, and a man named David sent me a recipe for Chocolate Chess Pie. I’ll share the recipe when I make it… because I will definitely be making this pie this week.
Tonight we are happy that our daughter has arrived home safely from her vacation to Copenhagen. She is exhausted from a trip that took about 24 hours, but she had a wonderful time and is looking forward to starting her next to last term at Southern Oregon University tomorrow.
Tonight as I make my way to bed I thought I would leave you with a short clip of my favorite comedy duo, Laurel and Hardy, dancing and synched to the music of Santana. Click on the link below and enjoy. Sweet dreams.
Laurel and Hardy
Yesterday I mentioned that my daughter was coming home from Copenhagen… but what I did not mention was that we kept the date of her actual arrival a secret from her Dad, Emile. Alexandra wanted to be home for his birthday (which is today) but she had told him that she was going to come home this Friday evening. Yesterday, Emile had planned to attend a friend’s party and I had to say I was not able to accompany him because I also had a meeting. What I did not say was that I would be “meeting” (read picking up) Alexandra at the airport.
It was wonderful to see Alex walk through the door of the terminal! Immediately she introduced me to the furry St. Charles Spaniel that accompanied her. Alexandra has been caring for him for a while and there was no one else to assume that role, and so she brought him (Sofus) home.
After a brief hug Alex went to the baggage carousel, while I walked Sofus. Once she had her bag, we drove to the party that her Dad was attending. She and I walked up to the door of the inn and then I asked her to wait while I looked around. The party was wrapping up when I found her Dad. He asked if I wanted a glass of wine and I asked if I could speak to him alone for a minute. At that point I took him to the front door at which point Alexandra stepped into view. The look on his face was priceless. He couldn’t believe that she was really there… and I was thrilled that we had truly succeeded in surprising him!
This afternoon I baked a Blackberry Peach Cobbler for Emile’s birthday. It was the healthiest “pie” that I could create – no crust, lots of fruit and oats in the topping. Please raise a glass to Emile tonight – and join us in wishing him a very happy birthday.
My daughter Alex writes a blog that you can see here. She shares her thoughts on fashion, food and living in Copenhagen. About a week ago she shared a post about a food blogger named Jenny who had lost her husband suddenly.
At the time, I was not able to read Jenny’s blog because I was gearing up for this past weekend’s wedding. However, today I took the time to read through some of it. If you can do this without crying (or at least choking up a bit) you are probably made of stone. My heart goes out to Jenny and her children during this very difficult time.
And this from Jenny’s blog: For those asking what they can do to help my healing process, make a peanut butter pie this Friday and share it with someone you love. Then hug them like there’s no tomorrow because today is the only guarantee we can count on.
How amazing that in her grief she came up with such a wonderful idea – asking us all to take the time to show our loved ones how much they mean to us – and to do so with such a delicious treat. It is similar to what I am doing with my pies – taking the time to focus on someone and let them know that they are cared for and appreciated.
Because this weekend is sort of an unusual one (our neighbor Daniel is visiting from Houston, and our Rotary exchange student Stephan is visiting from Germany), it seemed fitting to share this pie as part of our Sunday night family dinner with our dear neighbors. (I made only one change – I used gluten free peanut butter cookies for the crust).
I encourage you all to follow Jenny’s suggestion and make this pie- the recipe is easy, the pie is delicious and you will be spreading love in the world. What a lovely thing to do.
Meredith Reynolds has been my daughter Alex’s advisor/internship program coordinator for the past two years. Alexandra’s course of study took a very different turn when she opted to study in Denmark during her junior year at Southern Oregon University (SOU). When Alexandra decided to tackle an internship during her second year abroad (still in Denmark), Meredith was there to help her navigate the necessary paperwork to ensure that she was on track scholastically.
Meredith knows all about studying abroad. She has attained near-native fluency in Spanish language and Mexican Culture. She taught at the Universidad de Guanajuato for six years (from 1980-86). Guanajuato is the Sister City to Ashland, Oregon and there is a rich relationship between the two cities. In fact, my Alexandra “won” a contest when she was in 4th grade and was allowed to go (for free) to Guanajuato with a group of people from Ashland. Alexandra was 10 years old at the time but she was fearless and eager to go. I think that she was born knowing that she was a child of the world. I, on the other hand, did not get that memo.
It is wonderful that Meredith and Alexandra share a love of travel and cultures. Meredith has an amazing kinship with the people of Mexico, especially Guanajuato. Alexandra seems to have found that same kind of kinship in a small country 6,000 miles from the place in which she was born. I think that this is just a part of our ever changing world. And I count myself fortunate to have visited both Guanajuato and Denmark. What I have discovered is that with every new person that you meet you are given the opportunity to make a friend.
Today my friend Meredith was packing up her office. She is retiring from her position at SOU. I know that this is just a momentary pause for her for she has so much yet to give. I brought a quiche to Meredith today to thank her for all that she has done for my daughter and for all that she has done for Southern Oregon University. We are truly grateful for her passion and commitment and look forward to her next endeavor.