Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Prepping for Thanksgiving

If I get my work done today (I'm proofing gallies for THE FINE ART OF INSINCERITY), I'm going to start my Thanksgiving baking. Every year my extended family gathers at a women's club in a small central Florida town. It's a two-hour drive for us, so I've learned not to bring anything that needs to be served hot out of the oven. Pies, though . . . . that's the ticket.

So tomorrow I'm going to bake chess pies and sweet potato pies, and maybe another sweet potato dish. This is one of the few occasions that I bake, so I'm looking forward to it.

I hope your Thanksgiving preparation goes well! If you're traveling, drive safely!



Anonymous said...

What's a chess pie and why is it called that?

Angela said...

You would ask, Susan. :-) So I looked it up:

Chess pies are a Southern specialty that has a simple filling of eggs, sugar, butter, and a small amount of flour. Some recipes include cornmeal and others are made with vinegar. Flavorings, such as vanilla, lemon juice, or chocolate are also added to vary the basic recipe.

The origin of the name, Chess Pie, is uncertain, but there are plenty of guesses and a bit of folklore surrounding the name. The most probable explanation is that since the English lemon curd pie filling is very close to lemon chess pie, and they believe the word “chess” is an Americanization of the English word “cheese,” referring to curd pie. Basically the Chess Pie is a cheese-less cheesecake.

Some folklore:

One explanation suggests that the word is “chest,” pronounced with a drawl and used to describe these pies baked with so much sugar they could be stored in a pie chest rather than refrigerated.

Another story is about the plantation cook who was asked what she was baking that smelled so great - “Jes’ pie” was her answer.

Mocha with Linda said...

Love the folklore!