She is a talented, award winning author who spins a great tale. Her books should be on your to read list if you have not already read them.
It is a pleasure to have her here today and the pie recipe is a definite must!!
By Kathleen Rice Adams
Writers play all sorts of funny games with ourselves when a story isn’t moving along as smoothly as we’d like. Some swear taking walks energizes the body and mind. Some swear a household cleaning binge sweeps the cobwebs from dusty creativity. (I assure you I am not among that bunch.) Some swear music is a foolproof cure.
Some just swear.
I do my share of swearing, but usually I rely on a long shower to get my sluggish brain back on track. Standing under a stream of water never fails to jar things loose in my head. As often as the gears grind to a halt in there, I may be the cleanest person I know.
One can only take so many showers, though, before she begins to resemble a prune. At my age, I don’t need any help with that.
Fortunately, I have a second weapon in my brain-jumpstarting arsenal: baking. Bread, cakes, pies, cookies… There’s something immensely gratifying about creating a work of art from ingredients that, unlike characters in stories, don’t fight you every step of the way. I’ll admit flour sometimes can be a challenge, prone to flying all over the place as it is. As a general rule, though, sugar, butter, eggs, milk, and other components behave as the baker specifies with a minimum of backtalk.
Compared to writing, baking is a cinch. If nothing else, baking bolsters my confidence in my ability to outmaneuver inanimate objects. Sometimes.
I’m an adventurous baker—a trait I’m certain I inherited from my grandmother. Granny was justifiably famous for her ability to whip up a mess of mouthwatering goodness from whatever she had in the pantry. The tomato cake episode continues to live in infamy, but for the most part, whatever Granny baked was a monument to innovation and deliciousness.
I felt my beloved, departed grandmother peeking over my shoulder not too long ago when I was overcome with a desperate urge to exert some small measure of control over my environment. A quick glance in the pantry nearly destroyed my ambition. No flour. No sugar. None of the usual baking suspects. My worst nightmare stared me in the face: I was on the verge of outdoing the tomato cake, possibly with green beans.
Fortunately, whatever horde of locusts invaded my house overlooked a single can of condensed milk. With that and a few items smart enough to hide out in the back of the fridge, I whipped up a pie that—if I do say so myself—turned out downright scrumptious.
It was so good, as a matter of fact, that I made it again this past weekend. The recipe is below—and not a green bean in sight, thank goodness.
I hope you enjoy it.
Chocolate Coconut Pecan Custard Pie
9-inch unbaked pie shell
1 egg, white separated from yolk
14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/4 cups hot water (not boiling—from the tap works fine)
2 T. melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
2 cups shredded coconut
¼ cup pecan pieces
½ cup chocolate chips (dark or semisweet)
1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Prepare your favorite pie crust. Whisk together egg white and 1 tsp. water; brush over entire pie crust surface. (Coating pie crust with egg white prevents sogginess.)
3. In large bowl, beat 3 eggs plus additional yolk with a wire whisk or fork until well combined. Add sweetened condensed milk, hot water, melted butter, vanilla, salt, and nutmeg. Mix well.
4. Stir in coconut, pecan pieces, and chocolate chips. Pour filling into prepared pie shell.
5. Bake 10 minutes at 425 degrees, then reduce heat to 350 and bake an additional 25 to 30 minutes.
6. Cool at least 1 hour before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.
Another delicious event took place in my life this past weekend: the release of two new books with my name on the cover. Can you say “excited”? One book at a time is thrilling. Two books at once? Let me just say I needed that pie. I’ve almost eaten the whole thing by myself, and I’m not the least bit ashamed.
If you’ll indulge me, I’d like to share a little information about the two new releases—because, you know, a proud book momma has to brag on her children.
The Dumont Brand
Two short novellas in one book.
On the eve of the Civil War, family secrets threaten everything a ranching dynasty has built…until one son finds salvation in the wrong woman’s love. In the aftermath of battle, a woman destroyed by betrayal brings peace to his brother’s wounded soul.
The Big Uneasy: To escape the unthinkable with a man about whom she knows too much, New Orleans belle Josephine LaPierre agrees to marry a Texan about whom she knows nothing. Falling in love with his brother was not part of her plan.
Making Peace: After four long years in hell, Confederate cavalry officer Bennett Collier just wants to go home—assuming home still exists. Widowed Jayhawker Maggie Fannin will hold onto her home at any cost…even if she must face down the imposing Rebel soldier who accuses her of squatting.
The Dumont Brand is the first in a trilogy about a Texas ranch whose residents hide enough skeletons in the closets to shame a dinosaur museum. It’s available at fine e-bookstores all over the web, but you can find it on Amazon here: http://amzn.com/B0120S7L0G
When an accident leaves Hamilton Hollister convinced he’ll never be more than half a man, he abandons construction of a railway spur his lumber mill needs to survive. Believing no woman shackled by social convention can be complete, railroad heiress Katherine Brashear refuses to let the nearly finished track die.
The magic of Christmas in a small Texas town may help them bridge the distance…if they follow their hearts down The Last Three Miles.
Also available at fine e-bookstores all over the web, The Last Three Miles is on Amazon here: http://amzn.com/B011SB2912
Thank you for hosting me today, Susan. Even though you live in Australia, please consider yourself an honorary Texan. With your big heart, you’ll make a fine one.
Thank you Kathleen. I look forward to meeting you the next time I’m in Texas.
Kathleen’s other works and more information can be found at: