When my great grandfather Roy Whitley died on March 16, 1980, I was seven years old, and it was my first true loss of innocence. I remember seeing my parents cry in a way I had never seen them cry before and feeling emotions that I couldn’t describe.
And… as in all good Southern households, the food came to ease the pain. As most of you know, it isn’t really the food that numbs the sting, but it is the conversations, the visits from friends, and the feeling of togetherness as everyone gathers around a table together that somehow makes the pain bearable. This ritual of meal sharing truly does provide a momentary respite from the pain and sadness of loss, and eventually, we pull our lives back together.
Last week, Joyce Gardner, a colleague from DPI, sent me an invitation to join a recipe E-mail chain. The gist is this: E-mail a recipe, forward the request to twenty friends, and receive recipes in return. One of the people I forwarded the message to was my mother, and she sent Joyce her Chewy Toasted Coconut Pie. I also asked her to send it to me, because the pie is fantastic! Then, she said, “I have been making this recipe for 32 years.”
She went on to share that when my great grandfather died, Evelyn Sidden brought this pie to my great grandparents’ house, and my father fell in love with it. Mom asked Evelyn for the recipe, and she has been making it ever since. To this day, it is my father’s favorite pie. And, after hearing my mother’s story over the telephone today, I will never prepare it or eat it again without thinking of my great grandfather.
This is a wonderful, delicious, and easy pie, and now I can make it while I cherish the memory of my great grandfather. 🙂
From start to finish, this recipe will take approximately 50 minutes.
3 eggs (beaten) use a fork to beat
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick margarine melted
4 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla flavoring
1 (3 1/2 oz.) can flake coconut
2 tbsp water
Mix all ingredients using a spoon or wire whisk.
Pour into unbaked pie shell.
Bake at 350 degrees 40-45 minutes or until the pie is set.
My mom says, “This is a great pie for those who like coconut and a hint of lemon. This recipe was given to me 30
years ago. You can no longer buy the canned coconut. I use about 3/4 of the 7 oz.bag. Easy and tasty!”