“Mrs. Newby’s chocolate pie tastes just like yours.”
Actually, my pie tastes just like Mrs. Newby’s, and I’m ecstatic over Lily’s appraisal because that means I’ve been making it right all these years.
Not marrying until I was nearly 31 gave me the opportunity to be involved in all sorts of activities that, had I married young, I may have missed. One of those activities was helping with my church’s middle school youth group. Through that ministry, I got to know the Newbys. They married in their 30s and struggled with infertility. They adopted their first child right before I met them.
I spent many days during grad school hanging out with Macon, eating grilled cheese sandwiches, watching her love and discipline her children, and talking about Christ and the impact He can have on every facet of our lives.
One of the many seemingly insignificant things Macon taught me was how to make a drop-dead-delicious chocolate pie. That pie has become my signature contribution at every social gathering between here and Kijabe. Sally Dillon, daughter of my good friends Ann and Chris, will practically pass out with exaggerated melodramatic elation when I appear at their door with one of my chocolate pies, so I nearly always present two or three for Dillon parties. In Kenya, I took chocolate pie to Christmas dinner. I made it for dorm girls and delivered it to friends. Every time someone new indulges in my chocolate pie, they must endure the chocolate pie story about how my dear friend Macon Newby taught me about life and chocolate pie.
I had lost touch with Macon until recently. She is Lily’s teacher at AWANA*. This week, Macon evidently brought chocolate pie for all the girls. I find it unbelievable that Lily didn’t remember that the recipe originated with Macon. I can hardly make the pie without paying homage to Macon Newby. Once while we were in Kenya, I made too many pies (if such a thing is possible) for our dorm girls, and the Konings had no business eating all that chocolate pie, so Lily and I wrapped up individual pieces of pie and traipsed all over the mission station giving them to folks, and of course, telling each recipient of the beloved pie about the beloved mentor.
I’ve always regarded the chocolate pie as a symbol for the wife, mother, mentor, and woman I’ve aspired to be. I doubt my metaphorical pie is “just like Mrs. Newby’s,” but maybe I can be encouraged that I’m at least in the same kitchen. ~ cck
Macon’s Fudge Pie
Pie crust – bake at 400 degrees until brown (approximately 5 minutes; I actually never do this.)
1 stick melted butter
1 cup sugar
3 TBSP cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 – 1/3 cup plain flour (I always use 1/3)
Dump in pie crust. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes or until the middle does not jiggle (I always bake for 35 minutes, at least; if you’re baking more than two pies at the same time, 40 – 50 minutes may be needed, but watch the crust so it doesn’t burn).
*AWANA stands for “Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed” from 2 Timothy 2:15. AWANA is an interdenominational Christian program during which children memorize scripture, learn about God, play games, and have fun.