New Hot Fudge Pie Recipe

Thanksgiving Pies

Each year, we make around 25 pies each Thanksgiving and Easter (as long as it doesn’t fall during Passover) for a local church that feeds the hungry in its neighborhood. This year, I made buttermilk coconut pies, key lime pies, pumpkin pies (okay, I just like pumpkin, even when it’s not Thanksgiving~!), and hot fudge pies.

Hot Fudge Pie:
1 stick butter
1 cup self-rising flour (I always use White Lily)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1-1/4 cup sugar
dash of vanilla
1 egg
sweet milk as needed
1 pie crust

Preheat the oven to 350*. Melt the butter in the microwave but let it sit out so that it cools to almost room temperature. Mix the dry ingredients together. Mix the butter and the egg into the dry ingredients. Add a dash of vanilla. Add whole milk as needed to make a mixture that is easily able to be stirred – meaning that it’s not thin, but it doesn’t easily ‘glop’ together. Pour into pie shell and bake for 45-50 minutes. I wouldn’t advise baking it until it’s incredibly firm, just cooked through until it maintains a good consistency, which you ought to get at 45-50 minutes. It is wonderful hot, and really good at room temperature.

More scarves!

I know it’s too warm outside to be wearing scarves, but…..I really like these! Next week I’m going to learn how to make something else, like a pillow cover, but for now I am really enjoying these.

The image above is my second completed scarf, made with Karabella “Barbados” using size 13 needles.

This scarf above is made with Karabella “labyrinth” using size 9 needles. It is taking a long time since the needles are so much smaller than the 13s and 15s I’ve been using. I’m calling this one my “Santa Fe” scarf because of the colors.

This scarf is my fun scarf. It’s made with Berroco Suede, and Crystal Palace Yarns “squiggle” (which is a really good name for it!). I’m knitting these together on size 13 needles. I think I’ll have enough to make two or maybe even three scarves with the amount of each that I bought.

Walker Evans and James Agee Exhibit in Montgomery

Yesterday, we visited the Walker Evans and James Agee ‘Let Us Now Praise Famous Men’ exhibit at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. It was excellent, excellent. I was especially happy to see that the curators used a quote from the book, one that I think is especially important:

It seems to me curious, not to say obscene and thoroughly terrifying, that it
could occur to an association of human beings drawn together through need and
chance and for profit into a company, an organ of journalism, to pry intimately
into the lives of an undefended and appallingly damaged group of human beings,
an ignorant and helpless rural family, for the purpose of parading the
nakedness, disadvantage and humiliation of these lives before another group of
human beings, in the name of science, of ‘honest journalism’ (whatever that
paradox may mean), of humanity, of social fearlessness, for money, and for a
reputation for crusading and for unbias which, when skillfully enough qualified,
is exchangeable at any bank for money (and in politics, for votes, job
patronage, abelincolnism, etc.); and that these people could be capable of
meditating this prospect without the slightest doubt of their qualification to
do an ‘honest’ piece of work, and with a conscience better than clear, and in
the virtual certitude of almost unanimous public approval.

Prints of even more of Walker Evans’ work can be purchased through the Library of Congress Photoduplication Service.

Hotel Talisi

Hotel Talisi, Tallassee, AL

We spent one night this week at the Hotel Talisi in Tallassee. This is one of my favorite hotels – not because of the rooms – but because of the hotel’s unique charm.

Hotel Talisi downstairs lobby, Tallassee, AL

This is the hotel lobby, which includes a big-screen television, an old telephone switchboard (btw, there are no phones in the guest rooms), and this Steinway piano from the late 1800’s.

Hotel Talisi - this is the room we had on 1st stay Tallassee, AL

This is our room – it is one of the rooms that hotel folklore says is “haunted”.

 

Hotel Talisi - this is the room we had on 2nd stay Tallassee, AL

This is the room we had last time – each of the rooms is a little different, and decorated with little tchotchkes throughout. The window unit isn’t very charming, I know, but if you can switch your mindset to enjoy the entire experience rather than focusing on things like wallpaper that needs to be replaced or the general worn-ness of most everything, it is really one of the most unique hotels to stay in.

Hotel Talisi - real keys! Tallassee, AL

Besides, where else can you get a **real** hotel key anymore?

Hotel Talisi, Upstairs

This is the upstairs hallway. Isn’t it so great?!

I can knit!

Knitting - My first scarf, for Av
My first scarf!

Last Wednesday, one of my friends taught me to knit – I have been wanting to learn *forever* – and guess what? It only took about ten minutes for me to get the hang of it, and with the help of my trusty Knitting for Dummies book, I even finished my first scarf in three evenings. Now I just have to get back to the knitting shop for more yarn and I will be a scarf machine!

Art in Quiet Places

Cemetery statue, Jasper, AL

 

Cemetery statue, Jasper, AL

This monument is in Jasper.

Cemetery Monument, Jasper AL

This monument is also in Jasper, in the Bankhead family section.

We were in Jasper on Sunday on business and part of our trip involved visiting the cemetery there. I know people that never go to cemeteries – ever – but I have always felt very comfortable around them, in fact we go to cemeteries in cities where we hardly know anyone just to see the monuments (I mean, some of them are just incredible).

My Nanny z”l took me with her to cemeteries very often since I was very, very small. We would go several times a week to check on flowers, do a little walking, and do lots of talking – and I would hear the best stories. Nanny grew up in a small town where everybody knew everybody, so when we would go through, I got to hear all sorts of happy and sad, weird and wonderful family stories and history about all sorts of people. In the cemetery where my PawPaw z”l and MawMaw z”l Fossett are buried, the Fossett stone is one of the first ones you see among all the others because it is tall and a really pretty mauve-ish granite. I’m sure Nanny had a lot to do with picking it out.

Pics from Tallassee

Old Cotton Mill, Tallassee, Alabama

Above is a pic of the old cotton mill that Av took when we were in that part of the state last weekend. An armory that was the only Confederate armory *not* destroyed during the War stood behind this building (Thanks Tom for straightening me out!). Each November, the Tallassee Armory Guards, Camp no. 1921 sponsors a reenactment of the battle.

When the safety of Richmond was feared in 1864, the carbine factory was moved to Tallassee, to one-story buildings in the rear of this mill. The goal was to produce 6000 carbines/year, but the War ended before that mark was reached.

A Few Pics from Wetumpka

Last weekend, we went to Montgomery, but part of the trip took us through Wetumpka, which is pretty well known for its impact crater.

The “impact structure” – or astrobleme – or crater (I don’t know which is most correct) in Wetumpka was formed when a iron asteroid or meteorite hit 80-83 million years ago back when that part of Alabama was under water. I’ve read that the asteroid was something like the size of Jordan-Hare stadium, hitting the earth at a speed of 10-20 miles/second, and that the displacement could have been shot all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. I couldn’t really find a great picture to take of the crater, but below are some of the other pics we shot in Wetumpka:

First National Bank sign in Wetumpka, AL

Bank Clock in downtown

Fane Cinema in Wetumpka, AL

Theater, built in the 1930’s

 

Elmore County Courthouse, Wetumpka, AL

Elmore County courthouse

The eight columns are made from Missouri marble.

Neon Signs and Downtown Shrines


Fried Green Tomatoes

The best fried green tomatoes in Birmingham are at Andrew’s Bar-B-Q in Woodlawn. Av and I were B’ham this week, and I had wanted to go there for a long time, because I *really* like their neon sign, noting “air conditioning” and the little piggy running. The barbecue is just okay, but the fried green tomatoes are the greatest!

Bait & Tackle Shop in Wetumpka, AL - love the little minnow sign

Last weekend we spent just a little time in Wetumpka, where Av took a picture of this minnow neon sign at a bait shop.

Shrine, Woodlawn, Alabama

Shrine in Woodlawn

When I discovered Flickr, I found that one of the photographers had posted a pic of a Mary shrine in Woodlawn – I found it! It’s right in front of a downtown business that is subdivided into three or four smaller offices/retail shops. This Mary shrine is on the left-hand wall if you’re facing the building….

Shrine, Woodlawn, Alabama

Across from the Mary shrine

…and this shrine is on the right-hand side of the building, if you’re facing it. I haven’t seen these before, built into outside walls of businesses.