Cooking up Memories
Great Grandmother Lolly

Visiting with great grandmother Lolly, one of my favorite people (age 6)

Baking in the kitchen with Mom

Flashback to 1970 in the kitchen baking with mom

Handwritten recipe

A handwritten treasure signed with Lolly’s monogram

My great-grandmother, Lolly, was one of the amazing women who had a huge impact on my life. When I think about her, memories come flooding back. I feel like I am sitting again in her tiny 5 room home, her tv on Lawrence Welk in the bedroom, the floor heater roaring to life, and the plants and flowers everywhere thriving. Spending countless hours with me, she taught me a love of crossword and word search puzzles, but interestingly, a lot of my memories with her involve random food. She would always treat me with a trip to Baskin Robbins for a scoop of pink bubblegum ice cream (a double scoop if I was lucky!), there was always a candy jar filled with peppermints or butterscotch candies, she kept Coca-Cola syrup in her refrigerator and we loved to mix up a Coke (even though it was flat and gross, really), there was always a loaf of bread to make hot buttered toast in her toaster, and in her backyard…pecan trees! We would pick up piles of pecans, then crack and shell them for hours on end. And from that…came her pecan pies!

Lolly’s Pecan Pies were a treasured holiday tradition in our family. We begged her to make them, and she gladly did! Eventually I asked for the recipe, thinking that I would learn to make them. I am so glad that I did! But years later, when I tried to decipher the recipe that she had given me, my pies were a disaster! Recently, I read them again, tried again, and this time…success! Just like Lolly made them! Now, once again, Lolly’s Pecan Pies are a family tradition at holidays in our family. I hope that you enjoy them as much as we do!

Lolly’s Pecan Pie

2 unbaked pie shells
1/2c + 1/3c sugar (she calls this 1c short)
1 2/3 c corn syrup (she calls this 2(1/2+1/3c) or 2c short!)
1/2c short butter
1/2 tsp (short) salt
5 eggs, lightly beaten (she says that well beaten eggs get stringy)
1tsp vanilla
1 2/3 c pecans (she calls this 2(1/2+1/3c) or 2c short)

Place pecans in unbaked pie shells.

Combine sugar, corn syrup, fat, and salt and bring to a boil over low heat. Pour this hot syrup slowly over beaten eggs. (She says that you only pour half, stirring constantly. Reheat the remaining syrup and repeat, stirring constantly the entire time.) Let cool. Add vanilla and pour over pecans in pie shells. Pecans will rise to top. If necessary, spread pecans evenly. Bake in moderately hot oven (400 degrees) for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 375 degrees and bake 35-40 minutes longer. (She says that she lowers her oven a little more in the second stage…but adjust to suit your oven.)

By the way…Lolly was a girl after our own hearts! It’s funny…as I read this letter from her last time I made these, I noticed that she signed the letter with…her monogram! Do you know how I sign just about everything except formal documents? You guessed it. With my monogram! Like great-grandmother, like great-granddaughter. And I had no idea!

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