As American ingenuity dictates, the federal holiday of Memorial Day has come to celebrate and signify many things to us. Originally known as “Decoration Day”, the custom of decorating the graves of fallen Union and Confederate soldiers from the Civil War eventually evolved to include all Americans who gave their lives in the course of military duty.
Like all things that become big, the idea for Memorial Day probably started out very small.
Even before the Civil War, families would gather at ancestral burial places on a given day to place flowers on the graves, pray, reconnect with kin, and to break bread; in many cases, a “potluck, ” the practice of spreading out dishes onto sheets or blankets laid out on the grass.
While the significance of the holiday still remains in the forefront of the public’s mind as evidenced by the tradition of visiting cemeteries for Memorial Day programs, it has also developed into another kind of celebration. As Americans, we work more hours than many people in other countries, and the few holidays we can enjoy away from work become very important.
Memorial Day, with its three-day weekend privilege, has become known as the harbinger of summer and opens up a wealth of possibilities for how to spend the time.
To mark that kickoff, many city parks feature live music programs that encourage people to bring kids, dogs, flags and all the paraphernalia associated with picnicking and potluck; a festivity of gathering with friends and family and the enjoyment of a work-free day. And we also remember the sacrifices made by our military men and women that allow us to enjoy the freedom of this day.
The thrilling, complex aromas from a hot, smoking barbecue grill that produce plump and moist burgers, steaks, hot links, chicken wings, hot dogs, bratwurst, and Polish sausages are intoxicating and appeal to our most basic senses (You can check out 700 South’s BBQ drop off catering menu here) However, with temperatures beginning to warm in parts of the country, sometimes a cool dessert provides just the right balance.
This bountiful pie, an adult twist on the classic Pecan Pie, is surprisingly easy to prepare and sure to be a hit.
By feasting well and with joy, we not only remember and honor those that made the ultimate sacrifice, but we celebrate the sanctity (and brevity) of life by cherishing and acknowledging those that remain close to us.
Happy Memorial Day!
- One prepared frozen pie crust
- ½ stick unsalted butter
- 2 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cp. dark corn syrup
- ¼ cp. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. Bourbon-flavored vanilla extract
- 3 Tbsp. bourbon whiskey
- ¼ tsp. salt
- Pinch cinnamon (or ground cloves, or ground nutmeg)
- 1-1/2 cups Pecan halves (or bits & pieces)
- One pint heavy whipping cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Melt butter and chocolate very slowly in microwave oven. Set aside and allow to cool.
- Beat eggs in mixing bowl then whisk in the sugar.
- Stir in the syrups, vanilla, bourbon, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk gently. Add the melted butter/chocolate mixture and stir to blend.
- Place pecan halves on bottom of pie crust and pour the whole chocolate-egg mixture over the pecans. Bake around 45 minutes or until filling is set. Test for doneness with a toothpick.
- Allow to cool. This pie can also be chilled in the fridge prior to serving.
- Serve with a dollop of Classic Bourbon/Vanilla Whipped Cream or Quick & Easy Bourbon/Vanilla Whipped Cream.