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Monday, January 7, 2013

Cousins & Chocolate

This originally was written as a challenge for the Better Writer Group in preparation for Allume.  At that point in time I did not even have a blog and the idea of buying a domain name wasn’t even on my radar screen.  The challenge for this particular piece was to describe a process.

Since that day I have written several posts and met so many amazing people.  A huge part of my writing life happens at the end of the week.  Fridays are typically reserved for Five Minute Friday with Lisa-Jo.  In preparation and anticipation, a group of us meet up on Thursday evenings.  As is often the case with large groups of women, the conversation quickly turns to CHOCOLATE!

Here is my story: 

The stuff that holds my relationship with my cousins together is a hot, steaming, cocoa infused pudding that we all affectionately refer to as Chocolate Butter.  Some may call it chocolate gravy, but to us it’s butter.  My granny, and probably her sisters and sisters-in-law spoiled us all on it.  This gem of the depression era is still a staple in each of our homes.  I close my eyes and I see it, smell it, and taste it.  You’re wishing for smell-o-vision or a scratch and sniff right about now, aren’t you?

Clouds of White Lily flour from the biscuits mingle with those from the flour used for the base of this delightful concoction.  The sweet goodness of sugar and cocoa powder come to join the party in the pot ready to meet with the flame and fresh milk.  
Patience is the magic ingredient. 

You find yourself stirring, stirring, stirring until you’re wondering if it’s worth it and nothing happens.  Then, as if the fairy dust fell in, the liquid starts to darken and thicken.  Now your whisk is giving up the secret that amazing things are happening.  When you pull it out there is a tempting sheen on each little wire.  Careful now!  Sticking and burning would make all your time be for naught.  You can see how the bubbles rise to the top, expelling all calories and fat from this heavenly pudding. 

You know when it’s just right.  It pours from a spoon in a steady thick stream like it has the strength to get you through the day and take on any biscuit you put it over.  Finally, it’s off the heat and the slab of butter goes into this lava as an offering.  Stirring and stirring until it has vanished.  Steaming biscuits, fresh from the oven have been split open on the plate and wait for the first ladle full.

Cousins sit with their kids at my mom’s house and we talk about time spent at Granny’s house.  We talk about the outhouse, the grapevine, standing over the heat grate, and eating chocolate butter for breakfast whenever you spent the night.  We talk about what it was like before Granny got Alzheimer’s.  We don’t talk about that.  Over in the next county, our other cousins are doing the same thing.  They’re talking about quilts and horses and putting up hay, but it’s still all around the chocolate butter.

2-3 TBSP Cocoa
1 C Sugar
2-3 TBSP Flour
Pinch of Salt
½ Cup Water
1 TSP Vanilla
3 Cups Milk
4 TBSP Butter

Mix dry ingredients in a medium saucepan.  Add very warm water and stir; add vanilla.  Add milk and heat on medium high heat stirring constantly until desired thickness is reached, add butter and stir until melted.
Serve over hot buttered biscuits.

Jello Chocolate Cook & Serve pudding
Milk – 1 cup more than box calls for
3 TBSP Butter

Follow directions on box, but using extra milk.  Cook over medium high heat stirring constantly, scraping entire bottom.  After liquid boils, it will start to thicken.  Cook until desired consistency.  Remove from heat and add butter.  Serve over hot biscuits.  DEVOUR!

Now go CREATE some for yourself!

Do you have any family specific food traditions you can share?


  1. I love the stories of how food draws family together. This is one of the best! Love the topic, love the writing, love YOU!

    1. Come over and I'll make for you all. Please tell me I've done that at least once, I'm afraid I haven't though. :)

    2. Nope, you haven't!!! I would so love to just be able to drop by. Love you!

  2. Beautifully written and oh yea thanks for the heavenly recipe:)

    1. Thanks! let me know if you try it and how your girls like it.

  3. Oh wow, Amy -- that looks DELISH! Gotta try it sometime :) Our family favorite: both grandmothers had "pie apple" trees. They "cooked them down" peel and all, and we had them as a side dish at most dinners.

    Me? I spooned them over hot buttered biscuits. Sweet, tangy with a hint of salt from the butter... Soooo good. Thanks for that special memory, and for passing along your recipe!

    1. Oh, yeah.. We just called them cooked apples. Sometimes my mom would do that and roll out biscuits really thin. She'd put the cooked apples inside and fold it over. then she'd cook them in butter in a iron skillet to make fried apple pies. Oh. My Goodness! You've made me really hungry now. Nothing like a granny's cooking, is there?

    2. Yep, cooked apples! I still love them :)
      Fried apple pies -- ahh a true country delicacy!

  4. Oh. My. Word. Amy this looks amazing, and I love how you told this story.I was there! Yum! Thanks for linking up at the What's Up Cafe! Blessings on your day!

    1. Thanks for hosting. You should try this. I know you can't get White Lily flour, so find a good one for the biscuits. :)