Last night was a nice break from a hectic week of classes, giving me time to veg out by myself and cook. Although 0 degrees (yes, Fahrenheit) no longer seems as cold as it once did, I was still in no mood to trudge out into the Arctic tundra. After finally scouring my kitchen of the past week’s messes – How many of you have tried cleaning a crock pot from the 1970’s? The inside doesn’t come out, so it involves a great risk-reward equation of soaking for a long time and braving electrocution to rinse out – I crapped out on what will probably become tonight’s project, macaroni and cheese, spent some time watching TV online. Sidenote : Keeping Up Appearances – great underrated British 90’s show about the “Bucket Woman”. I may secretly be an 80 year old woman. Regardless, I finally made my way around to making pie. Not just any pie, but Paula Deen’s chocolate chip pecan pie. It is one of my favorite pies, genuinely good in any occasion, be it Thanksgiving, or just to congratulate yourself for making it through another week. I found the recipe online here: http://www.bakespace.com/recipes/detail/Chocolate-Chip-Pie/6155/. I have the book at home, but for reasons of spacial dynamics, it did not make it with me up to my apartment. It’s a super easy pie to make, another reason that makes it perfect for all occasions. If you have an hour, you can be eating pie. It’s a solid recipe, but I do tweak a few things… When making any pie I always use homemade crust instead of store bought. It’s well worth the effort. I’m not ready to divulge my family recipe, but ask your Grandma/strange great aunt who lives with 7 cats/whoever does the baking in your family for their recipe. I’m sure they have something similar. Vegetarians be warned, I will say that I find lard to be the best fat for a crust. Butter is nice, but never seems to flake up like lard does. Also, back to this particular pie, I always at least double the amount of chocolate chips and pecans that I add, but leave the rest of the recipe as is. Otherwise I find there to be too much sugary “filling”, without enough substance. That’s just my personal preference – you’ll find what you like as you experiment. What do you think? What’s your favorite pie? How do you make the crust?