This week we voted. Thanks to a very enthusiastic IEC volunteer at our voting station I left with my thumb so well inked that had you seen me you may have had some difficulty in deciding if I had just voted or merely slammed my finger in a door.
I think it is fair to say that I am heavy hearted at the results and the implied reinforcement of appalling governmental conduct. Thank heavens I have children; especially the curious and interested girl child in particular. Pretty Girl’s many questions on voting, elections and choosing a president are part of her as yet untainted political outlook, and they forced me to mind my words and to remember the many positives of living in and being able to vote in a young democracy, such as ours. On Wednesday I think I understood for the first time the weight of a parental vote. That simple black X is more than a vote for a party; it is a X heavy with desperation, one seeped in hope for the possibility of a beautiful future for your children. A small seed in the ground.
Here is what is really fun about watching election results. You get to remember that beyond the big four (JHB, PTA, DBN and CPT) South Africa is actually a mosaic of teeny tiny little places and towns and I am sad to admit that I have no idea where many of them. Nieu Bethesda, Carnarvon, Postmasburg. These are all real places. I feel like taking a road trip to visit them all.
Now somewhere I have actually been is Musina in Limpopo. We were headed to Zimbabwe on a student road trip about 20 years ago. The Beitbridge border crossing was our port of entry and it lies just short of 20km outside of Musina. Do you know it?
How about some other fun Limpopo facts? Limpopo is the northernmost province in the country. It is also the fifth largest, sharing 3 provincial boundaries with Mpumalanga, Gauteng and North West. It also shares three international borders with Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana. It is also a really fun word to say – Limpopo.
But now for today’s most relevant Limpopo fact: The core production area of the South African nut industry is concentrated in the northern parts of the country (Hah! As in Limpopo). Actually pecan nuts and macadamias are produced predominantly in Limpopo and Mpumalanga while groundnuts are farmed extensively in the Limpopo, Free State and North West provinces. For now though, let us focus on pecan nuts from Limpopo.
These are the very nuts in fact which I used to make this rather lovely looking Chocolate Chip & Pecan Nut Pie. My dear friend visited Limpopo a few weeks ago and upon her return she gifted me with a marvelous bag of fresh pecan nuts.
It’s because her husband is nuts. Obviously that is not true – he is a pecan nut broker. No he is not, there is no such thing – he simply exports pecan nuts. Anyway, best gift ever – thank you E.
The filling of this Chocolate Chip & Pecan Nut Pie is sweet and thick and just dreamy. For a firmer filling, place the pie in the refrigerator for an hour or two before you eat it. For a gooey sticky filling, serve the pie at room temperature. For an even gooier, stickier lick the plate kind of filling, serve the pie warmed.
PS Dear Husband tried the pie at all three temperatures. It formed part of his research in the best interest of ‘the reader ‘ (that’s you!) He declared it a three way tie.
- 375 ml (1 ½ C) cake flour
- 10 ml (2 t) sugar
- 2.5 ml (½ t) salt
- 125 g (½ C) butter
- 45 ml (3 T) plus 10 ml (2 t) milk
- 3 eggs
- 250 ml (1 C) sugar
- 250 ml (1 C) maple syrup
- 65 ml (¼ C) butter, melted
- 5 ml (1 t) vanilla essence
- 250 ml (1 C) chopped dark chocolate
- 250 ml (1 C) pecan nuts, coarsely chopped
- Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to blend.
- Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the 45 ml (3 T) measure of milk and process until the mixture comes together to form a dough. Use the remaining 10 ml (2 t) milk to bring the dough to the correct consistency if necessary.
- Use your hands to form the dough into a smooth ball. Flatten the ball with your hand, wrap in cling film and rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour to firm.
- On a clean dry surface dusted with extra flour, roll the pastry out and line the bottom and sides of pie dish which has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Place the pastry into the fridge while you prepare the filling.
- In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, maple syrup, butter and vanilla essence until well blended.
- Stir in the chocolate and the pecan nuts.
- Pour the filling into the prepared pie dish. Bake the pie on the lower rack of an oven preheated to 170˚C for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the pastry is golden and the filling is set.
- Allow to cool.
- Serve at room temperature or gently warmed with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.