The Chocolateberry Cake & Assorted Cupcakes

Dilemmas call for creativity!  I need to make a cake that is half chocolate and half strawberry and I need German Chocolate cupcakes and Strawberry cupcakes made from the remaining batter not used in the layers. 

After doing constructs in numerous ways in my head I have settled on a couple of things.  First I am going to use  boxed cake mixes for this project because it is way too much trouble otherwise plus my German chocolate cake recipe is ENORMOUS and makes 3 big layers!  Box cakes are much more predictable and precise size wise!


1 German Chocolate Cake mix
1 Strawberry Cake mix   
1 can of Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting
1 can of Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting
1 can of Strawberry Frosting
1 can of Coconut Pecan Frosting

First follow package directions baking one 9" layer of each flavor and a dozen cupcakes.  After removing the layers from the cans and cooling completely.  Slice each layer in half and frost to make a half chocolate and a half strawberry cake.  Next join them with additional frosting (one chocolate frosted and one strawberry frosted)  into one two layer cake!  One side pink and the other side brown!  I used the Vanilla Butter Cream to affix the 2 halves at the center.

NOTE;  To assure success I picked a plate with a slight concave center and dabbed about 2 tablespoons of the appropriately flavored frosting to adhere each bottom layer.  Placing the ROUNDED side of the cake down. After frosting the top of the bottom layer I placed the FLAT side of the second later atop and finished frosting. 

Here is the partially frosted cake, half chocolate, and half strawberry with the vanilla frosting cementing it at the center.
Next I used the Vanilla frosting on the sliced half of the layers and repeated the process above with the other half layers butting the second half of a cake against the Vanilla to affix into a round layer cake.

Frost half the German Chocolate cupcakes with Coconut Pecan frosting and half with plain chocolate.  Then finish the Strawberry cupcakes with the Strawberry frosting.  There you have it!  Something for everyone!  The Chocolateberry cake.

I am making this almost a week before I will be serving and so I like to place the frosted cake in the freezer and after it has completely frozen wrap it well with plastic wrap.   This will keep it perfectly until I thaw it the day it is needed.  Yield 1, 9" layer cake and 24 cupcakes.


Turkey for Sunday Dinner

We didn't fix a turkey over the holidays and a few weeks ago I bought a 20 pound fresh turkey for 59 cents a pound! Then I stuffed it in the freezer for another day.  The last half of the week I have been thinking of a Sunday dinner composed of things I am not tired of and had not had for a while. 

First I decided on Corny corn bread and then on Asian slaw.  Next cane the whole 20 pound turkey with mashed potatoes and gravy.  Sounds good to me.  Friday I mixed up a batch of my own Brownie mix and baked a double batch so dessert is done.  is the link for the Corney Corn Bread recipe.   is the link for the Asian Slaw recipe.   are the recipes for both the mix and the Brownies.

Ingredients for Roast Turkey with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy:

1 whole turkey fresh or completely thawed, 20 pounds
olive oil or butter

The first thing to think about when preparing a frozen turkey is the thawing.  Either place it in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or fill a large sink with cold water and submerge the wrapped turkey for about 12-16 hours.  Take the turkey from the package and remove the neck and giblets.  Dry the turkey and butter or oil him well then season generously both inside and out.

I place the neck in the bottom of the roasting pan to serve as a rack and portion the bird atop.  Then I tent the bird with foil or place the lid on the roaster.  I am not as much interested in a browned bird as I am a moist bird.  PLUS NOBODY I HAVE EVER KNOWN WALKS THE FINISHED BIRD ON A PLATTER TO THE TABLE TO CARVE IT?

What's that all about?  The meal would be cold at our house by the time you carved that much turkey to feed that many people!

So, I roast him ahead, let his sit and cool, carve him and place the slices attractively in a large covered glass low sided casserole to warm up at dinner and serve.  Way, way, way less hassle in my life!

Turkey Gravy:

Not much is better than rich delicious turkey gravy.  Take about a cup of the drippings and stir in about 2 tablespoons of flour over medium heat stirring to get the raw flour taste cooked out and add 1 C. of tap water and stir like heck while it comes to a boil and thickens.  Taste for salt and pepper.

Mashed potatoes:

1 potato per person plus add 1 for the pot is my rule of thumb
1 T. soft butter per potato
2-3 T. milk per potato
Black pepper

Peel and quarter the potatoes into a kettle with water to cover by 1".  Add a heaping tablespoon  of salt to the water and potatoes before cooking.  Cover the pan with it's lid and bring to a boil.  Next  reduce the heat and cook until fork tender.    Drain well.  Add the potatoes back to the pan with the butter and milk and beat with an electric mixer or mash with a hand masher until you reach the desired consistency.  Add additional milk, butter, and seasoning to taste.  (People have different ideas about how they like their mashed potatoes, probably based on what they grew up on.  So I leave quite a bit of latitude in these instructions.) 

I served 6 adults dinner tonight and would have had enough for 8-10. 


Pizza Dough Bread Sticks

This yielded about a dozen 10-12" bread sticks per half batch of dough.
Hot and Crisp from the Oven.

It flashed in my mind that the other half of the unbaked pizza dough in my refrigerator might make good bread sticks.     I had mixed the dough up 4 days ago and used one half of it for a large (half sheet pan sized) pizza.  The remaining dough was intended to be made up and frozen when the bread stick light came on!

To make these delicious (Best I have ever made.) light, and crisp bread sticks mix up the pizza dough as directed.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  The dough is incredibly easy to handle after refrigeration.   Just flour the rolling pin and board you are rolling onto well.  Pat and roll until about 14" thick then slice about 1/4" wide strips.   I used a pastry cutter and the fluted edge.

As you can see I used a perforated bread stick pan that was lightly floured and they did not stick a bit.  A pizza stone or parchment paper would be my next choices.

I twisted the bread sticks and lay them in rows.  Bake 10-15 minutes until golden brown.  Check the bottoms too just to be sure they are not browning too quickly.  Cool on a rack.

Helpful Hint:  For an added treat these are scrumptious dipped into home made ranch dressing.  I like my ranch dressing a little on the tart side and I add the juice of half a lemon to every batch I make up.  Yum, what a game day treat!


Sewing Repairs and My Winter Garden.

These blossoms are about 2" long!
Christmas week one of several of my Christmas cactus plants began blooming.  Now there are 3 in bloom!  What a spirit raising experience to have these beautiful fuchsia blooms with snow on the ground and an outside temperature of 7 degrees F.

A bud just opening.
The buds are just as lovely as the blooms and both last quite a long while.  I have started many of these and given them away.  The secret to them is they like to be, and bloom when they are root bound!

Amaryllis bulbs.
An additional treat is the amaryllis bulbs I started a week after Christmas.  I see buds and leaves shooting up in a large basket in the dining room!  Love to see these beauties in bloom too.  All of these cheer me on my way each day and I am off to do repairs and mending........

Sewing on a snowy cold day.
Brian has long underwear that the elastic is out of it, our granddaughter has a book bag for me to repair, plus there is my favorite pair of socks and then the fabric to be gone through and the quilt tops to work.  Lots of stitching is waiting to happen.  I basted the 3 pairs of long johns, (Easier to tear out hand basting than machine basting when checking for correct fit!) repaired the book bag, and darned the socks.  That is a start!

Easy and Fast Pizza Dough to Make at Home and it Keeps for Days in the Refrigerator

This recipe yields 2 pizzas made in a half sheet pan.
When the boys were home I made up and froze pizzas all of the time.  When I was growing up pizza parlors were not on every corner as they are today!  In fact the only pizza I ever had until I was probably a senior in high school was a make at home with a Chef Boyardee boxed mix.  That was a popular thing to do in those days.  Two couples would get together at some one's home and make pizza from the Chef's mix adding our own special touches!  They were good too!  The secret was to pre-bake the crust maybe 15 minutes or so before adding a multitude of additional toppings. 

Then the other day I saw Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman) making pizza for her family and I got a yen to make pizza too.  So I have adapted her recipe for the pizza crust.  I especially like this version because it keeps in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.  That makes it very handy indeed.

Make the dough up with the mixer.
Ingredients for Pizza Dough:

1 1/2 C warm, not lukewarm water
1 t. instant yeast
1/3 C. olive oil + more for oiling the bowl
4 C. flour
1 t. kosher salt

Place the warm water in a bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top.  Leave it sitting undisturbed and place the flour and salt into the mixing bowl.  Using the paddle attachment give the flour a few whirls at the lowest speed.

Oil an additional large bowl well.

Pour the oil into the water and yeast and stir well.  With the paddle attachment running on low speed  drizzle the liquid  into the flour mixture until it forms a sticky ball of dough.  Oil your hands and form into a ball and place it in the prepared bowl turning once until coated lightly. 

Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. to preheat about 20 minutes before baking.

I intentionally made up the dough days in advance to see how it kept and how it would handle.  So, on the 3rd day I pulled it out.  divided it in half,  rolled it on a floured board, flipped it onto a buttered half sheet pan and using a regular unopened can of black olives, and rolled it to fit.  I partially baked the crust for 7 minutes and removed it from the oven.

Use your own home made pizza sauce, store bought pizza sauce, or marinara sauce.  I used about 3/4 C. of Ragu spaghetti sauce as the is what I keep on hand because my husband prefers it over anything else.  Spread the sauce evenly over the partly baked crust and add any other ingredients you like.  I used about a forth of a pound of ground chuck I had cooked and drained, a cup of sliced green olives, a cup of sliced pepperoni, and a pound or so of shredded mozzarella cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes until the crust has browned and the cheese has melted and is bubbly.

Cool 5-8 minutes before cutting.  Makes 6 large slices or 8 medium slices.  Delicious!

Note:   I plan to shape and partially bake the second crust and freeze it for another day.  I only planned to keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.


Loaded BBQ Stuffed Potatoes

BBQ Stuffed Potato
Last nights BBQ was great although it is not as good as had Brian smoked it outdoors but with the cold and snow he didn't mind a bit that I slow roasted the pork indoors!  There is just enough left for us to enjoy giant baked potatoes stuffed with the works which will include the last of the BBQ.

Ingredients for Loaded BBQ Baked Potatoes:

2 giant baking potatoes scrubbed and wrapped in foil
black pepper
2 T. butter
1 C. grated cheese (We like cheddar.)
2 C.warmed and shredded BBQ pork
4-6 sliced green onions
1/2 C. sour cream

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Bake the potatoes 1-1 1/2 hours until fork tender.  This will depend on how large your potatoes are.  Meanwhile heat the BBQ and lower to a slow simmer and keep warm stirring occasionally.

When the potatoes are done remove them from the oven and with a potholder in your hand roll them a bit on a heatproof surface using a little pressure to break up the starch.  Next split the foil open and slice open the potato but do not cut all the way through the lower skin.  Using a tea towel over the top of the potato to protect your hand squeeze the ends gently towards the center until the flesh puffs open.

Now  you are ready to stuff!  Start with a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper and place half of the  butter in the center of each potato.  Next place 1/4th of the shredded cheese,  1/2 of the sour cream, and 1/2 of the pork in each potato.  Top with the rest of the shredded cheese and the green onions.

There you have it a meal in its self.  Enjoy.  Serves 2.   I serve with a fruit salad for dessert.


S-L-O-W Roasted Pork Sholder BBQ and Served with Home Made Rolls on a Snowy Day.

Soft and tender sandwich buns.
It has been a cold and snowy week in Indiana and I am thinking of slow cooking pork shoulder in the oven then adding BBQ sauce and pulling apart to serve on homemade sandwich rolls.  Something sounds very inviting about the aroma of roasting pork and the heady yeast smells of baking rolls on a dismal and cold day.
Snowing and Cold in Indiana.

Today I am making two variations of similar Sandwich Bun recipes.  I need to do some sewing too, mostly repairs and mending so I am mixing up the dough in my bread maker on the dough cycle.  One of the recipes I am adapting comes from the blog Annie's Eats and she credits her source as a King Arthur Flour recipe. So, I am adapting both to see if there is a noteworthy difference plus I am adding ground flax seed to one of them.  I may need more than 8 buns for the slow roast pork BBQ I have in mind for supper!

The first recipe is adapted from the recipes given on the King Arthur Flour web site.  I always use their flours.  I am making both with the bread machine set on the dough cycle.  Then I shape before the second rise. 

Fresh from the oven.
Ingredients for King Arthur's Beautiful Burger Buns:

1 C. water (110 to 115 degrees F)
2 T. soft butter
1 large egg
3 1/2  C. flour (I use King Arthur All-Purpose)
1/4 C. sugar
1 1/4 t. salt
1 T. instant yeast

(If making in the hot summer or in a humid environment reduce the water to 3/4 C.  This should yield a smooth slightly soft dough.)


3 T. melted butter

Bread machine dough cycle.
Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients----by hand, mixer, or bread machine---to make a soft smooth dough.

Cover the dough and let it rise until doubled in bulk (1-2 hours).

Gently deflate the dough and divide it into 8 pieces.  Shape each piece into a round ball:  flatten to about 3" across.  Place onto a pizza stone, a lightly greased, or parchment lined baking sheet.  Cover with a clean and very damp tea towel and let rise until noticeably puffy, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden.  remove from the oven and brush with the melted butter.  This will give the buns a satiny, buttery crust.

The second adaptation is from the blog Annie's Eats.  She credits King Arthur with the original recipe.  My adaptation again makes the rolls on the dough cycle and I am adding ground Flax seed into the dough for added nutritional value.

Brushed with butter right from the oven.
Ingredients for Flax Seed Burger Buns:

1 T. honey
1 C. milk 110-115 degrees F
1/4 C. water 110-1150drgrees F
1 T. soft butter
1 egg
3 1/2-3 3/4 C. flour
1 t. salt
2 T. ground flax seed (optional)
1 T. instant yeast

Place all of the wet ingredients into the bottom of the bread machine bucket.  Add all of the dry ingredients except the yeast.  Make a trough across the top of the flour mixture and sprinkle the yeast into the well you have formed.  Place the bucket into the machine and start the dough cycle,

Dough formed into balls and ready for the final rise.
After the first rise in done remove the dough to a floured surface and make into 8 balls of dough.  Flatten them a but to about 3" across and cover with a very damp towel and let them raise until very puffed, about an hour.

These were baked on my pizza stone.
Bake at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes and cool.  Brush with butter.  Cool completely.

Rich and slow roasted pork shoulder.
Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder Ingredients:

1/2 of a whole pork shoulder trimmed
1 T kosher salt
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. fresh ground black pepper
A few shakes of Soy Sauce
BBQ sauce of your choice

Heat the oven to 225 Degrees F.  Rub the meat on all sides with the combined seasonings.  Place the roast in a large covered cast iron Dutch Oven and slow roast for 10-12 hours until the meat is fork tender.  Shake generously with soy sauce and let set for 20-30 minutes.  Pull apart with forks and add your favorite BBQ sauce.  Serve on rolls with dill pickles and sweet sliced onions.


My Baking Tips

You can be sure there are 3 skewers in the center of this 3 layer cake.
Recently I was told of a young lady who had some degree of difficulty with a recipe of mine which made me feel very badly.  So, in thinking it over I decided to do a short post on my preferences and the baking habits I have learned over the years that serve me well!

There is a *Pie Bird peeking from this blackberry pie.
First is I always use the best, freshest, and purest ingredients I can.  Butter almost always, unless margarine works better in a specific recipe and it is specifically stated.  If a recipe calls for shortening I always use Crisco.  If I buy lard I go to a packing house to buy it, NOT what is sold at the grocery store.  When using oils I prefer extra virgin olive oil, grape seed oil, coconut oil, safflower oil, and peanut oil.

Apple Pie.
As a child Mother always sent me next door to buy fresh eggs from Mrs. Quick and I have since always sought out a local poultry farmer for fresh eggs that have a minimum of antibiotics and the chickens are able to go out of doors and have a natural diet along with commercial feed.  Freeze and label unused egg whites and unused yolks for later use.  Be sure to label how many you are freezing together in a package.

Rolls baked in a cast iron skillet.
I prefer King Arthur Flour by far but also use other flours specific to a particular recipe and if called for. Yeast can be tricky, it has been my experience that a lot of groceries have old weak or dead yeast.  Always proof the yeast if you can.  I have given up on groceries and only use fresh yeast and I purchase once a year a pound at a time from the King Arthur Flour Co.  Pure vanilla is all I buy.  I use real Ceylon Cinnamon etc.  Use the best ingredients you can afford and find. 

Bread needs to be completely cooled on a rack.
I try to always read the recipe through THE DAY BEFORE I PLAN TO MAKE IT.  Then I can set out the butter or cream cheese overnight to soften.  When a recipe calls for sift, stir, or add the dry ingredients it usually means the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder, (and sometimes cocoa).  If you have read the recipe thoroughly you will have noted if the sugar has been mixed with the shortening and eggs or has been included with the dry ingredients.

Waxed paper is cheap.  I use it to sift flour and so forth into then slide it from there into the batter.  I also use it to place cookies onto to cool.

When it calls for a cake pan to be buttered I use empty butter wrappers I save in my freezer.  Just open them and the warmth of your hand melts the residue of the butter onto the pan as you rub it against the sides and bottom of the pan.  Next I use parchment paper in the bottoms of the pans.  For example, for a three layer cake, fold three thicknesses of parchment paper onto the counter and set one of the pans upon it.  Next take a pencil and trace around the bottom.  Cut the folded three layers to fit.  Place the tracing line into the pan line side down away from where the the batter will be poured.  After the paper has been positioned butter it well and dust with flour.  Repeat for all layers.

Oatmeal cookies.
When baking cookies I prefer sil-pat baking mats.  Parchment works fine too but once you purchase the mats and have made lots of cookies you have no further expense.  I have used mine for at least 10 years!

Many times you can line a pan with heavy duty foil and have great success in lifting out the finished product.  Just treat the foil the same way it calls for the pan to be treated.  This is great for brownies and some cream filled rolls.

Italian Biscotti.
Always, always look and see at what temperature you will be baking at and preheat the oven in advance.   Generally I bake with the rack adjusted so the top of what I am baking is at the center middle point of the oven unless otherwise stated in the recipe.

When frosting layer cakes use bamboo skewers, usually I put 3,  right down through all of the layers in a small triangle in the middle of the cake.  Trim them with a good pair of scissors then frost.  This will keep the cake layers stable and from sliding.  

Black Walnut Cake.

Good Baking!

My Verse for Today:  Col. 3:13 the MES    Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense.  Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you.


Little Lemon Pies Brighten a Snowy Day and a Verse for Today

Little Lemon Meringue Pies.
As I watched the snow coming down this morning with the deep grey clouds and the little birds hanging onto the branches before their flight and approach to the feeders I thought it a good day to make up little lemon pies.  Something bright, yellow, and sunny!

There are four disks of pie pastry made up and frozen in the upstairs freezer and  small glass jars of egg whites I have previously frozen so I took some out to thaw.  Here is the link to click on for the pie crust and meringue recipes.

Roll dock and bake the pie crusts using either a 9" pie plate or 3-4 small individual pie pans as directed in the link above.  If making the small pies I bakes 20-25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool a bit.  Prepare the meringue as indicated above and set aside.

Meanwhile I made up lemon filling for the pies.

Ingredients for Lemon Pie Filling:

1 1/2 C. sugar
1/3 C. + 1 T. cornstarch
3 large egg yolks slightly beaten
1 1/2 C. water
3 T. butter
2 t. fresh grated lemon jest
1/2 C. fresh squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 

Stir the sugar with the corn starch in a medium saucepan.    Blend the egg yolks and water and gradually add them to the sugar mixture stirring as you do.    Cook over medium heat, stirring until it thickens and comes to a boil. Boil and stir another minute.  Remove the filling from the heat and stir in the butter, lemon zest, and lemon juice.  Immediately pour into the baked pie shells.

Top with the meringue sealing the edges and bake about 7-9 minutes until the meringue is golden brown.  Cool and refrigerate until serving time.  Yield 3-4 small pies or 6 slices of a 9" pie.

Today I am sharing a Bible verse that I particularly like.  With all that goes on in the world today I have to remind myself about this more often than I would like to admit.  Luke 6:37 THE BOOK  Never criticize or condemn or it will come back on you.  Go easy on others; then they will do the same for you. 

I hope your days are bright and sunny as Lemon Pie.


Pre-Spring Cleaning. Just start with a drawer!

Battery drawer!
Frustration is my companion because I have arrived at the determination that my husband and I live in a 2000 square foot closet!  This has been driving me so nuts!  I have lamented over where to start and how to, and where to put,  and on and on.  Finally last week I thought to just start with a drawer or two, or three per day, and get moving on this project.  This morning I completed my 20th drawer and it feels so good!  I am certain when the drawers are done the closets will be an easy next step.

No, we do not live in a messy un-kept house.  We have just accumulated too much stuff over the more than 35 years we have lived here.  I know there are cloths we will never wear and stuff galore that needs to go to someone who can use it or to the trash.

I know how much easier it is to live with ease when things are organized and all like items are together.  I probably have found batteries in 5 drawers and crayons in as many too!  But now they are all together and I know just where they are! 

A tidy organized drawer.
Now when I open the kitchen drawers they glide easily and are not over stuffed and catching.  All of the seldom used items are in a less convenient drawer and I am really way more excited about this small deed than I would have ever guessed.

There are big things that will need to happen before I am done but the first hurdle has been cleared.  I quit thinking about it all and just started.  After all, if you think you can you do.  If you think you won't you don't.  I have started and hope to be dome by Easter!

Cooking Chow Mein and Chocolate Pie with "MISS KAY" from Duck Commander Kitchen.

Chocolate Pie
Pork & Chicken Chow Mein
Under the Christmas tree this year I found several books I will share with you in the months ahead. But today, I will tell you of "Miss Kay" and the why of my asking Santa for her book and the two recipes that I have made so far.

Having come up and having roots in the southern half of Indiana from farm people raised in the country during the depression, I am no stranger to the preparation and serving of game of all sorts including but not limited to squirrel!  BUT, when our daughter-in-law and son got us to watch Duck Dynasty I was set back by Miss Kay's references to eating squirrel brains? I had NEVER heard of this one! When she wrote the cookbook I was dying to see her recipe and if she actually did prepare and eat them.  My interest is just curiosity as I do not like brains in any way shape or form on my dinner plate.  A squirrel brain is probably the size of a grain of corn or your thumb nail at best so I just cannot imagine any of this!  Well, I am here to tell you she makes no mention of them in her cookbook so the mystery remains.

The cookbook surprised me a bit as she uses more "prepared" foods to cook than I do.  But,  I was anxious to see how her recipes tasted so I proceeded to the first chapter, Phil's Favorite Recipes.  So I adapted and tried Pork & Chicken Chow Mein which is fast, easy.  She couples sliced and browned pork with the canned two pack of chicken chow mein and adds seasoning.

Ingredients for Kay's Pork and Chicken Chow Mein:

1/4 C. vegetable oil
1 pound boneless pork loin trimmed and thinly sliced
42 ounce bi-pack can of chicken chow mein dinner
28 ounce can chop suey vegetables drained
3-4 T. soy sauce
3-4 T. teriyaki sauce

cooked rice or chow mein noodles for serving

Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet and add the pork, browning well.  Stir in the vegetables and seasonings, stirring to combine.  Simmer just long enough to cook the pork through and  heat the vegetables.  Serve over rice or noodles.

Next I decided to adapt the chocolate pie recipe as I had not made one in a while and it just sounded good to me.  Her Pie crust is DELICIOUS, by far the best of the three recipes here today.  I will probably make it again.  It is very close to my old stand by recipe but calls specifically for Butter Flavor Crisco (which I had never used for pie dough) and it is REALLY GOOD.

She says it makes 4, 9" single pie crusts but I only used 1 and froze the other 3 for later.

Flaky, tender, and golden!
Miss Kay's Do-Ahead Piecrusts:

5 C. all purpose flour + more for rolling
2 t. salt
2 1/4 C. butter flavor Crisco
1 large egg
2 T. vinegar
1 C. minus 2 T. ice water  (14 tablespoons)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together the flour and salt in a big mixing bowl.  Use a pastry blender and cut in the shortening.  When your mixture is crumbly make a well in the center and add the egg, then most of the water, and the vinegar.  Stir the liquids together with a fork breaking up the egg, then continue mixing until a dough forms adding the last bit of water if needed.  Pat into a rough ball and divide into fourths.  Shape into smooth disks and wrap what you are not using today and refrigerate or freeze for later.

Sprinkle flour on the work surface and roll to about 1/8" thick.  (About a 12" circle.)  The dough is soft so I recommend  moving the empty pie plate close to the circle of dough then rolling the crust onto the rolling pin and unrolling to carefully atop the dish..  Gently fit the crust to the pan without stretching the dough. 

Dock (prick the dough with the tines of a fork all over) the pie crust and place a piece of parchment paper inside to line then place dried beans inside to weigh down the crust to help it from shrinking.  Bake for 15-20 minutes then remove the beans and parchment.  Continue baking 10-15 minutes until browned.  Remove from the oven and cool.

Miss Kay's recipe for Chocolate Pie filling made enough for two 9" pies and I only needed one so I have adapted her recipe.

Ingredients for Chocolate Pie Filling:

1/2 stick butter
2 1/2 squares of unsweetened chocolate (2 1/2 ounces)
1 C. sugar
1/3 C. flour
1/2 t. salt
6 ounces evaporated milk (12 tablespoons)
1/2 C. whole milk
3 large egg yolks (save the 3 whites for the meringue)
1/2 t. vanilla

1 baked 8-9" pie shell

Ingredients for the Meringue:

3 large egg whites
pinch of salt
1/2 C. sugar
3/4 t. vanilla

Miss Kay tells us to make this in the top of a double boiler and I started that way and got way too tired of waiting for it to thicken at which time I dumped the filling into a very heavy bottomed pan, cranked the heat to med-high, stirred and got a filling done lickity split. 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Melt the butter and chocolate in the bottom of a heavy bottomed pan over medium low heat stirring constantly.  You need to stay with this!  Quickly beat in the sugar, flour, salt, and both milks.  Do not stop stirring as you turn up the heat to medium or medium-high, whichever you feel more confident with.  As long as you keep stirring either is OK.  Once thickened, reduce the heat to low and temper the eggs by stirring a little of the chocolate into the yolks as you stir them,  add a bit more chocolate and keep stirring.  Next stir the tempered eggs into the chocolate mixture and keep stirring.  Turn the heat back to medium and cook stirring for another one minute.  Remove the thickened filling from the heat and stir in the vanilla. 

Pour the filling into the baked and cooled pie crust.

Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites and salt together for about 3-4 minutes on high speed until soft peeks form.  Gradually beat in the sugar, then add the vanilla.  The whites should be ready when the peeks stand up when you lift out the beaters.  Spread the meringue atop the filling sealing it all the way against the rim of the crust and return the pie to the oven.  Bake until golden peeks form, about 7-10 minutes.  Watch this closely.

Chill thoroughly before serving.  Yield 6-8 slices.