Thursday, November 18, 2010

German Sweet Chocolate Pie & Guest Blogger: Sue

Sue is our guest blogger and loves being a Grandma! We have become acquainted through another friend's blog. Sue is a author. Part of her writing is over at Sue's News, Views 'n' Muse.

In those moments when I manage to put off the natural man, put down self-centeredness, and put on gratitude, my tendency is to thank the One who most deserves it: the Savior. Other Christians probably do the same thing, and why not? We believe that He is steadfastly on our side, ever reaching out to heal and bless us. Nonetheless, the Savior (always a Giver) is too seldom a Receiver of gratitude. Remember the story of the ten lepers? How poignant was the Master’s plaintive query: “Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?” (Luke 17:17). Ironically, I often find myself wondering how those newly-healed ingrates could have forgotten their Benefactor so quickly. Then I recall how many times I’ve forgotten Him myself!
Let’s face it; gratitude isn’t always easy. It is always possible, though, even when times are hard. Elder Steven Snow’s story, taken from his October 2001 conference talk entitled “Gratitude,” provides strong evidence. Here are his words:
In October of 1879, a group of 237 Latter-day Saints from several small southwestern Utah settlements was called to blaze a new route and colonize what is today know as San Juan County in southeastern Utah. The journey was to have taken six weeks, but instead took nearly six months. Their struggles and heroics are well documented, particularly their seemingly impossible task of crossing the Colorado River at a place called Hole-in-the-Rock. Those who have visited this place marvel that wagons and teams could have been lowered through this narrow crack in the red rock canyon walls to reach the Colorado River far below. Once the Colorado was crossed, however, many other severe tests awaited them on the trail to San Juan County. Tired and completely worn out, early in April 1880, they faced their final obstacle, Comb Ridge. The Comb is a ridge of solid sandstone forming a steep wall nearly 1,000 feet high.

“120 years later,” Elder Snow goes on to say, “our family climbed Comb Ridge on a bright spring day. The ridge is steep and treacherous. It was difficult to imagine that wagons, teams, men, women, and children could make such an ascent. But beneath our feet were the scars from the wagon wheels, left as evidence of their struggles so long ago. How did they feel after enduring so much? Were they bitter after the many months of toil and privation? Did they criticize their leaders for sending them on such an arduous journey, asking them to give up so much? Our questions were answered as we reached the top of Comb Ridge. There, inscribed in the red sandstone so long ago, were the words: ‘We thank Thee, O God.’”
Suffering is a powerful teacher. These Hole-in-the-Rock pioneers gave thanks to God, using limited time and flagging energy to carve their appreciation in stone...a fitting monument to His goodness. They thanked Him because they loved Him; they thanked Him because they needed Him, and they thanked Him because it made them feel better. Kinda makes you think, doesn’t it? Perhaps the greatest enemy of gratitude is ease. When the living is easy, taking our blessings for granted becomes easy, too. Increased awareness and a little more effort may help us learn to enjoy, celebrate, and be consciously (and conscientiously) thankful for God's many gifts all at once.
One thing's for certain. In good times or bad, being thankful is the way to go. Gratitude feels good, makes others feel good, and doesn't hurt anyone. What's more, the Lord requires it...and not for His benefit, but for ours. “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thes. 5:18).
Of course, you don't have to be Christian to know that gratitude lays the foundation for happiness. You don't have to be a child, either, but I am inspired by the words of a thankful little girl who had every reason to despair yet chose to focus, instead, on the positive: “I do not think of all the misery, but of the glory that remains. Go outside into the fields, nature and the sun, go out and seek happiness in yourself and in God. Think of the beauty that again and again discharges itself within and without you, and be happy.” The girl was Anne Frank, and if she was able to forget the misery, focus on beauty and find happiness, then so can we.

Thank you for sharing!

German Sweet Chocolate Pie
Source: Nel Watts (neighbor)
1 pkg. (4 oz.) Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate
1/4 cup butter
1 2/3 cups (14 1/2 oz. can) evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 unbaked 10-inch pie shell or 2 unbaked 8-inch pie shells
1 1/3 cups Baker's Angel Flake Coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Melt chocolate with butter over low heat, stirring until blended. Remove from heat; gradually blend in milk.

Mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt thoroughly. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Gradually blend in chocolate mixture.

Pour into pie shell. Combine coconut and nuts; sprinkle over filling.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Filling will be soft, but will set while cooling. Cool at least 4 hours before cutting.


Sue said...

Oh boy, this one looks good, Wendy! Thanks for pairing me up with it!


Lisalulu said...

found you at Sue's blog, and may I say, it is one GREAT read. I'll have to check it out more at home.. just can't have me crying my eyes out here at work!

Hilary said...

Pioneer stories always make me feel incredibly grateful. For their courage and faith, for my own good circumstances, and for the strength Heavenly Father gives us to enable us to do the unthinkable.

And Wendy, that pie looks scrumptious!

Just ME the MOM said...

Reading all about the journey to the San Juan was the highlight of my summer! And the Sweet German chocolate pie looks fabulous also!


Jocelyn Christensen said...

That was great!