Southern Delights

Nau mai, haere mai ki te whare o Silkannthreades!  Welcome, welcome to the home of Silkannthreades, in the South Island of Aotearoa, the Land of the Long White Cloud, New Zealand . ~

 

Southern Delight…NO!

 

Southern Delight ……YES!

 

The weather has been grim; southerly blasts sweeping up from Antarctica, trying their best to put us in a state of deep freeze. Fortunately, when one’s own south turns bleak, there is always another south to be found.

Case in point is this piece of the southern USA ~ the Chess Pie; not exactly found, but certainly a new discovery for me. I was alerted to its existence by Linda at  The Task at Hand when we were discussing different types of traditional pies.  And, oh my, is this pie good!  I loved making it. I loved eating it!

Here’s one way to make it.

I am fascinated by traditional recipes, so I don’t mind occasionally indulging in copious amounts of sugar and other naughties in the interest of research. However, if you feel a need to cleanse your palate after visually digesting my Chess Pie, I would suggest a visit to Miss Marzipan, who is embracing what may become a new tradition; that of sugar-free living.

I don’t know if Miss Marzipan lives in the south of her current land but she has connections to South Australia, so I am counting her in on my list of Southern Delights. Interestingly, the I Quit Sugar programme she is following is the brain child of Sarah Wilson , another Southerner, who lives in Sydney, Australia. Sarah’s  book I Quit Sugar won the  2014 Australian Book Industry Awards Illustrated Book of the Year which must, surely, qualify it as a Southern Delight, too.

What I also find delightful ( in a chuckling, ex-sugar-mill-town-kid, sort of way ) about Sarah’s success is that she lives in a big, sugar-producing country. Sugar is Australia’s second biggest export crop after wheat, and brings in a total annual revenue of $A 2 billion. I am trying to imagine what we, in New Zealand, would do if one of our number set about an “I Quit Dairy” movement. The scandal might be so great that the author would need to voluntarily deport his/her person to Australia. New Zealand, mainly through Fonterra,  supplies about 30% of the world’s milk exports, with revenue in the billions; closer to 20 than 2.

A delightful, fun fact to show how seriously we take our dairy industry: this little land in the south once had a Margarine Act, which meant no margarine was sold in public in New Zealand from 1908 to 1974. Butter ruled. Margarine  could only be obtained  on a doctor’s prescription, and only if the doctor considered it vital to the patient’s health and well-being.

Haere ra!  Goodbye from here. That’s enough sweet nothings about milk, clouds, and points south.

PS ( Post Sugar) 🙂  For those readers who are unable to eat sugar or don’t wish to, please enjoy the posts of my most southerly Southern Delight, Pauline, The Contented Crafter. She is loving her I Quit Sugar world.

© silkannthreades

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124 thoughts on “Southern Delights

  1. Steve Schwartzman

    The chess in chess pie puzzled me—surely not something to do with the board game—but then I saw in the article you linked to that chess may be a simplified pronunciation of the chest in which pies were traditionally kept.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, the chess in chess pie is a puzzle. However, I am sure a slice of chess pie would go down very nicely if one were playing chess. Chess and Chess Pie would be a great combination.

      Reply
      1. Steve Schwartzman

        There’s your opening: you can sell your chess pies to people participating in and watching chess tournaments. If that pans out (what an appropriate phrase), you can sell franchises around the world.

        Reply
  2. Pingback: The Snow Nymph | silkannthreades

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  4. BEAUTYCALYPSE

    Why does the cake actually carry the name Chess Cake? I thought it was marbled in a geometric way at first 😀

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      No one is quite sure why it is called Chess pie; some think Chess is a corruption of the word cheese, others think Chess was originally Chest; a pie made from ingredients readily available in the cupboard or chest, or a pie that kept well in the Chest. But nothing to do with Chess the game, as far as anyone knows.

      Reply
      1. BEAUTYCALYPSE

        Hm, I tend to believe the cheese version then. Never heard of a cupboard cake or a pantry pie! 😀

        Reply
        1. BEAUTYCALYPSE

          Excellent issue. In Germany major sugar refineries are known to produce vegan sugar. I know you should always take everything with a grain of salt, but AFAIK German vegans all rely on that info.

        2. BEAUTYCALYPSE

          The best thing is to ditch it altogether. I am thinking about a post that deals with exactly that: how to transcend from industrial sugar to even eating less fruit (glucose makes our skin, veins, body tissues, capillaries all weak and brittle and feeds the bad cells!)

        3. Gallivanta Post author

          I will look forward to reading your transcending sugar post. Come to think of it, apart from that mountain of blueberries in the cobbler, I haven’t been eating much fruit lately.

        4. BEAUTYCALYPSE

          Blueberries are good! Berries are very low in sugar, what you can’t say of bananas, peaches, mangos…

        5. BEAUTYCALYPSE

          Well, the issue IS NOT excellent. It’s of course excellently raised here by you.
          Stupid quick typing me.

        6. Gallivanta Post author

          Thank you! But I probably wouldn’t even have thought about it, if I hadn’t been learning a few investigative tricks from your blog.

        7. BEAUTYCALYPSE

          Oh, that’s so beautiful and so kind of you, but I’m sure you have a very sound approach to things yourself 🙂

  5. Britt Skrabanek

    Those pies look heavenly! And speaking of pies, we have a joint called “Pacific Pie” attached to our building. Rocking an Aussie flair, in addition to their savory pies and pasties, they have a dangerous supply of sweet pies a few steps from my door. I’ve slowed down since it’s been warmer, but once that rainy season hits Portland this winter, you’ll know where to find me.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Oh my! How dangerous to have a pie place so handy. Apparently, NZers eat over 60 million pies a year. Like our Aussie cousins, we love pies!

      Reply
  6. Leya

    Oh, this looks like a real treat – must try. Interesting you had a margarine act…I think that was a great idea in fact – if you read what they recommend nowadays at least. And for baking there’s nothing like real butter.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Butter does work so well with baking, I agree. And, yes, one does wonder if margarine should have stayed a prescription only food. Unfortunately, most of those early decisions and regulations were not about protecting our health but about protecting the vested interests of a certain industry.

      Reply
  7. melodylowes

    I fear the only possible remedy for squelch is sugar. 🙂 My daughter’s boyfriend’s family have all gone sugar-free. I admire it, but haven’t quite had the heart to give up the rocky Mountain Chocolate Shop… *sigh*

    Reply
      1. melodylowes

        Perhaps we have missed the truest application – it should have come packaged with the words ‘For EXTERNAL USE ONLY’!! hehe You always do seem to find out interesting things….

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Wouldn’t that be interesting? External Use Only; NOT TO BE TAKEN; just to make things perfectly clear. Like the labels on some peanut butter; Warning, May Contain Nuts! 😀 More seriously, though, our obesity rates are so high, that the Government may decide that the problem of obesity can be solved by warning labels on sugar packets.

        2. melodylowes

          HA! I think some of those labels are put there to drive us mad. Some crew of label-writers operating under cover of darkness in a back room, giggling themselves sick. 🙂 I’m not too sure that a warning label would do us much good in this case. The readily available and cheap production through the past 40 years of over-sweetened products has created a lot of sweet teeth, I’m afraid….

        3. Gallivanta Post author

          A lot of sweet teeth and a headache for dentists. It’s really sad to see what they are having to fix with very, very young patients.

  8. tableofcolors

    The buttermilk chess pie looks like a wonderful classic and it probably doesn’t hurt to indulge every once in a while even if one is trying to follow a sugar-free diet 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I think the sugar-free dieters would probably agree with you. But they would only need the very smallest slice of this pie to reach a sugar high!

      Reply
  9. Alexander Lautsyus

    I have no idea how it tastes but it looks pretty similar to what my mother baked loooong time ago. It was one of her numerous treats for us. I am sure the Chess Pie is delicious! On my opinion it is better to eat the right amount of natural food with all its ingredients (sugar, fat, etc.) than processed food with no natural ingredients but full of the bad additives. It seems to me this is the source of any kind of diseases.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I am glad the Chess Pie reminds you of your mother’s baking. As it is a classic pie, it’s very likely her pie was similar. Like you, I am happy to eat most foods as long as they are not highly processed.

      Reply
  10. Tiny

    You always find delight, even when the southern winds blow in wintery weather! I love to read about your baking adventures and enjoy them visually. So good! Even if I really can’t have many sugary, creamy or buttery treats.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, visual digestion can be a pleasing alternative to the real thing. I don’t drink strong coffee very often anymore, but I love the smell of freshly ground coffee in the house. I have a packet here next to me on the bench. It’s divine to be in its presence.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I really really enjoyed my chess pie; whether it was good for me is another question. However, I didn’t eat it all in one go, so I am sure I will be fine.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      The recipe I used is the one that is on the little video clip. I had to pause the video at the end ( more than once!) to get all the ingredients etc. But I got there in the end. 🙂 Are you able to get the video clip to work? They don’t always work, or show up, for every reader.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I googled tarte au sucre and I can see similarities, as well as more exciting sugary pies I could make. Oh help, I need to rescue myself from the multitudes of sugary temptations. 😉

      Reply
  11. mmmarzipan

    You are just so incredibly sweet and generous! Thank you ❤ and thank you for the beautiful comforting words about my Auntie Catherine (which I passed on to her heartbroken daughter). I really appreciate all the support and encouragement… and I love the beauty and inspiration that your blog sings. You are lovely. And that pie looks fab!
    My best to you and yours (with extra warm wishes for your daughter) xx

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Miss Marzipan, your blog is a pleasure and a delight. I enjoyed the refreshing drink you were offering in your latest post.I was also thrilled to see that Catherine’s daughter has written a post on her mother’s blog. Her followers/readers will be pleased and I think Catherine would be, too. The pie is fab, but diabolical in sugar terms. But it was all home made; pastry included. 🙂

      Reply
      1. mmmarzipan

        Thank you so much for letting me know! haven’t been able to check my reader a lot this week (boo!) so may have missed this if you hadn’t told me. So happy that my cousin is keeping her mum’s legacy alive. It will really help the healing process, I am sure 🙂
        When it comes to food, my top priorities are still tastiness, providence (when it comes to the ingredients) and care (when it comes to the love that’s put into the preparation). The pie ticks those boxes :)! xx

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Those are excellent priorities. If there is care and thoughtfulness in our food preparation/consumption, we are bound to eat what is right for us.

  12. diannegray

    I’ve been watching the weather in your part of the world (yes, I admit I’m obsessed with weather since I found the world wind chart!) I’ll put a link to it here and hope it doesn’t end up in your spam folder. http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=-206.59,-30.65,640

    Sending you warmth from the tropics and I LOVE sugar (and have far too much of it) because I live on a sugar cane farm and we have to support our local farmers 😀

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Amazing! One could sit and look at the wind chart all day. Now I can really see why we are so darn cold! From my sugar cane youth; I remember eating a type of sugar cane which was rather nice. Then the farmers were advised to switch to a different type of sugar cane and that variety was not enjoyable for casual munching at all. Do you munch on sugar cane?

      Reply
      1. diannegray

        I haven’t munched on sugar cane for years – not since they stopped burning the cane because I’m concerned about leptospirosis. There are too many rats living in the cane now 😉

        Reply
  13. restlessjo

    Where does the name come from, Ann? I thought it should read cheese initially but there’s no hint of cheese in there. Purely sugar and eggs. I’ve never tasted buttermilk. I wouldn’t make much of a Zealander, would I? I wouldn’t mind to keep you company with a small slice, just to be neighbourly 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Actually, Jo, there would be many New Zealanders who haven’t tasted buttermilk. In fact, for a country which produces so much milk, NZers don’t drink that much of it. Some say that it is a question of cost i.e. it is not affordable, or too highly priced for many consumers. It could also be a question of taste. I used to adore New Zealand milk when I was youngster. It was delivered to your door, in bottles. These days I find most of the supermarket milk very bland and boring.

      Reply
  14. jaggh53163

    Gallivanta – For some reason, your posts are no longer appearing in my inbox, so I am making a concerted effort to go to my Reader every day.
    I have never heard of cheese pie but it sounds quite tasty. I just may have to give it a try.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I wonder if you may have to sign up to follow by email, again. A similar situation happened to me the other day. I have no idea why. What type of pie would you consider traditional for your area?

      Reply
  15. shoreacres

    What an honor to be mentioned on your blog. And how nice to see chess pie given pride of place. It’s so, so good. I’m not one who has a thing against sugar — or butter, or eggs, or bacon, for that matter — so I believe I’ll whip up one of those pies the next time the occasion calls for pie.

    I loved your reference to margarine. I well remember the uncolored margarine we had here shortly after WWII. It was colored by breaking a “yolk” of some sort of dye and kneading it into the margarine. That was one of my tasks as a child. You might enjoy a post I wrote about the margarine/butter “wars” that went on during those years. I have a dear friend who grew up in Minnesota, just to our north. She well remembers making forays across the state line to smuggle margarine back into Minnesota. The whole subject was one of the biggest political issues of the day.

    As for butter vs. margarine, my first experience of churning butter came in second grade. I still remember the taste of it. I did the margarine thing for a while, and then decided if butter had been good enough for my long-lived relatives, it was going to be good enough for me. As it turns out, The Scientists are coming around to my view. Better living through chemistry is a great thing, but not in my food, please!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      As I reply to you, I am finishing the last of the Chess Pie. I am enjoying every last crumb. And I enjoyed every bit of your post on lights and moonshine, margarine, and things pearlescent. And it delights me no end that the blogosphere has brought me someone who is as intrigued, bemused and amused by the margarine/butter wars, as I am.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      That sounds like a cake I would like to meet. 🙂 Your mention of your sugar requirements makes me wonder how much sugar will be consumed at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. It would be interesting to know.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Very yummy! I think the sun finally got the hint, over here. It’s shining on us for the first time in more than a week. Or maybe it was the clouds that got the hint, and moved aside. 😉

      Reply
      1. Mélanie

        same here… 🙂 I also prepare a “purée” of pumpkin and yams(sweet potatoes) with salty butter & nutmeg… delights, indeed! ❤ bon appétit and cheers! I'll bring French genuine champagne and red Bordeaux wine, deal?… 😉

        Reply
  16. YellowCable

    Living with sugar free can be really tough (at least for me 🙂 ). In my opinion sugar is the most addictive substance we’ve ever created. I think sugar is not good for older people. I am also trying to get less of it (but not very successful :))

    I have not heard of “cheese pie” before. Is it the same as cheesecake? Your cheese pie looks really tempting 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I suppose chess pie is a little like cheesecake; not as rich, perhaps, or as silky textured. I think I prefer it to cheesecake.
      Yes, sugar can be very addictive for some people, and, if you are used to a heavily sugared diet, it is hard to give it up. Believe it or not, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth! My addiction is cheese, real cheese. And if I have a slice of chunky wholemeal bread to go with it; all the better. 🙂

      Reply
  17. Mrs. P

    I had to laugh that someone who was practicing sugar-free living had the name Ms Marzipan!

    I have to admit that a law against margarine has got to be the winner of strange laws in my book…and it lasted so long!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Mrs P, politicians/legislators find the oddest things to regulate. You would think they could find something better to do; churn butter perhaps. 😉 Miss Marzipan is full of the goodness and richness of almonds. 🙂

      Reply
  18. utesmile

    That pie looks so delicious and rather easy to make. We do have summer here now and enjoy nice warm and sunny weather… I could send some warmth over, and you could send some pie this way…deal? 🙂

    Reply
  19. thecontentedcrafter

    What an interesting post dear Gallivanta! Unfortunately this morning my lap top is refusing to open your photos, so I shall pay a return visit later to investigate the ‘Chess Pie’ which I too have never heard of and feel I must enlighten myself upon even if only virtually.

    I am however another sugar free person, who entered via Sarah’s book about 18 months ago. It has seen a huge reversal in health issues and weight has simply disappeared – weight that would not go away previously despite a ‘healthy’ life style that included lots of fruit and cereals and suchlike that the food pyramid [apparently mistakenly] tells us to eat.

    Over the course of the past months I have become quite knowledgeable about how food affects us and have learned to understand what my body likes [good medicine] and doesn’t like [bad medicine] I was dreadfully unaware previously and had spent a lifetime putting up with various issues not realising I could heal myself by changing my diet. We are all different and it appears most health issues can be resolved through finding out what ones own ‘good medicine’ is. I have returned to full fat raw milk and butter [organic – no fonterra poisons for me] I make kefirs and kombucha and grow sprouts all on my kitchen counters – I eat extremely well and am lighter than I have been in years 🙂 Its a small miracle! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      That’s wonderful to know. I like your ‘small miracle’. It is important for each individual to find the diet that suits them. I grew up in a 99% sugar-free household, and we had great food and good health. I don’t eat much sugar now; mostly only in the pies or cakes that I make from time to time. I think I should add your sugar-free, happy household to my list of Southern Delights; one of the most southerly. 🙂

      Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          There you are! You are on the list. But please feel free to add some links to your other posts on the subject in the comments here. The blog post I chose to link may not be your favourite although it is certainly interesting.

  20. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

    Gallienta – As always, another delightful blog where I’m entertained, educated and sent out and about for further exploration. I’ve never heard of cheese pie. At least I don’t think I have. I don’t go around looking for recipes but think I would have noticed a cheese pie. I also checked out Sarah’s blog and think there may be items of interest there. Tom and I are both diabetics and many recipes that have no sugar are also low on carbohydrates. Your weather sounds a bit dreadful there, ugh! Take care and stay warm.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Sun and warmth reappeared today, so that felt good. Sarah’s food/recipes do look good, and fellow blogger, Miss Marzipan, assures me they taste good, too. Do you need to be very rigorous with your diet?

      Reply
      1. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

        Well it all depends on who you ask. My gastro doc recommends 6 mini meals each day consisting of no more than 200 calories each. My internist is going to talk with him as I’ve lost weight too fast for being as ill as I was last year. Trying to plan what I call my snacks gets boring as each is to contain 15 grams of carb. and 1 protein. It makes going out to eat especially difficult. I’m never hungry so have to set an alarm or something to get in the minimum number of calories.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Gosh, that does sound tricky (and, yes, boring too at times), especially if you want to eat out. After a while, food must start to look like dry numbers rather than something delicious and fortifying. However, the most important thing is to stay well and I know you do your best to make sure that happens for both you and Tom.

        2. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

          Yes, I really work at it. However, today I ended up with 3 hard boiled eggs and 3 servings of non-fat cottage cheese accompanied 3 times with a fruit serving and 3 times with a bread serving with a fat. I just couldn’t make myself get creative. If Tom is feeling up to looking at a cookbook tomorrow, maybe we’ll see something that looks inviting.

  21. coulda shoulda woulda

    I did not know about this margarine act – i dont eat that stuff only butter bc i believe in whole food. but i do love pie. i know sugar is a huge issue but tvs and ipads are more dangerous bc i am so much less active bc of it…( so guilty)

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Indeed! It is not just sugar which can jeopardize our health. And there are people in NZ who would say that margarine should have stayed as a prescription only food, and that butter is much better for you. I do eat some margarine/spreads but that is because they are mostly trans- fat free here. I would eat only butter if I could make enough of my own home-made butter; that is delicious stuff.

      Reply
  22. KerryCan

    You do find ways to brighten up dreary days, don’t you!? The detail about New Zealand banning margarine made me smile and that pie made me drool!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      And drool you should! 🙂 This is a must-taste pie for any pie lover.
      My reading suggests that there is a long standing battle, in the US, between the dairy and margarine industries, and there have been various legislative attempts to discourage the margarine business. The latest seems to be a possible ban on margarine, courtesy of the FDA.

      Reply
  23. cindy knoke

    Butter does indeed rule and so does this pie! Yum. Of course I’m dieting. I’m always dieting because I have tendencies to occasionally eat things like this yummy pie. Hope it warms up for you soon!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Rich, but not as rich as I expected it to be. But it certainly cheered my week. It also brought back memories of some of my happy days in the US, as well as all the new foods I met during my time there eg cranberries and blueberries and apple butter.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Glad to hear that, Mike. It’s hard to change tack after a holiday, isn’t it? Did you get to taste some good pies on your journey through the US? Or, if not pies, some American specialties?

      Reply
      1. Mike Howe

        Well I can’t say the whole culinary experience was great, penalty for being on the road so much I guess. But I did have some lovely mexican dishes in Arizona and Utah, and some rather lovely margaritas!

        Reply

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