Chocolate Angel Pie by
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I am not, nor have I ever been, a good cook. When I was married, my husband did most of the cooking. We started off alternating cooking responsibilities, until we realized that both of us looked forward to the nights he did the cooking and neither of us looked forward to my nights. He was a natural cook and like many good cooks, he either didn’t use a recipe or he used several at once, taking parts from each one and adding his own touches. One evening when I was working late, he invited a friend over for a quick dinner on their way to a hockey game. I’m sure the friend thought dinner would be something out of a can, but my husband whipped up a souffle. That was his idea of a last-minute dinner. When we divorced, I seriously worried I would starve. I didn’t, but I have never eaten as well since.

It's delicious, no matter what you call it.

My mother never loved cooking either, although in those days, she really had no choice. Fortunately, my father would eat almost anything, so she made what was basically kid food on a weekly rotation. I think I was a teenager before I realized not everyone ate tuna noodle casserole every Tuesday night. She was clever enough, though, to develop a few recipes that were reliable but fancy enough to serve at dinner parties. My favorite was her chocolate angel pie.

Chocolate angel pie is essentially a chocolate whipped cream filling in a meringue shell. It looks very elegant and tastes positively decadent. She swore it was very easy to make, but if you have ever tried to work with meringue (I have, once) you know she was being modest. It was my father’s favorite dessert, and when at the peak of his naval career, he became the captain of a submarine, he talked the cooks into putting it on the menu. Something got lost in translation, however, and although the pie was the same as my mother’s, it showed up on the menu as Chocolate Angle Pie. Maybe it was a typo or perhaps they just thought that name was more appropriate in a military setting. Anyway, we called it chocolate angle pie from then on.

Profile photo of Kathy Porter Kathy Porter


Characterizations: funny, well written

Comments

  1. Fun story Kathy, and the pie sounds delish, can you give us an angle on the recipe!

    Stay safe!

  2. Betsy Pfau says:

    I’m with you, Kathy – a mother who wasn’t much of a cook, so I am not much of a cook either. But that pie looks mighty yummy and I love the “typo” or however the name got changed. I confess, so subtle that I missed it in the title. I’m sure it tastes just as good, either way.

  3. Oh, yum, Kathy, that definitely looks good enough to eat!

    I’ve begun to cook much like your ex-husband did in that I gather a few recipes and mix and match to suit my whim and whatever ingredients I happen to have on hand. It’s fun not being bound to a single recipe.

    As for that oft-maligned tuna noodle casserole, I serve an “upscale” version as pasta with a simple sauce of olive oil, garlic, tuna, arugula, and red pepper flakes…same level of comfort, I think, and my husband asks for it once a week.

    I wonder if a fallen angle is related to a fallen arch.

  4. Suzy says:

    Hey Kath, so glad you shared this story! I had no idea that your ex was such a fabulous cook. Your mother’s chocolate pie looks divine, but I’m not even going to ask for the recipe because you have intimidated me about meringue. I think it’s wonderful that the Navy called it Chocolate Angle Pie, and so that became its name in your family too. The big question is: who made the pie in the picture?

    • Kathy Porter says:

      Thanks, Suzy! Meringue is basically whipped egg whites, a thickener, and flavorings. The problem is that if you don’t whip it enough, you get a puddle of meringue, but if you whip it too much, you get meringue rock. My mother knew how to get it right, but I never did.

  5. Laurie Levy says:

    Your pie looks yummy, Kathy. Like your, my mother was a firm believer in food rotation. Same meal on a given day of the week, with weekends left to eating leftovers or whatever we could find in the freezer.

  6. Leave it to those submariners. Given that there is a distinctive engineering bent in the nuclear navy I’m surprised it wasn’t “Chocolate Angle Pi”. But it made me wonder where your dad served. In mid career I practiced law in New London and had more than a little contact with Sub base New London. Did you happen to live in that area at any time?

    • Kathy Porter says:

      Yes, we lived there for several years in the mid-1950s, although that may have been before your time. At the Naval Academy, my dad’s major was engineering, which I think was a very common major for Academy graduates.

  7. Marian says:

    Ooh, yum, looks good. I love how the name morphed and am glad this is a memory of your father.

  8. Risa Nye says:

    Love the twisted title of the pie! Yes, meringues are tricky, so hats off to your mom for perfecting this. Sounds like something I could eat all day! Great story.

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