By Curt Oden - Exline correspondent
Well, I hope everyone had a nice Valentine’s Day and enjoyed having some decadent chocolate sweets. Did you know that in 1537, England's King Henry VII officially declared Feb. 14 the holiday of St. Valentine's Day. It is nice to have a day devoted to enjoying chocolate.
The recipe for this week sounds like it would be quite tasty. It combines two favorites, chocolate chips and homemade whipped cream. This recipes is enough to make two nine inch pies.
Chocolate Chip Pie
2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 c. (2-sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 Tb. vanilla extract
3 c. semisweet chocolate chips
2 c. chopped walnuts, optional
2 pints (4 c.) heavy cream
1/4 c. confectioners' sugar
1/4 c. miniature semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two, nine inch pie plates; set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla.
Add flour mixture a little at a time. Mix until fully combined. Fold in the three cups of chocolate chips and if desired, the walnuts. These pies do not need a pie crust! Divide the dough between the two prepared pie plates and smooth the tops with a spatula.
Bake about 30 minutes or until pies are golden and slightly firm to the touch but still soft. If the pies begin to darken too much before they are baked through, cover with foil and continue baking. Let pies cool completely on a wire rack.
While the pies cool, whip the cream and confectioners' sugar until soft peaks form (tips curl). Fold in the chocolate chips. Refrigerate whipped cream until ready to use. Spread the whipped cream over both pies and serve.
The brick project that is being sponsored by the Royal Neighbors of America, Exline Chapter 3000, is still underway. The bricks are selling quickly, so if you want one, you need to get your order in as soon as possible. Once they reach the number of commemorative bricks that they will need, there will be no more available to buy.
Funds are still being collected for these bricks, with personalized family names on them. They will be used to build the pedestal, to house the original Methodist Church Bell. It will be erected in the park, just south of Main Street from the center of town. They will sell for $50 a piece.
If you are interested in learning more about this project and would like to purchase one, you may call the project chairman, Mary Ann (Campbell) Hurley at (641) 658-2691 or the Royal Neighbors of America Chapter 3000 president, Jean (Traxler) Leach at (641) 658-2623.
You may also pick up a form at the Exline Old Country Store, fill it out and return it with your check to the store.
Denise and I have been keeping busy with some different events. Recently, Rick and Vicki Butler picked Denise and I up on a Saturday morning. We were going to attend an Eastern Star function that day in Des Moines. As we went through Centerville, we picked up two other Centerville members, Rhonda Sturms and Shelly Hanes. Rick drove us all up there, in a van that day.
When we got to the Masonic Lodge building, on the north side of Des Moines, we all ate lunch that was prepared by their members. Then following the afternoon meeting, supper was also served to everyone.
After all of those in attendance had eaten, a brief meeting was again held afterward and that wrapped up the day‘s activities. We eventually got home around 11:30 p.m. Saturday.
This past Sunday afternoon, Denise and I met Rick and Vicki Butler and Rhonda Sturms at the Drake Avenue Christian Church. We were there to attend the installation of their new pastor, the Rev. Sara Galindo.
Pastor Galindo had previously been a pastor at the Christian Church in Laurens, where she became friends with Betty Van Horsen and Karen Hyde who is now the Worthy Grand Matron of the Grand Chapter of Eastern Star in Iowa.
When we were recently at the Eastern Star function in Des Moines, the five of us were told about this installation at the church in Centerville, and so we decided to join Karen and her friends there.
In attendance, with Karen Hyde and her friend Betty Van Horsen, was Betty’s daughter Tammy (Van Horsen) Post and her husband Bill Post of Des Moines. During the installation service, Tammy was also the organist. Tammy, also plays the organ at some Eastern Star functions.
It was a nice ceremony, followed by a reception in the fellowship hall of the church. It was good, visiting with different ones while we were there. After we left, the five of us all went out to eat supper together, so we had a nice afternoon.
If anyone has family news or information they would like to see in this column, just write it out and place it in the Exline News box. It is located near the back door of our house, across the street from the Exline Old Country Store.
Remember, the Exline Recreation Committee will be having their soup supper at the community center on Saturday, Feb. 18 from 5:30-7 p.m. They will be serving two different kinds of soups, chili and vegetable plus they will have relish trays, sandwiches, drinks and homemade desserts. A free will offering will be accepted for payment.