50 July/August 2014
Who can resist chocolate pudding? When a kid, I craved that concoction made from a small box of
powder, transformed with milk into silky
smooth, chocolate bliss. So did my own
kids when they were little.
But then my cooking skills improved.
Growing up on a farm, I had already
decided at a young age that if I were going
to have to cook for the rest of my life, as
most Southern females did, that I might as
well have a good time at it. I had discovered the pride and satisfaction of bringing
a tasty meal to loved ones gathered around
my table. So I experimented, took classes
and took myself to the motherland of cuisine, to France, for a couple of immersion
When I polled my grown kids for their
most favorite of my dishes, pots de crème
au chocolate, or what they called “
chocolate pots” as youngsters, were unanimous.
“We’d still like to lick our dishes,” said one.
“While I’m making that eight-hour drive
home, I’m hoping for a chocolate pot,”
is made only for
For one, we are all
so Lactaid tablets
are passed around
to help with the
from the cream.
We agree it’s worth
of my youth,
chocolate pots take
a bit of time and
patience to chop,
melt, cool, not
all over, then cook just until firm but still
wiggle in the middle.
In spite of all that effort, knowing how
much my kids love them keeps me happily
creating a chocolate mess in my kitchen.
And joy also comes from knowing that
these chocolate pots came about because
I took a leap of passion, leaving my young
kids for a couple of weeks to immerse
myself in another country’s culinary traditions, and came away with some that
became my own, and theirs, too.
I hope my daughters will follow my
lead and follow their passions, too, even
when their day-to-day struggles of career
survival and family get in the way. Because
that leads to joyful surprises. When I
returned from France, so giddy with my
culinary experiences that first time, I
found that my husband had bought both a
horse and a boat. Our kids were giddy, too.
We celebrated with chocolate pots.
Elizabeth Wiegand ’ 76 (MEd) is a storyteller,
a foodie, a blogger and a farmer’s daughter.
Her recent work includes The Outer Banks
and Traditions from
NC’s Barrier Islands.
Her online bio
describes her as “One
of many GRITS
(Girls Raised in the
South). Sailor, scuba
hiker and fishing
of three good cooking
daughters and wife
of ER doc. Former
special ed teacher.
Six feet two like Julia
Child.” For more, go
PHOTOS BY BRIANA BROUGH ’03
From a Leap of Passion
by Elizabeth Wiegand ’ 76 (MEd)