Cooking Memories for Mother's Day

May 8, 2018

Some moms are great cooks and others are great at ordering take-out.

Credit Andrea LeTard

Whichever description fits your mom, I am sure there is a recipe or dish that brings sweet memories to mind.

Memphian Andrea LeTard has just penned a delightful new cookbook called Andrea’s Cooktales: A Keepsake Cookbook. It has some twists that make it a fun one to not only cook from but to read as well.  And it will remind you of the “moms” in your life!

Andrea’s Cooktales is a cookbook but it is unique because it also has an heirloom journal aspect to it. So every recipe in the book comes from a story or an experience in my life. And my hope is that home cooks read it and get inspired to have their own food stories.”

When I asked her which recipe reminded her of her grandmother, I couldn’t help but smile as I have a similar pie recipe that reminds me of my grandmother every time I make it.

“There is a recipe in my book called Nenne’s Pecan Pie and it’s from my grandmother Nenne. And we have cooked this recipe together for many years. It was actually passed down from her mother so it’s my great grandmother’s recipe. And for generations this recipe has been a go-to for every holiday that we have and every time I take a bite of it I think of my Nenne.”

Andrea will be signing copies of her new cookbook this Thursday night May 10 at Novel at 6 p.m.

Do you have a recipe that reminds you of your mother or grandmother? Honor your sweet mom this weekend by making it on Mother’s Day!

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Happy Mother’s Day!

Nenne’s Famous Pecan Pie

2 crusts, 1 pie

My Nenne is so special to me. She loves life, is hilarious without even realizing it, and always makes sure no matter where she is, she’s having a ton of fun. Every holiday and special occasion, she makes her pecan pie because it’s what everyone requests. One year, she was out of town for Thanksgiving and everyone freaked out. Who in heaven’s name would make the pecan pie? I had never made it but gave it a whirl. Since then, it’s become my job to make the pie. Pecan pie is one of my favorite desserts, and I have never had a better one than this.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup Crisco® shortening – cold
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter – cold and cubed

¼ cup ice water, plus more if needed

Pie filling:

  • ½ cup white and dark corn syrup (mostly dark, some white)
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs – beaten
  • 2 cups pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make the pie crust. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the shortening and cold butter, then break it up with a pastry cutter, or quickly with your hands, until crumbly. Add ice water a little at a time until the flour mixture comes together. Continue to bring it together with your hands until smooth, being careful not to overwork it. Once a smooth ball is formed, cut the dough in half, wrap each half in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to several days. Take out one of the dough balls, and on a heavily floured surface, pat the dough out into a disk shape. Continue flouring if the dough seems too sticky or fragile. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a circle about 12 inches in diameter and press into a 9-inch pie pan. (The remaining crust can be frozen and used later.)

Make the pie. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan, bring the corn syrups and butter to a boil for 2 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs. Add the hot corn syrup mixture to the sugar mixture and stir together quickly. Add the nuts and vanilla and stir to completely combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie shell and bake for about 42 to 45 minutes. Before taking it out of the oven, shake the pie. If it’s still very shaky, keep baking for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. The pie shouldn’t come out of the oven until it’s just slightly shaky and almost set. Let cool before serving.

Printed with permission from Andrea’s Cooktales: A Keepsake Cookbook by Andrea LeTard.