Luby’s Pecan Pie

This is the pie my Grandmother bakes for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and any other family gathering.  It is my favorite.


1 cup sugar
1 cup Karo corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 extra-large eggs, well beaten
1 cup pecans
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell


  1. In heavy pot, bring sugar, corn syrup, butter and vanilla to boil.  Remove and cool.
  2. When mixture has cooled completely, mix in well beaten eggs.
  3. Mix thoroughly — the sugar mixture will be quite thick and sticky.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Arrange pecans in unbaked pastry shell.
  6. Pour mixture over pecans.
  7. Bake on middle rack of oven 50-60 minutes, or just until filling is puffed and set and nicely browned. Like custard pies, the filling will completely set upon cooling.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 50-60 minutes

Yields: 1 beautiful pecan pie


This pie is rich, sweet, and quite frankly the ultimate pie.  It is great as is, or served with whipped cream or Blue Bell Home Made Vanilla ice cream.

This recipe came from Luby’s Cafeterias which at one time were found all over Texas with many in the San Antonio area.


This is another writing assignment from the writing class I took with Lauren.  It is about our dog Winston.  Winston has since passed away, but it brought back memories, so I thought I would share it.

Our Dog Winston

Our dog can leap higher than the railing and put his paws on your chest.

Our dog can bark so loud that he can wake the whole neighborhood at 2 a.m.

Our dog is chocolate, with a hint of honey in the summer and a little bit of white cream.

Our dog likes to run like the wind when it is cool, but will hide like a rabbit from the burning sun.

Our dog likes home cooking better than family.  He prefers steaks and spaghetti with meatballs.

Our dog has more hair than a bear, and likes to leave a trail of it when in the house. 



14 Feb 1990 to 09 Jan 2004.

I come from…

I took a writing class with my daughter a few years ago.  I just found one of the assignments in a stack of papers.  It struck me that it still holds true today.  So I thought I would share it.

I come from….

I come from a field that is sometimes plowed, sometimes planted, and sometimes hay.

I come from stacks of books filled with story upon story, fact upon fact.

I come from a list of schedules, all strung together to make things happen during the day.

I come from a house, next to a house, that is next to others, but to me it is home.

I come from three kids who define my evenings and weekends.

I come from my friend, who starts and ends each day with me and who warms me with her laugh and smile.

Foods for New Year’s Day

Are there special foods your family eats on New Year’s Day?  Each year my family covers the bases by eating several foods thought to bring good luck in the New Year.

First is Black Eyed Peas and Corn Bread. I was told growing up the more Black Eyed Peas you eat on New Year’s Day, the more money that will come your way in the New Year.

Next, from my German and Polish side, Sauerkraut and Pork or Pork Sausage was thought to bring good luck in the New Year. Cabbage could also be served instead of the Sauerkraut. My dad also ate Pickled Herring or sardines, but I could never get into that one.

And living in Texas, we add a few more. On the menu will also be Tamales and Chili. Both are thought to bring good luck in the New Year.

What food traditions does your family follow on New Year’s Day?

Big Red Ice Cream

There’s nothing better in the summer than a good bowl of home made Big
Red ice cream.  This is my favorite.  I can eat bowl after bowl of it.

1 quart whipping cream
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 ten-ounce package of frozen strawberries (optional)
3 cans of Big Red (36 fluid ounces)
Whole milk


  1. Mix whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk, strawberries (optional) and Big Red in a large bowl.
  2. Stir well.
  3. Pour into an ice cream freezer.
  4. Continue to fill freezer with whole milk to fill line (about 2/3 of freezer if not marked.)
  5. Follow the directions for your ice cream freezer
  6. (optional) For more solid ice cream, pour the ice cream into a container and place in your freezer overnight.


Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Yields: 1 to 1.5 gallons

The Big Red website is at

Pinto Beans and Dumplings

This is a great dish to make in the winter when cooking warms the whole kitchen.



  • 2 cups dry pinto beans (about 16 oz)
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder or 2 garlic cloves slightly crushed (optional)
  • 1 small chunk white onion (optional)
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper (optional)
  • ¼ lb. ham chunks, ham fat, deli ham, ham bone, salt pork, or bacon
  • 6 to 8 cups hot water


  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups flour, divided
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder



1. Rinse and sort beans in cold water once or twice until water runs clear.
2a. (Traditional Soak) Cover beans with hot water and soak overnight.
2b (Quick Soak) Cover with 2 inches of hot water. Bring to boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour.
3. Add the other ingredients to the soaked and rinsed beans in a 6-quart pot with 6 cups of hot water. The water should cover beans.
4. Bring to a boil and lower heat to medium, keeping it at a simmer. Simmer gently with lid tilted until beans are tender, about 1.5 to 2 hours. Warning: If more water is needed, always add hot or boiling water, a cup or so at a time.


5. When beans are almost done, begin to make the dumplings.
6. Beat the eggs
7. Add 1 cup of flour, salt, and baking powder and mix well.
8. Continue to add the remaining flour until mixture is a very thick dough. A good rule of thumb is that it is not thick enough until your arm hurts trying to mix the dough.
9. Add HOT water to beans until there is about 2” to 3” of water over the beans. Allow the beans to resume simmering.


10. Use a large spoon to transfer the dumpling dough into the bean broth. Before each dumpling, dip large spoon into bean broth (this helps keep the dough from sticking to the spoon.) Then dip one spoonful of dough into bean broth. The dumpling should separate from the spoon. Repeat until all dough is used.

11. Cook 10 minutes, stirring dumplings occasionally.

Prep Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes


This is a old family favorite that both Daddy and Grandma Voigt would make for our family. We could make several meals from one pot of beans. In that one pot you have beans, the bean broth – which is like a soup, and the dumplings. The dumplings were a favorite. These are not your typical fluffy dumplings. These are hearty dumplings that will put meat on your bones and fill you up. My sister and I would fight over who would get the last one. If we still had beans left, Daddy would sometimes make a second batch of dumplings.

Easy German Texas Chili

There’s nothing like a good bowl of Chili…


1 lb ground beef
1 cup chopped onion (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
1 tbsp Gebhardt Chili Powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1 (32 oz) jar Picante Sauce (pick your heat – Mild, Medium, Hot)
3 tbsp masa harina or flour (optional)
¼ cup water (optional)


1. In a skillet, brown ground beef, chopped onion (optional), and minced garlic (optional).
2. Combine ground beef mixture, Chili Powder, ground cumin, salt and Picante Sauce in a slow cooker.
3. Set on low and cook for 8 hours, stirring occasionally.
4. For thicker chili (optional), combine masa and water.
4a. Pour mixture evenly over the chili and mix.
4b. Cook for an additional 15 minutes.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours and 15 minutes


So what’s so “German” about Chili?

Chili power was invented by a German Immigrant by the name of William Gebhardt. He developed his mixture of ground chili and spices in a small restaurant in New Braunfels, Texas. Since chiles were only available after the summer harvest, chili was only a seasonal food during that era. Gebhardt solved the problem by importing Mexican ancho chiles, grinding the peppers through a small home meat grinder three times, and then dried the ground pepper into a powder. The resulting mixture could be used to serve Chili year-round. Gebhardt moved to San Antonio in 1890 and registered Eagle Brand Chili Powder in 1896. The Gebhardt brand of chili powder is today regarded by many chili cooks as a premium chili powder and specified by name in their recipes.

This recipe won the 2004 IBM Austin Linux Technology Center chili cook-off.

Gutten Tag Herr Voigt!

Ernst Voigt
Ernst Voigt

Every time I went over to see my Grandma and Grandpa Voigt (that is pronounced “Foeht”, not “Voit”), Grandpa greeted me with a resounding “Gutten Tog Hair Foeht. Vie gayts?” in German. Unusually he was sitting on the porch smoking his pipe and watching the humming birds at the two feeders he kept full. Of course the answer was always “Gayt gut” as I walked up the stairs to the porch (rather loudly, since Grandpa was a little hard of hearing.) It took me a while to fully understand why he got such a kick out of it.

On the o­ne hand, I think he enjoyed trying to speak German to his grandson. I was the first generation to not speak German in the home since the family arrived in Texas in 1844. To learn it, I took German in High School — getting some of the lowest grades of my high school years. I would listen to my Grandma and Grandpa talk to Daddy and try to understand what was being said. Most of the time I could generally figure it out given the number of English words that crept into the Texas-German dialect in New Braunfels. But I never really got a hold of it. Even after the classes in High School, they talked just fast enough that I was always a few seconds behind in the mental translation.

But I think Grandpa also got a kick out of the “Hair Foaht” because he could call me that. Daddy was his o­nly surviving son. So besides Daddy and Grandpa’s brother Ervin, I was the o­nly other family member he could call “Hair Foeht”. This is not to say he did not care for his other 17 grandsons (and 3 granddaughters) — I know he did. I just happened to be the o­ne that carried o­n the family name. Now as a father and as many other fathers and grandfathers know, that can at times be special.

And to be honest, I got a kick out of it too.

NOTE: Those that know German will recognize the “”Gutten Tog Hair Foeht. Vie gayts?” as really “Guten Tag Herr Voigt. Wie Gehts?” in German. This is the equivalent of “Good Day Mr. Voigt. How is it going?” in English. “Gayt gut” is really “Geht Gut” in German, which is short for “Es geht Gut”. This is the same as “It goes well” in English. This dialogue is a very standard German exchange of greetings.