Sunday, January 17, 2010


"A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know." - Diane Arbus
Identical Twins, Roselle, NJ, 1967, Diane Arbus / The Shining (1980)

"Untitled", 1970-1971, Diane Arbus / El Orfanato (2007)
The Addams Family / Two High School Students, 1979, Greg Girard

(Image from pieofthemonthclub)

Over the years, I've collected a pile of stereographs. Many of the images are strange but fascinating as vintage 'slices of life' long since faded, and torn around the edges. When I first discovered them at flea markets and antique shops, thrown haphazardly into old shoeboxes collecting dust, I couldn't figure out what they were. Which only made me want them all the more. Stereoscopes have been around since the 1840's, and are devices used to view pairs of photographs as 3-D images. Humans have binocular vision, which means we use both eyes to produce a single image. A stereographic card has two separate images printed side-by-side. Without a viewer the images would appear flat. But if you cross your eyes, the two images appear as three and as each eye locks on one of the two images, the third image in the center suddenly looks three-dimensional. Basically, a stereoscope works by mimicking the function of the human vision, creating the illusion of depth, and therefore giving us a 3-D image.

I'm not sure why this recipe is called Strange Chocolate Pie, it sounds more decadent than strange. Either way, it's a recipe by Jo Anne Merrill taken from MasterCook via recipesource.

Strange Chocolate Pie
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 dash salt
2 large eggs
1/4 cup margarine, melted
5 oz. evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butterscotch morsels
1 - 9" pie crust, unbaked (see recipe below)
whipped cream
  1. Preheat oven at 350° F. Sprinkle butterscotch and chocolate chips over bottom of unbaked pie shell.
  2. Combine sugar, cocoa and salt; set aside.
  3. In mixing bowl, combine eggs, melted margarine, milk and vanilla extract. Beat well with wire whisk. Add sugar mixture and beat again to combine.
  4. Pour over chips in pie shell and baked and bake for 40-45 minutes. Serve chilled with whipped cream.
9" or 10" Single Pie Crust
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cups chilled vegetable shortening, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3 tbsp ice-cold heavy cream or evaporated milk
  1. Sift the flour, sugar, and salt together in a food processor. Add chilled shortening pieces, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse pea-sized meal. Transfer to bowl.
  2. Sprinkle in heavy cream or evaporated milk 1 tbsp at a time, stirring gently with fork until dough starts to hold together when lightly pressed.
  3. With lightly floured hands, loosely gather up the dough into a 4" disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate and chill at least 30 minutes before rolling out the dough.
  4. To roll out dough, lightly flour work surface, hands and rolling pin. Working from center to the edges, roll out the dough into a 1/4-inch to 1/8-inch thick circle. Circle should be slightly larger than pie pan.
  5. Place pie pan upside down on dough circle, and using knife trim excess dough leaving a 1/2-inch flap of dough around the edge. Gently fold the dough in half, then fold into quarters. Gently pick up and center crust in the pie plate, then unfold the dough and press it firmly into position.

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