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by Abigail Van Buren

Nuts to Those Who Don't Rave About This Dessert

DEAR ABBY: With the holidays coming up, please do your readers a favor and print your pecan pie recipe again. Although I had my own absolute, no-holds-barred favorite recipe, I decided to give yours a try -- and my whole family raved, saying it was the best they had ever tasted. I had to agree, Abby, and your recipe is now my No. 1 choice.

I think you should print it every year around this time, when pecan pie is so popular as a holiday dessert. NANCY IN CULVER CITY, CALIF.

DEAR NANCY: I'm delighted that you and your family enjoyed it, because it is one of my all-time favorite recipes. Although it is included in my "Dear Abby's Favorite Recipes" booklet, it has been a while since I've put it in my column. So in the spirit of the holiday season, here it is. There's none better!


* 9-inch unbaked pie crust

* 1 cup light corn syrup

* 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

* 3 eggs, slightly beaten

* 1/3 cup butter, melted

* 1/2 teaspoon salt

* 1 teaspoon vanilla

* 1 heaping cup pecan halves

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine corn syrup, sugar, eggs, butter, salt and vanilla; mix well. Pour filling into unbaked pie crust; sprinkle with pecan halves.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until center is set. (Toothpick inserted in center will come out clean when pie is "done.") Cool. If crust or pie appears to be getting too brown, cover with foil for the remaining baking time.

You can top it with a bit of whipped cream, but even plain -- nothing tops this!

Serves: 8 to 10.

DEAR ABBY: I have a problem I hope you can help me with. My husband is a terrific guy and I love him dearly. He is well-educated, clean, well-groomed, handsome and, most important, he is a good daddy. However, he insists on "helping" me around the house with everything from diapers to laundry, cooking to clean-up, the yard work and even homework. Too good to be true?

Well, it's true, but nothing is done to my liking. The diapers are thrown into a trash can in the baby's room, not taken to the garage where they belong. The laundry is "dingy." Meals are either underdone or overcooked, and the clean-up is a "lick and a promise."

How do I tell this wonderful, thoughtful man, "Thanks, but no thanks?"

I appreciate his efforts, but it's often more work undoing his mistakes than just doing it myself. Please help. -- HIS WIFE

DEAR WIFE: Your husband deserves high praise for his efforts. But if his results are not to your liking, it is your responsibility to show him how his efforts can be improved upon. Examples: If the diapers are creating a problem in the baby's room, explain why it's important that they be taken to the garbage. If the laundry is "dingy," explain that it is necessary to wash the white and colored items separately. Showing him how to follow a recipe and use exact measurements should improve his culinary skills. It may take patience, but the results should be spectacular.

For Abby's favorite family recipes, send a long, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet No. 1, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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