Redefining Momentum and Cocoa Date Pie

by Joanne on December 30, 2011

During our 14 hour trip to South Carolina, I was able to read a few chapters of “The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel” by Matt Fitzgerald.

I found an interesting explanation of running momentum.  Typically, we think of momentum as something that makes a body in motion harder to stop once it’s moving.  In Fitzgerald’s book, momentum is described as occurring when there is a period of improvement in fitness that seems to have its own driving force.  In a race, the circumstances are right and things are clicking.  The runner feels assured that improvement will continue because “luck” has been on his/her side.  Psychological momentum is outwardly focused .  It’s a feeling that some force is operating on your behalf toward your desired outcome in a situation.  e.g.  the experience of having 3 or 4 consecutive good races, a lucky streak so to speak which adds confidence to ones performance.  Psychological momentum boosts motivation and increases effort and that’s what’s so special about it.

What outside force helps you feel more confident in a given situation? Is it lucky earrings?  (I wear diamond studs in all my marathons. They were a gift from Ted).  A lucky shirt?  Have you run 2 or more races in a row, achieving PR’s in each race?

Out of the cold and into the chill:  We’re in South Carolina.  The weather has been perfect for us.  It hasn’t been too warm, but just warm enough to ditch the jackets.  In the morning, we’re able to run in a long sleeve shirt and, in fact, a short sleeve shirt has been perfect after warming up for 4 miles.

Day one:  6 miles with 2 faster miles at 8:37 and 7:59.  Average pace was 9:26.  Ted’s legs were heavy so we warmed up slowly for the first 3 miles.

Day two: 6 1/2 miles with 2 1/2 faster miles at the end.  Average pace was 9:15.  We both ran better on average.

Day three plan:  Anywhere between 7 to 13 miles.  I know that’s a spread but I’m on vacation and I’ve had a tough time getting up each morning.  No more bragging about 4 AM running. I’ve turned into a 7 to 8 am runner.  It’s allowed since official training for Boston starts next week.

What about this COCOA DATE PIE?!

This recipe, copied from Saveur is Maltese in origin, incorporating many worldly influences such as Mediterranean and Middle Eastern.


An easy recipe if you cheat a little and purchase refrigerated pie crust but if you love to make your own, here’s how.

Pie Crust:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup butter, chilled
  • 1 egg, beaten

Sift flour and salt into a bowl.  Cut in shortening and mix with pastry cutter or rub with fingers until it resembles a course crumb. Drizzle in the egg and about 1 to 2 TBS ice water. Mix with a fork then knead until the dough holds together. Divide into 2 balls, flatten, wrap and chill for 1 hour.

The Filling:

  • 1 lb pitted dates, chopped
  • 1 cup evaporated milk (or use 1/2 cup milk + 1/2 cup water )
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 TBS Sambuca
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tsp grated orange peel
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten

Soak the dates in the milk for 20 minutes.  Combine the cocoa, orange juice, sambuca, walnuts, zest, and sugar in a pan and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring as it thickens slightly.  Cool for 10 to 15 minutes then add the date mixture and stir in the eggs.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Roll out dough on floured surface to a 12” circle for each dough ball. Line a 9” pie pan with one circle. Pour in filling. Cover pastry with other 12” circle and press edges together. Cut vents in top and bake for 50 minutes. Allow to cool. Sprinkle with sugar, if desired and serve.


The pie filling was moist and pudding-like with the flavors of dates and rich cocoa.  The essence of anise from Sambuca was lightly detected by myself but surprised everyone else when I mentioned that Sambuca was in the pie.


This was a nice twist on chocolate pie.  Adult in flavor,  not overly sweet and very interesting flavors.  I’ll be making this one again.

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1 Comment

  • At 2012.04.05 08:09, Barhi@date fruit origin said:

    Cocoa date pie! I had never thought of something like that before. I will try to prepare one using the recipes that you have provided. Thanks for sharing that.

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