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Good Pie to Say Goodbye.

I have fond memories of my Grandparent's house. It was always so immaculately clean, decorated with sophistication and smelled of leather, perfume and Old Spice. Dinners at my Grandparent's were always something to look forward to. They would serve jello and whipping cream with dinner then afterward we'd play pool downstairs in my Grandpa's workshop and studio. I used to drink Pepsi out of green Coke glasses at their tiny marble bar in the corner of the basement and feel so fancy swinging my legs on a stool that was too high for me. The comedy and tragedy theatrical masks at the bottom of the stairs would always have to be taken down prior to my visits because they'd frighten me to tears. I used eat oatmeal and tomato soup then proceed to crawl under the table of the booth style kitchen nook so no one would have to slide down the seat and get up to let me out.

A few years ago my Grandma died and quite recently my Grandpa followed her. I never got to say goodbye to either of them so I thought I'd make them a sweet little tribute. One of my Grandma's most famous desserts was Grasshopper Pie and I remember as a child knowing for certain it was made with real grasshoppers encouraged by the unwaveringly serious insistence of my Dad and Grandpa. Once I tried it of course I knew different. It's still a family favourite dessert and now a favourite with Lee and Sable, the newest additions to my family.

This is for you Grandma and Grandpa. I miss you. I hope wherever you are, you'll be going dancing tonight.


The Custard Thickens.

I consider this dessert a pivotal personal achievement. I've been putting it off for a long time now since a certain incident involving custard. Very stubborn custard. It was just awful. I don't like to talk about it...

...Ok you twisted my arm.

So it was New Year's Eve and I wanted to make something fancy to celebrate. We bought a shrimp ring and veggies with dip, I made sweet and sour cocktail meatballs and a layered salsa dip. There was just the dessert left to contend with. My mother started making this Angel Icebox Dessert for family functions years ago and it quickly became a family favourite even rivalling my Oma's coveted Cherry Delight. I thought I'd give it a try. How hard could it be right? Famous last words.

So there are three different layers. I didn't have the time or patience to make my own meringue nests or pavlovas so I bought some. Don't judge me, I'm impatient. Next is the whipping cream. That's easy. Then comes the custard.

Up until now I had never made custard and it was a little intimidating to say the least. Despite that I set aside my fears and soldiered on. I followed the recipe exactly. Six eggs yolks. Check. Sugar and salt. Check. Flour. Check. Scalded milk. After a googling what that even meant, check. Vanilla. Roger.

As I was stirring my custard in my makeshift double boiler feeling pretty darn happy with myself I'd come this far I realized to my horror that it wasn't thickening. Why was this happening? What had I done wrong? Were the custard gods punishing me for some significant sin? I read and reread the recipe dozens of times finding no evidence to my fault. After 45 minutes of tedious stirring to no avail I decided to refrigerate it and hope for the best.

Nope. Not even a little thickening. It was custard soup. That just won't do.

So my mother got a frantic phone call that day. Apparently the freshness of my eggs was questionable having bought them from a supermarket and not straight from the hen. I also should have used whole milk instead of 1% like I normally do.


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