Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sunny Days Ahead

My mom loves key lime pie. Every time we went down to St. Petersburg, Florida when I was younger (to visit Busch Gardens and play on the beach, of course!), we would stop at one of the Publix markets by the Sand Castle resorts we stayed at. It was always a Publix, and if we were lucky, it would be the one with the small ice cream shop right next door (which I doubt still exists, but I digress). Along with our week's worth of groceries (including at least two bunches of bananas for my little sister - potassium phase - and as many cherries and peaches as I could carry, plus a package of those individual-size cereal boxes), we would unfailingly bring back a delicious, creamy Florida staple: the key lime pie. No meringue for us, and there never will be if my mom and I have any say in the matter, for we (meaning my parents and I, my sister was too young (and picky) to appreciate it) would simply devour the slabs of custardy, tangy condesed milk and graham cracker crumbs as we sipped our Kool-Aid on the beach. Are you jealous yet? Yeah, I wish I remembered more of it too! By the time I was old enough to actually remember my vacations thoroughly (and take photos myself) we had switched vacation locations to Walt Disney World in Orlando.

Now, I have no problem whatsoever with us making the switch to WDW (actually, I'm reeking with jealousy since two of my highschool friends now WORK there!). I had outgrown Busch Gardens' charm, and Teaghan was just getting old enough to appreciate the younger offerings of the Mouse. The only problem with being at the Resort instead of our beloved Sand Castles was the lack of our grocery pit stops. We stayed in the Disney hotels and had a dining plan, so simply had no need to shop for extra food outside. As a result, our pie ritual ended, and since then we only managed to enjoy a slice of Florida sunshine (as my mom calls it) when my grandparents brought us back these packet mixes from their Winter snowbirding stints in Miami.

As luck would have it, though, we (or more accurately, my Mom) was given one such package for her birthday from said grandparents, and we hoarded it in our pantry, unopened and even untouched out of the knowledge that once we made the mix, it would all be over too quickly. Of course, I mean, we could order mass quantities of the stuff online, but it would taint the memories we've attached to those small, canvas-wrapped gifts. Until now, that is!

Yup, my mom gave me the go-ahead to tear open the little foil baggie inside the Summery green wrapper, and make up a pie for her to take to our family reunion on Saturday. It was painful, I tell you! Not only could I smell the sunshine as the water and (blessedly un-shamrock-green... that was always a tad unnerving) limey mix whisked with the decadent "secret ingredient" - a can of Eagle Brand - but I couldn't taste it!! Pre-illness, I would have not only licked the spatula but taken a spoon to the bowl of filling before adding the rest to the (rather shabbily *sigh* home-made) crust. Now, I just mixed and poured like a well-behaved baker *ahem, mixer* would, and stuck it into the fridge ASAP so I wouldn't be tempted to make myself ill (I really wouldn't appreciate that this weekend, what with a school reunion and a promising golf game on the books!). I even imparted the old Weight Watcher trick of filling up the mixing bowl with soapy water to stop myself from getting the drips off the edges! But no matter. The pie is chilling happily in the fridge, and I was able to savour a bit of my childhood in theory!

I don't have a "from scratch" recipe for you today (or even a photo, cause I'm cool like that LOL!), seeing as I did make this fresh-yet-rich pie from a mix and a can, but I will point you in the direction of another limey recipe I fully intend to make once I get my hands on some coloured candy wafers: the Key Lime Cups from Genesis of a Cook. Check them out, if you are anywhere near as big a KLP fan as my mom or me, you will be tempted for the creamy goodness too!

1 comment :

carmencooks said...

I made my first key lime pie a few weeks ago - before that, I'd never even tasted it! It's delicious. :)