Dear friends, Having a grand time… Wish you were here! The sun is shining, the watermelon is chilled and we are just kicking back and relaxing as one can only do in Florida…
Hola Chicas! It is 100°F today and most likely not many degrees cooler in the shade. The dog is flattened out on the cool tile floor and we huddle around the air conditioner as we catch up on a year’s worth of bad TV. FBI agents and serial killers, tattooed, mustachioed dudes refurbishing sleek, low-slung bikes fill our days as we wait for the afternoon when we can drive over to Andrew’s house and jump in the pool. The boys are getting along like a house on fire!
Hey gang: Eating like there is no tomorrow! Sandwiches, ice cream, bbq, deli and the best of it all: dinner at Andrew and Caroline’s, grilled burgers and dogs, take-out pizza or Caroline’s luscious marinated steak with all the fixings. Followed, of course, by board games or Wii golf. And lots of laughter. xoxo thinking of you!
Dear old friend: Potluck dinner or cookout around the pool, catching up with old high school and youth group friends, the time spent chattering about kids and grandkids, travels and life changes. And laughing over memories, crazy things we did all those years before. I stare at these friends and see a roomful of 18 year olds, and I am amazed that we have all grown up, stunned that we have kids and even grandkids. Yet friends we still are despite the years we have been apart, out of touch. And we have before us a new generation of kind, smart, generous children, men and women now, too.
With the groovy chicks Paige & Terri
Do the girls like Jamie's baking? Hmmm?
Jamie baked Mixed Berry Pie & Boston Cream Pie!
With Lee & Debbie
Dear Meeta and Jeanne, you will be proud to know that I bought myself a stunning pair of red patent leather pumps! Gorgeous! I also filled up on books: food memoirs, to be exact. The more the merrier. Have bought no dvd’s. The men have also been shopping. Wish you were here to shop with me!
Dear Ilva, I combed through mom’s curio cabinets and found a treasure trove of antique silver serving pieces… props! I said to my mother “All of those years that you were collecting antiques something in your subconscious must have told you that one day one of your children would have a food blog!” LOL! And then I slipped them into my waiting suitcase. Hope you are well, dear, and am thinking of you. Stay cool! Stai bene!
Dear Kerrin, Chocolate is the word! I know that you will appreciate this old American favorite in all its luscious chocolate goodness! Dug out mom’s 1953 Better Homes & Garden New Cookbook and found the best recipe in the book: Chocolate Chiffon Pie. Amazing! Light and creamy smooth with a fabulous chocolate bar flavor and smothered under a layer of freshly whipped cream. Wish you had been here to share it with me!
Miss you all and wish you were here! If I could send each and every one of you a Florida postcard know that I would. With sand in my toes and sunglasses perched on the top of my head, I am trying to pick up the computer and write while the men are off fishing. Words run through my head although it is too hot to bake and my body has succumbed to Florida laziness. More than halfway through this family vacation and we are just chilling out in the steamy, muggy heat. Thinking of you…. xoxo
CHOCOLATE CHIFFON PIE
Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook, 1953 edition
1 pre-baked 10-inch sweet pastry shell *
2 1-ounce squares unsweetened or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
½ cup boiling water
1 Tbs powdered unflavored gelatin
¼ cup cold water
3 eggs, separated
½ cup + ½ cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups (500 ml) heavy whipping cream + sugar to taste
* This recipe is perfect with my favorite Sweet Pastry Crust. Recipe and instructions to pre-bake the shell are here.
Sprinkle the powdered gelatin over the cold water and stir. Leave to soften for 5 minutes.
Melt the chocolate in the boiling water; stir until smooth. Remove from the heat and stir the cold water with the softened gelatin into the chocolate water and stir. Stir occasionally for 5 minutes while preparing the batter.
In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks with ½ cup of the granulated sugar until creamy. Beat in the salt and vanilla. Slowly pour the chocolate/gelatin mixture into the egg yolk mixture as you beat on low speed until completely incorporated.
In a medium-sized bowl, beat the 3 egg whites on high speed until foamy. As you are beating, very gradually add the remaining ½ cup sugar. Beat until all the sugar has been added and the whites are very thick, creamy and glossy like a marshmallow meringue.
Using a large spatula, gently fold the meringue into the chocolate mixture until completely incorporated. Pour into the pre-baked and cooled pie shell. Place in the refrigerator and allow to chill and set. If it is very hot or you are in a rush, you can place the pie in the freezer and it will set much faster.
Before serving, whip the heavy cream until thick. Add sugar little by little as you continue to beat the cream until the desired sweetness and the cream is very thick. Spread the whipped cream onto the top of the Chocolate Chiffon Pie and decorate with chocolate shavings or curls. Keep refrigerated until ready to slice and serve.