Green

This year, at the Chateau de Funky Kitchen, Mr and I planted our first garden. He’s been involved with gardens before, as have I, but this one was the first one that we were solely responsible for nurturing.  For the most part, it went well; the tomatoes grew like crazy, as did our peppers. The peas went into a poor location and yielded a total of two pods (or four peas, if you’re keeping count), which was a little disappointing. Making lunches by wandering to the back yard and picking lettuces for a salad was so much fun. I’m going to miss that.

My mint plant exploded into four mint bushes. My grandma was right, the marigolds kept the cats off the planters. Trooper the Wonder Puppy didn’t spend too much time digging in there, which was awesome because that puppy really loves to dig.

All in all, it was a good summer for a first garden. But last week it turned cold, frost threatened; it was time to take in our summer produce. We planted late, so none of our tomatoes were ready. Actually, that’s wrong, one tomato was vaguely threatening to be quasi orange.

There are pounds and pounds of green tomatoes in my dining room, hanging out leisurely waiting to ripen.

I’m excited to have fried green tomatoes in the future, but I think it might be best to be patient and do them up with the stubborn tomatoes that won’t turn red. It seems there are always a few in the bunch that just want to stay green.

There was a delectable green pie that made it’s way through my kitchen not too long ago; I made it for a going away party for my friend CC, who is now residing in Japan!

A grasshopper pie is ready to party! I’m not sure if the cocktail begat the pie, or the pie begat the cocktail, but whichever it was: if you’re going to bring a pie to a party, why not bring one that packs some alcohol in it? It’s only polite to bring libations to a celebration.

My pie came out somewhat shockingly green, Hulk green if you will. When I followed the recipe and mixed in a few drops of coloring (or rather, a small splodge because I was working with gel color) nothing really happened. So I added a little more, and then a little more, and kept folding away until I found a pretty pale green that I was quite happy with. Giving the filling a final few stirs, though, I discovered that a fair amount of the gel color that I had added was hiding out at the bottom of the bowl! By the time it was all mixed in, the pie was pretty verdantly bright.

Lesson: when you’re folding in an ingredient, fold all the way from the bottom of the bowl so that everything gets mixed in. Also, gel color goes a long way!

Grasshopper Pie

(adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Kitchen)

400 g chocolate cookie crumbs

50 g chocolate

1/4 Cup butter

3 Cups mini marshmallows

1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)

1/4 Cup Creme de Menthe (preferably the green kind)

1/4 Cup Creme de Cacao blanc

1 1/2 Cups whipping cream

green food coloring, if you choose to use it

Directions

  • Melt the butter and the chocolate together, stirring until smooth.
  • Fork the butter and chocolate through the cookie crumbs until the mixture starts to form clumps.
  • Press the crumbs into the base and sides of your pie dish, forming the crust. Chill in the refrigerator until hard.
  • Set a saucepan over low heat, adding to it the mini marshmallows and milk. When the milk gets foamy, just before boiling, remove the saucepan from the heat and continue stirring until the marshmallows melt completely. Let cool to room temperature.
  • Whisk the Creme de Menthe and Creme de Cacao into the marshmallow mixture.
  • Whip the whipping cream into soft peaks and then fold it into the cooled marshmallow.
  • Fold in a few drops of food coloring, if using additional coloring.
  • Pour the pie filling into the chilled cookie crumb crust, giving the pie plate a few raps along the sides so that the filling settles evenly.
  • Chill in the fridge, or for a cooler treat, let the pie have a visit in the freezer.

First of all, it is hard to go wrong with a pie. A pie that offers: chocolate, mint, a fun and funky green color, and a joyously squidgy filling with texture akin to just melting ice cream is sure to be a party favorite. And Nigella, the minx, does something just magical to the cookie crumb crust by adding chocolate! Chocolate makes the cookie crumbs just that much more tasty, but it also helps the crust hold together more solidly during serving. What a smart cookie! This is definitely a pie I plan on making again.

As a fan of chocolate and mint in combination, Mr gives grasshopper pie two thumbs up!

This time last year: Deviled Eggs

And the year before: Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese

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