This week marked our wedding anniversary. I asked my six-year-old grandson George if he’d like to help me make an “Anniversary Pie” for his Poppy.
“Is it your secret recipe?” he asked. (He saw a cooking show where some chef talked about a secret recipe and has been curious about any “secret recipes” I might have lurking in my brain.)
“Yes!” I said. “It will be OUR secret recipe because I’m making it up right now, with you.”
“How long have you and Poppy been married?” Georgie asked.
“For nine years now!”
“And you and Poppy never fight and you never died! You did good!”
Indeed, that might be the hallmark of a great marriage: you don’t fight and you don’t die. In fact, in a great marriage, you thrive, you blossom, you grow.
Here’s what I wrote on my Facebook Status about Greg, my husband, the Love of My Life:
“Nine years ago today, I married Greg Johnson, and each day of those nine years have been the happiest and most peaceful, fulfilling and giving, romantic and stable of my entire life. When you live with someone whose eyes always mirror love, delight, acceptance… when you know you are cherished every moment of every day, it changes you into the best possible version of yourself. And you have so much more to give to the world, because your brain is no longer working so hard to simply try to survive or make sense of your life. Being well loved expands your capacity to love and be more present to others. I love and adore you, Mr. Johnson for who you are and who you have helped me become when I am with you. Who knew marriage could really be like this, ‘after all these years’?
A wonderful marriage is definitely worth celebrating. One of my husband’s favorite treats is mint chocolate chip ice cream. One of my favorite treats is warm chocolate sauce. This ice cream pie, like us, is the perfect marriage of both.
Now that I’ve shared our secret to a happy marriage (choose to cherish each other daily), I’ll go ahead share my “secret recipe” (shhhhhh, don’t tell anyone) for this absolutely mouth-watering, silly-easy, pie. It’s wonderfully refreshing on a hot summer day, and you’ll spend just a few minutes in the kitchen putting it together.
Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Pie with Warm Fudge Sauce
One pre-made chocolate graham cracker or chocolate cookie pie shell
1 quart of your favorite chocolate chip ice cream (I’m from Texas and partial to Blue Bell “the best ice cream in the country”)
One recipe chocolate sauce (below)
About 10 Andes Mint Candies
1 c. half n’ half
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ t. vanilla
Let ice cream soften just enough so that you can scoop and pack it into pre-made chocolate pie shell. Decorate the top of the ice cream pie with Andes Chocolate Mints, by cutting them at a diagonal and placing around the pie in a pretty design.
Cover with plastic wrap and let harden in freezer.
Simmer half n’ half in a small saucepan, add the chocolate chips and stir until the chocolate is melted and well mixed. Add vanilla and salt. Remove from stove and let cool until warm but not piping hot. (Leftover sauce will keep in fridge for a week or more. Just microwave a few seconds to reheat and liquefy.)
Cut and serve the ice cream pie, drizzling some of the warm sauce over the top and serve immediately.
Oh my Darlin’ Clementines, how we’ve come to love you. Call them clementines, baby tangerines or Cuties, these sweet small oranges have won our hearts.
My firstborn grandson Nate, at age 3, once ate almost a whole bowl full of Clementines on a family beach vacation to San Clemente. We sat in awe, watching as he peeled and ate one after another, “all by himself,” and ate them with glee as we sat on the porch and watched the sea waves roll in.
I tuck Clementines into my purse on all my airplane trips now because they not only have Vitamin C, but a nice serving of fiber.
So, I figured, nutritious as they are, if one should add clementine juice to a martini, it would practically be a health drink…right?
In fact, the juice of 3 or 4 clementines and a shot or two of vodka, shaken with ice, yields a simple, lovely martini that needs no other sweetener. It is perfectly balanced as is.
But recently I tried a cocktail with St. Germains liqueur added, which is made from delicate elderberry flowers, but smells and tastes faintly of grapefruit. It was divine. Add this liqueur to the clementine and vodka, and you’ve got yourself an exotic, refreshing martini of citrus heaven.
The martini worked out so well, I took a glance at the mint already burgeoning in my herb garden this day in early April, and thought, “Hmm…. clementine mojitos! How could those not be good?”
Then my husband got our tax bill from the accountant and suddenly volunteered to taste any and all martinis and mojitos I made tonight, sacrificing for the good of this blog. Bless his heart.
Needless to say, we are now both happy campers. The martinis? Excellent. The mojitos? Amazing.
Just in time for tax season, I bequeath you both recipes.
Becky’s Clementine Martini
1/4 to 1/3 c. clementine juice (3 to 4 small clementines)
3 T. vodka
1 -2 T. St. Germain’s Elderberry Liqueur (depending on how strong you want it)
2 T. organic raw sugar mixed with 1/2 t. clementine zest (for rimming glass)
Put martini glass into freezer to chill. Put clementine juice, vodka and St. Germain’s into a shaker of ice. Shake-shake-shake. In a shallow bowl mix sugar and clementine zest. Take chilled glass out of freezer, run a slice of clementine around the rim to moisten the edge, then dip in sugar & clementine zest mixture.
Strain martini and pour into cold sugar-zest rimmed martini glass.
Becky’s Clementine Mojito
1 T. organic raw sugar
1/2 t. clementine zest
5 to 7 mint leaves
Juice of 3 clementines
1 T fresh lime juice
3 T. rum or vodka
club soda or sparkling water to top off glass
Into a tall glass put mint leaves, sugar and clementine zest. Muddle with stick end of a wooden spoon to bruise the mint leaves and help the sugar to dissolve and melt. To this mixture add clementine and lime juice, rum or vodka. Stir. Add ice and top off drink with club soda or sparkling water. Stir once more and garnish, if you like, with slices of lime, clementine and a small sprig of mint.
Non-alcoholic Variation: These mojitos are perfect for your non-alcoholic guests or children if you leave out the liquor and just add a wee bit more sugar (or agave) and club soda or sparkling water. Nice alternative to lemonade for summertime sipping.