We Made Mud Pie, But Not for You

2017-11-23 – I just got finished making this year’s mud pie. Yes, the tradition goes on. And here’s another tradition I just made up: my annual mud pie post. (Well, it isn’t really annual. It’s from Thanksgiving 2014.)

* * *

2014-11-27 – They didn’t have mud pie at Plymouth. There was no refrigeration at Plymouth. No refrigeration, no ice cream, no mud pie. It’s as simple as that.

You might say, Steve, Thomas Jefferson had ice cream, or something like it, and he had no refrigeration. And I would say: good point. But the pilgrims didn’t have ice cream and so they didn’t have mud pie. So there. Jefferson didn’t have mud pie either. His frozen dessert was more like Italian gelatos or Italian ices. It wasn’t mud pie.

Mud pie is both the foundation and pinnacle of desserts. And on this day of desserts, Mud pie is supreme. You can have your pumpkin pie or apple pie (thought it wouldn’t hurt if you saved me a little slice). My tradition is mud pie.

I just finished making the latest mud pie. We do this for every holiday (except Passover—when we do matzo-ball pie) and for every birthday. It begins with the unscrewing of two rows of oreo cookies to harvest the first layer of chocolate. This is then ground up and mixed with butter and baked to make a crust. The crust is filled with alternating layers of chocolate ice cream and hot fudge and then topped off with Cool Whip and a garnish of cookie crumbs.

It brings out both the best and the worst in us. We do bring mud pies and gifts, but we’re a little stingy with the servings—a mere soupçon—so that there is more for us.

It pains me, when our ungrateful beneficiaries leave the mud pie out to melt. If they are so ignorant as not to appreciate the subtle flavors of chocolate with chocolate with chocolate, then at least don’t ruin it for others!

That’s all for now. We’re going to be leaving for our Thanksgiving dinner in a few minutes. Our boys are home from college. Nat is making some sort of butternut squash soup. And Cal is playing Debussy’s Reflets dans l’eau on the piano.

Tomorrow our Black Friday excursion will be to drive out to the country to cut our Christmas tree. We’ll be sure to wear our jack boots so that we can trample anyone trying to cut our tree before us.

* * *

This year it’s pretty much the same, except that that boys are out of college now. Nat will be in western Illinois with his girlfriend’s family. Cal’s girlfriend is away, so he’ll be with us. He’s still playing the piano, so we’ll probably hear something from him when he wakes up.

Our tree-cutting excursion will be Sunday rather than Friday. We drive out into the country past McHenry to a tree farm where we’ll tramp through the rows of trees looking for the perfect one. On the way out, we’ll stop at an odd-looking chocolate shop that is shaped kinda like an inverted ice cream cone (but the sides are flat rather than curved). We’ll each get a chocolate treat (I usually get a small bag of nonpareils) and an ice cream cone.

We always get a wispy white pine. Some people call them Charlie Brown trees. They seem more natural to us. The needles are long and soft (which is good around small children and animals). And it’s not so dense that you can’t see through it, which means that, when you put lights on it, you can see the lights from the back of the tree as well as the front.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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