This past Monday, my mom celebrated a milestone of a birthday. Normally, all she says she wants for her birthday is “for everybody to be together for a nice dinner out.” But this is a special birthday, so do you stick with the norm, or do you try and step up your game a bit?
So, for the mom who has everything, here is what I would get you for your birthday if I had all the money in the world and the power of Robin Williams as the Genie from Aladdin (there is no other genie I would rather have).
Well mom, if I were planning things, we wouldn’t even be here this week. We would be in your favorite place in the United States, Scottsdale, Arizona sipping on Bahama Mamas poolside. Yeah, yeah, yeah I know, the kids came back to school this week. Well mom, there was one very important thing I learned about in college called Syllabus Week. The gist of it was that teachers weren’t that thrilled to be there either, so for an entire week all they went over was the syllabus. I know you have kindergarteners, but that same rule applies. They won’t miss you.
Ok, so there is gift one. We don’t spend nearly enough time together, and when we do spend time together, it is most often focused on me, not because I am selfish, but because you are so giving and caring. Instead we would focus the week on just you!
I would take you shopping to Chico’s in that sweet outdoor mall we like. I know you have always wanted to shop there but been too nervous. You could buy anything and all that you wanted. And if Chico’s wasn’t for you, we would just head over to J Crew or White House Black Market and spend our money there. Oh, and you know that new Michael Kors purse you wanted? Ta da! It’s yours, and we didn’t even have to go into the store to have a Pretty Woman moment with the snobby associates.
We would spend the week gorging on nachos at our favorite places and drinking copious amounts of frilly drinks like cosmos. And since I had the good old genie on our side, we wouldn’t have to worry about gaining weight. Spoiler alert! By the end of our vacation we would actually come to find out that eating nachos actually causes weight loss and we would be down two sizes!!! (Bet you all are wishing for the same genie I am talkin’ about now?)
The week would fly by and would be filled with laughing, gossiping, and remembering the good old days. You would be feeling so relaxed that you wouldn’t stress out when the rest of the family showed up to surprise you and tell you we were all staying in a deluxe villa together for another week!!!
Still, being the caring lady you are, you said, “But, what about my job and all of your jobs?”
Cue your waterworks mom.
That’s when the real surprises start coming.
Nick and Bridget tell you that Nick got a new job that pays six figures and is way closer to home. It will be enough for the both of them to live off of and to buy a new home with!!! (The Genie predicts a rather fortuitous upswing in the housing market.) Now Bridget only has to work a few days freelancing from home if she so chooses when their new baby comes.
Then Zack and Kelly tell you that they both earned tenure and will be teaching in the area for the rest of their teaching careers. The Genie also made sure that no teachers’ strikes ever loom over their schools.
Lastly, Mike and I tell you that he got a raise and is going to be an English department head and only have to teach one class a year. Then I let you know that my little-blog-that-could took off. I now have cookbook offers and am writing features for magazines and testing recipes for cookbooks galore. We have enough money to save one income for a house in the suburbs near you and dad.
As all us kids walk away to the pool, you look at dad and say for the first time ever, “Wow. We really did a good job with those kids. We have nothing to worry about anymore.”
Then Dad looks at you and says, “Honey, it is time for us both to retire. You don’t need to go back to work ever again.”
Then he hands you the keys to your very own pale blue Mercedes convertible and the time share you now own in Arizona.
These things and more wouldn’t even begin to repay all you have done and are still doing for all of us. What a birthday it would have been, eh?
But since that amazing Genie only exists in a kids’ movie… All I got you was…this pie?
I love you?
Ingredients (Makes One 9-inch Pie)
For the Crust:
¼ Cup Egg Whites (from 2 eggs)
¼ Teaspoon Salt
¼ Cup Granulated Sugar
2/3 Cup Vanilla Wafers, crumbled
½ Cup Pecans, finely chopped
½ Teaspoon Orange Zest
For the Filling:
1 Pint Coffee Ice Cream
1 Pint Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
For the Topping:
1 ½ Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
¼ Cup Powdered Sugar
1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the salt to the egg whites and then gradually add in the granulated sugar. Beat on high for about four minutes until stiff and shiny. Using a rubber spatula, fold the vanilla extract, pecans, and orange zest into the mixture.
Pour the mixture into a greased 9 inch pie pan. Use the rubber spatula to press the mixture up along the sides of the baking dish evenly. Place the pie pan in the oven and bake for twenty minutes until golden brown on the edges.
Cool the crust completely before filling with the ice cream.
Remove the pints from the freezer and let them sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften up. Then pour the vanilla ice cream into a large bowl. Use a rubber spatula to soften the ice cream up. Keep stirring until you feel it is spreadable. Spread the vanilla ice cream out over the pie crust.
Do the same thing to soften up the coffee ice cream and then spread it over the vanilla layer. Cover the pie in plastic wrap and freeze until very firm, like ice cream again. Overnight is best.
When ready to serve, make the whipped topping. Add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high for about four minutes until stiff peaks form.
Spread the whipped cream topping over the whole pie. Use a good sharp knife to cut the pie. Make sure you run it under hot water to help cut through the layers.
Recipe from Joy the Baker