When I was small I remember my mom taking my sister and I on trips shopping. She would often call these trips “trinket trips” in the hopes of teaching my sister and I that it’s okay to treat yourself once in a while to something special, however you must do it within your means. My mom was a working mom. She got up every morning before the sun rose to go and work as a cake decorator (amongst many of her other jobs/talents). As the cliche goes, “she worked hard for her money” and she wanted to pass down to us girls the act of being frugal.
A small trinket
I remember often going into dowtown Portland to the Galleria shopping center with my mom and sister. We would look around at the neat stores and mom would give us a small amount of money (usually around $2-$3) to choose a special “trinket” or small treasure to take home from our mommy/daughter outing. Of course, being greedy little girls we would beg for the $30 stuffed dinosaur at the toy shop, or the $25 kitten shaped purse. My
mom wouldn’t give in. Not because she didn’t want to give us all that we desired, but because she wanted us to understand that you can’t always get exactly what you want, but you can compromise and still enjoy the situation….and more importantly, you can do it without breaking the bank. Mom never said this outright…we were children (me about 6 and my sister 9) however, she acted in a way that looking back now I completely understand the lesson she was teaching us. My sister and I would each end up with a small little treat (often one of those small birds made from mushrooms) and then we would head downstairs to the cafe for one last surprise.
Green Pie? OH MY!
I can recall always being in awe as we walked into the dimly lit Galleria Cafe, located in the bottom of the shopping center. My sister and I would run straight over to the huge dessert case and stare in with wonderment. They offered such decadent, special treats…but we never had to look for long, we always knew just what we wanted. Grasshopper Pie. I’m not sure if it was the mint/chocolate combination we craved or if we were drawn to the pretty color or the offbeat name, but every time, we always jumped up and down requesting a big slice. Perhaps mom would overindulge us on those days that we got both a trinket and some green pie, but being a mom myself now I can completely relate to wanting to treat your children. Plus, she had already sacrificed our kitten purse and stuffed dinosaur desires in trade for mushroom birds…why not let the kids split a $2 piece of magical green pie? We would gobble up our pie as fast as a 6 and 9 year old mouth could and then we would leave, tummies full, mushroom birds in hand and big smiles on our faces.
Memories can sneak up on you
I also apparently left the cafe those days with amazing memories in tow. I hadn’t thought about our Galleria trips or green pie for a long time. It wasn’t until a week ago when I bought a box of chocolate graham crackers to make a cheesecake crust that I spotted a recipe for Grasshopper Pie. As soon as I saw those words, the memories came flowing
back. I decided to make my own “magical green pie” and as I did I thought of my mom who passed away a little over a year and a half ago. I thought of all the fun times, good lessons and amazing memories she gave my sister and I before she left this Earth. As I sat down to eat my Grasshopper Pie I let my mind wander towards all the amazing things that I will do with MY daughter. All of the lessons I can teach her, all the fun trips we will have together. Out of all the things we end up experiencing together, I wonder what thing will end up being Penelope’s “magic green pie” memory. :)
Easy, tasty no-bake Grasshopper Pie Recipe
- 1 - 1/4 cup chocolate graham crumbs
- 1/4 cup sugar (for crust)
- 1/2 cup sugar (for filling)
- 6 TBSP butter or margarine melted
- 8 oz softened cream cheese
- 1/4 cup Creme De Menthe Liquer
- 1/2 pint heavy whipping cream, whipped
To prepare crust: butter 9 inch pie plate. In a bowl combine crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar and melted butter. stir until well mixed and evenly coated. Press crumb mixture into bottom and sides of pie plate and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.
To prepare filling: In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup of Creme De Menthe. Fold whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until blended. Pour mixture into crust. Sprinkle with more crumbs or chocolate shavings. refrigerate for at least four hours before serving.