The Truth About Lemon Drops

There’s a recipe I tore out of a magazine over a year ago and haven’t made yet. It’s for a lemon ice box pie that looks divine. The picture just screams summer, and every time I run across it in my recipes I think, I really want to make this pie!

It includes three of my favorite things on the planet: shortbread cookies, a certain type of greek yogurt that’s more fattening than ice cream, and lemon drops (candy in pies is kind of a midwest thing, much like tiny marshmallows in sweet potatoes).

I finally decided to make the pie. My first trip out for ingredients, I had a hard time finding the shortbread cookies. I had to search the whole cookie aisle like three times and by the time I found them, a bunch of other cookies had climbed into my basket as decoy cookies. They said it was so I didn’t eat the ones intended for the recipe. I’m not one to argue with a cookie.

In the aftermath of the cookie aisle fiasco, I forgot the yogurt. I also forgot the lemon drops. That night, I cracked open the shortbread.

The next day I went back to the store. By this time, I’d eaten half the shortbread, but figured there was still enough to make the recipe. I grabbed the yogurt, then was confronted with a horror in the candy aisle:


In fact, there was a total absence of any old-lady candy. No peppermints. No Brach’s sour balls. No Red Hots.

The next day I went to a different store for lemon drops (and shortbread, because we were out. Also decoy cookies). There were butterscotch balls and those gross neapolitan coconut squares, but no lemon drops. I replenished the cookies.

Next day, next store: There were root beer barrels, cinnamon balls, and those little bright blue mint balls, but no lemon drops. I bought a pint of Häagen-Dazs so I wouldn’t eat the yogurt.

Finally, as a last resort before mail-order, I made my way to the drug store in town with the largest candy section, and there they were: lemon drops. Finally. Thank god this place carries shortbread too.

I have always believed lemon drops to be the most innocent of all candy. I remember being able to choose them as my treat when we went to the movies when I was a little kid. They were great because they were sour enough that you didn’t need a lot. Your parents could shut you up for fifteen minutes with two of them.

The truth is that lemon drops have proven to be sort of a reverse gateway drug purely by their elusiveness. Tallying up all the extra shortbread, decoy cookies and ice cream I’ve had while searching for them, each serving of this pie is equal to approximately a month’s worth of calories. The pie that I still haven’t made. I can’t believe lemon drops turned on me. Did you ever have a candy turn on you? It feels like when my best friend in elementary school pretended to be mad at me. Not cool, lemon drops. Not cool.

At this point, maybe I should just dip a shortbread cookie in the yogurt, top it with a lemon drop, and call it good.



Pi Day Pie Winner!

Boy am I packed full of pie.

Virtual pie, that is. Virtual Pi Day pie!

You guys didn’t make it easy, which is what I like about you.

If you’re here and you don’t know what Pi Day is, I’m not sure how you manage to leave the house in the morning because it’s one of the only reasons people come here. Go to the blog Learn More Every Day. It’s like two aspirin for your ignorance. (I’m going there a lot myself, but not for Pi Day).

Honorable Mentions:

To Relatively Awesome for the awesome revelation that you can put cheese right into the crust! Who knew? Greg made an apple pie with gruyere crust and I want to eat it so bad! I can’t believe I never thought of it.

To Rick Miller, for this:


Another Honorable Mention goes to Sarah Lynn’s Sweets for the Pi cake she made for her Brother-in-Law, check it out:

I love this so much.

And now for the winner.

Wait, did you know that there is such a thing as cherry Three Musketeers? I found this out from ThoughtsAppear, because that’s what she made her Pi out of.

And now for the winner.











Umm… how did that get in here?

And now for the winner:

Rachel’s Table: Venison Shepard’s Pie with Thyme Pi.

Because I totally wasn’t expecting that. And also because I believe the best place for deer is in a pie.


Rachel, your unique use of thyme and your most appropriate use of venison has earned you PooPourri!

I must report that I was really torn between the above Rachel’s Pie and GoJulesGo’s Chocolate Chip Pie with Chocolate Bacon Pi.

Really. Torn. Because Chocolate Bacon.

So Jules will be receiving a consolation prize that may or may not contain a trophy.

Thanks for celebrating Pi Day with me. What should we do for Star Wars Day?

Pi Day Pie

I can’t believe it’s Pi Day again already! In honor of this, my favorite geek holiday, I’m reposting my Pi Day Pie blog that I ran last year.

Happy Pi Day.


Sunday Night:

#3 just came running in to remind me that we need a pie for tomorrow. A few weeks ago she gave me a sheet from her math class. It was about Pi Day (March 14) celebrations, and they were asking for, among other things, some pies.

Last year I saw a picture of the most badass Pi Day pie ever made.  I just searched Google images and can’t find it, which can only mean that I must know the person who made it and saw the picture on Facebook. It was homemade, crust and all, with the symbol Pi cut out of pie crust and placed on top in the center, and then the numbers cut out of pie crust, placed all around the edges of the pie. This was the first I’d ever heard of celebrating Pi Day. I was an instant believer.

I am a geek at heart and that pie thrilled me. This memory is what welled up in me when #3 handed me her math sheet, and it was what took over and compelled me to yes, volunteer a pie. I was going to make her a homemade pie, crust and all, and decorate it with as many decimal places of Pi that I could fit around the circumference.

Then I went to Berlin and we had some crises at home and I forgot all about it until she just now came to me, and I am jetlagged and cranky and the last thing I want to do is leave the house and make a goddamn pie happen.

This is what happens when I try to be a better parent.


I said I would.

I am now off to the store to see how I can remedy this with a half-assed solution without totally crushing my geek spirit, or completely letting down #3 and her math class.

I asked CC for input. (Foodies, you can stop reading here). He suggested frozen pie crusts and canned filling. Hot damn!


Back from the store. I assemble the pie parts and then proceed to use an additional pie crust and cut out numbers freestyle with a blade. I am way too into this. The kids keep coming by and looking, and they comment on how cool it is and how unlike me it is. It takes a long time. I do not read #5 and #4 stories tonight like I usually do on Sundays. I do not even tuck them into bed. I am Baking a Pie. Leave me alone.

I signed up to give a pie to try and be a better parent.  I end up being a worse parent with a nifty pie.

Nifty, except it had an accident in the baking process. The color is uneven. And it ripped, and now it looks like it’s bleeding.

Doesn’t it rock?

I had hoped that some superior mom would be envious of my pie and erroneously attribute me mad parenting skills. That was before my Pi pie turned into sweet vampire protection.