For the last 9 months I have been looking forward to the day I found myself back in the kitchen. As those closest to me know, my babies are really unkind to me during the prenatal phase and I usually spend the first 7 months of each pregnancy sick as a dog all day, every day. As someone who absolutely loves to cook, bake, and eat — I’m telling you, folks, the struggle is real.
Unfortunately, I’m not alone in my struggle; as my pregnancies draw on my family lives on a pretty redundant and boring meal menu. Whatever I can tolerate the sight or smell of stays, whatever I can’t, goes — which is about 90% of the grocery store.
So when I asked my husband the first dessert he wanted me to make as part of my re-initiation into the kitchen it took him about 3.9 seconds to say, “Key Lime Pie.” Something he’s apparently been craving for a while and, of course, something I’ve never actually made before. Because, of course, he couldn’t just pick a tried-and-true old faithful to help ease me back into the kitchen.
But, per usual whenever I find myself in a recipe crisis, I asked myself: “WWMD: What would Martha do?”
For anyone who is reading my blog for the first time or just doesn’t remember from earlier recipe posts of mine, the Martha I’m referencing is, naturally, Martha Stewart. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I have a thing for Martha. Right down to her glorification of pretentious ingredients like “good” vanilla extract and “only the best” freshly pressed olive oil (and her short stint in the slammer), I want to live in Martha’s world. A world where I, too, can have my bed sheets changed every single day, ride my Fresian horses, and wear freshly pressed button down shirts that never. ever. wrinkle.
But today I simply settled for making Martha’s Key Lime Pie recipe.
This recipe taught me a couple of things: (1) that there is an actual difference between regular limes and key limes and (2) that a juice press is essential in preparing this recipe if you plan on actually using your finger tips the rest of the day. It turns out Key Lime Pie doesn’t just require key limes, it requires half a cup of key lime juice. In case you were wondering, in order to get that much fresh key lime juice you need about a zillion key limes that are not actually the size of limes but are more like the size of raisins. (Ok, so it’s really more like 15 limes the size of bing cherries, but you get my point) Anyway, by the time I was done squeezing, I had just enough feeling left in my finger tips to head over to Amazon and order a citrus press to spare my nerve endings for future use.
But, in the end, the juice was worth it and the rest of the recipe is an absolute cinch to pull together. Definitely worth the numb fingers and the extra effort to make the graham cracker crust yourself. (Martha would die if she heard me say this, but I have been known to skip a homemade crust in a time crunch.) A bonus is that the pie is actually really pretty . . . unless someone drops it facedown on the kitchen floor.
Yep, that’s right. In a matter of minutes we went from this:
Now, before you start crying FOR me for all of my lost efforts, it’s important to note that it was only one piece of the pie that ended up on the floor. The sound of the SPLAT! when it hit the ground and my 5 year old declaring the three-second-rule in effect because we weren’t “at the rink,” made the whole scene something out of Saturday Night Live. Add to it all my husband (who dropped it in the first place) bouncing between the paper towel holder and stiff-arming our German Shepherd from eating it, and I could not stop laughing.
In the end, the rest of the pie was enjoyed to its fullest and all lost pie was forgotten. So in all actuality, this pie actually taught me three lessons; the first two about the recipe itself and the third — and maybe the most important — about how to laugh when life hands you splattered key limes.