Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Lemon Icebox Pie and Momma

Today is the first official day of school.  I went to bed at 9 last night so I would be refreshed this it is 4 and I have tossed and turned all night long dreaming about the story of my momma and the lemon icebox pie.  So, I gave up at 4 and figured I was supposed to write about it.  Maybe that will give me some peace. My mom was a good cook.(she never burned things, but she was not adventurous....and could NOT bake).  My dad was an excellent cook.(He loved trying new spices out in meals he was cooking.  He loved to taste his product as he went). But, even though my mom was just a good cook.  She excelled at a few dishes in her life.  Banana Pudding, cornbread, jams and jellies, fried chicken, chicken in a pot,poor man's pie,and lemon icebox pie were some of her best offerings. Anyways, the story goes that when my parents were dating, my dad would come and have Sunday dinner at Granny's house.  This went on for over a year.  Every single Sunday he came and Every single Sunday my mom fixed lemon ice box pie....and he ate it!  My mom used to say that he delighted in the pie.  Slowly taking bites and savoring the tangy sweetness.  Her lemon icebox pies were masterpieces.  Each one had a homemade merengue top and the top would have one single tear on it....I am telling you....this pie was awesome!  My parents finally married in March of 1950.  They both worked for Avondale Mills.....could not afford a place of their own, and were moving to Florida shortly.  So the first few weeks they lived with my Grandmother Sasser.  It is hard enough to be a new bride....but to be a new bride in Grandmother Sasser's home....would have been impossible.  The first Sunday they lived with Grandmother....Grandmother got up and began preparing lunch before leaving for church.  My mom, eager to please and perhaps show off a bit, offered to make daddy's favorite.  My grandmother raised her eyebrows to my mom and said...."really?....and just what is Doug's favorite dessert?"  To which my mom replied, "Lemon Icebox Pie!  He has eaten them every Sunday for the past year."  My grandmother threw back her head and laughed....."Doug HATES lemon icebox pies and used to come home every Sunday and say he would be glad when he did not have to eat lemon icebox pies again!"  My mom was crushed.  She ran out of the room, and always believed my grandmother was smirking as she did.  In the room they shared as man and mom threw herself across the bed in tears.  My dad came home from having coffee with my Uncle Wilson next door to be hit with my grandmother's glowing account of what happened.  She was proud of herself....she had saved my father from having to ever eat lemon icebox pie again!  My dad was horrified.....he knew that in the bedroom....he was going to have to fix the damage this disclosure had caused.  This was where my dad excelled as a husband and father.  He went to their bedroom and found my mom sprawled across the bed weeping her heart out.  He sat down beside her and rubbed his hand through her hair until the sobbing had become snubbing sounds.  My mom told my dad what his mean momma had done....and my dad listened.....she then turned her tear streaked face to him and asked him, "you like my lemon pies....don't you?"  My dad put his hand tenderly on her face and kissed her forehead....and said, "no baby...I don't like them....I never have."  My mom then countered with, "Well then why did you eat them....every single Sunday?"  My dad's response was one my mom said assured her that she had made the right life partner choice, "I hate lemon icebox pies....but I love you!"  He kissed my mom and left the room.  She washed her face and joined him at the breakfast table.  They held hands all during breakfast and shared special eye contact.   My mom never made a lemon icebox pie for him again.  As a child this was always one of my favorite stories.  I have heard it from my mom, my dad, my grandmother, and my aunt....and there has always been very little variation.  It is one of those feel good stories when love outshines diversity.  My parents would have been married for 58 years.  They were each other's best that not a love story?  Have a great Thursday! is my mom's recipe for lemon icebox pie.
1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
3 lemons
3 eggs, separated (save whites for meringue)
1 graham cracker crust
cream of tartar
granulated sugar

In a mixing bowl, beat egg yolks until creamy. Add milk and juice from lemons (remove seeds first). I like adding a little extra lemon juice for a kick.Mixture will thicken on its own. Pour into graham cracker crust.
To make meringue: Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add 2 teaspoons cream of tartar. Mix well.
Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time until desired sweetness. Pour over top of filling and bake in 375°F oven until nice and brown. Allow to cool before cutting.


Love Bears All Things said...

Loved this story.....why do some MIL have to be so hateful....
At one time, this was my favorite pie followed closely by coconut and then I'd have to say Key Lime followed by cheesecake are ahead of the game.
Hope you have a great first day.
Mama Bear

Debby@Just Breathe said...

What a wonderful story of love.
Thanks for the recipe.