Friday, August 19, 2016

_The Hancock News_ Column-- August 17, 2016

Every time I open the door lately, I’m met with a blast of hot air that sucks all the energy out of me. This kind of weather is enough to make a body feel downright miserable. In fact, violent crime rates soar when the temperatures do. I guess we all feel a little extra ornery when the heat and humidity get to us.

But to be honest, I have plenty more reasons to feel cranky.

For starters, my dear husband found a few travel books at the library he thought I would enjoy. He was right, but as I paged through them, I was more than annoyed when I discovered somebody had torn out the pages I most wanted to read. What kind of person tears pages from library books?

Next on my cranky list is shopping for shoes. It seems all the summer sunshine makes more than just weeds grow, and what better time to buy than when taxes don’t apply? I truly dread dragging all the kids into stores and trying on about a gazillion different pairs of shoes to find the right fit, but I did it today. It was hot, crowded, and one of my daughters had to try on about two gazillion shoes to find the perfect pair. I didn’t like it one tiny bit. Why in the world did I think it was a good idea?

And the last reason I feel cranky has to do with watermelons. We love growing melons in our garden. The children plant the seeds. We water them. We weed them. We try to keep the preschoolers from trampling on their sprawling vines. And we check them often for the first signs of ripeness, but it is so hard to wait for that ripe and sticky sweetness that drips down your chin on a hot day.

Well, a couple of days ago, my son noticed our biggest watermelon was missing. There were no animal tracks, no plants torn up or nibbled, no tell-tale broken rinds anywhere to be found. Only the empty spot of dirt and the stem remained. What kind of person steals watermelons from little kids?

I hope it was a truly poor and hungry soul who really needed it.

But if it wasn’t, that ornery part of me that’s under the influence of the sweltering temperatures is glad because I’m fairly certain that watermelon wasn’t even ripe yet. 

Not the watermelon, but a honeydew I picked before it was ripe last week.


There. Now that I’ve vented my steam a little, I’m ready to move on to more pleasant and cooler things like this ice cream pie recipe. While you may use whatever flavor of ice cream you like, I think mint chocolate chip is the best to beat the summer heat.

Ice Cream Pie

1 graham cracker pie shell
1 quart ice cream, slightly softened
2 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar
4 squares semi-sweet chocolate
4 Tbsp. butter

Spread softened ice cream in pie shell and freeze hard. Then beat the egg whites until foamy and stiff. Add the sugar, 2 Tbsp. at a time. Beat until peaks form. Spread meringue over frozen pie and bake at 400℉ for 3-5 minutes. Remove pie and place directly in the freezer. Remove pie from freezer about 10 minutes before you plan to serve so it can soften enough to cut.

Serve slices of ice cream pie with chocolate sauce. Make sauce by melting chocolate squares with butter in the microwave, stirring frequently until smooth.

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