my quote of the moment: "if you can attain repose and calm, believe that you have seized happiness." ~julie-jeanne-eleonore de lespinasse

January 6, 2012

happy birthday with not-cake

so tuesday was my hubby's birthday. i'd say that he turned into an old man, but he's always been an old man in the eyes of most. even when we first met, he had the mindset of someone in their 40's, not 20's. and yet i still married him.

anyway, i always try to do something special for his birthday. i always try to do something special for all of my family on their birthdays. even if we have a real party for them someday, on their actual birth date i at least try to make them a favorite meal and special dessert. for my hubby that meant hard fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, and corn. hard fried chicken as in extra dark and crispy, not difficult. at this point in my life, i have made fried chicken so much that i can fry like any good southern lady. my biscuits aren't too bad either.

the fried chicken really was the easy part, because i knew that's exactly what he would want for his birthday meal. that or a pot roast, but i didn't feel like making him a special birthday dinner just to have the kids sit there and complain how gross it is. kind of makes it less special that way. so with dinner all set, i was left to figure out what i was going to make him for dessert.

my hubby is not a cake person. he'll eat it, and there are certain kinds i make he actually asks for, but by and large he enjoys pie much more. i considering making him a chocolate peanut butter pie, because if we're ever out that's what he'd order. or possible an apple, because that would have been the easiest, simply because this past fall i had made a bunch and they were stashed in the freezer. but instead i made him something i normally make at thanksgiving, something i didn't make this year because i had no hand in making any part of thanksgiving. something he hasn't had in a very long time, that i know he'd love but hasn't even thought to ask for.

i made him a pecan pie.

and it wasn't just any pecan pie. it was a twist on my mommom's most awesome pecan pie. the recipe i had to fight for. which is kind of sad considering she just uses the one printed on the karo syrup label.

of course, i add my own special touches. like i don't use all dark corn syrup, i always add in some molasses for something that's sweet and flavorful, not just super sweet. and i always chop the pecans, because i find that's it's too hard to cut the pie if they're left whole. and i usually add a little extra vanilla, because the molasses needs it.

one thing i did wrong this time around was i rolled the crust too thin. as the pie cooked, the syrup boiled through the crust and stuck to the pan. so the pie was delicious, but almost impossible to get out.

still, it was a great surprise for my hubby. and i know he enjoyed it. and he enjoyed the pumpkin pie i made for fun. it was especially fun because i wrote out "happy birthday" in homemade whipped cream on top. my boys thought that was a really nice touch.

all in all it was a very good meal. now i just need to start planning for the next big birthday party. my dear mother turns into a really old lady this year. but i think i've already figured out exactly what kind of cake to make for her. and it doesn't involve snickers this year.

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