37

 

37.
It’s not a birthday that the average person looks forward to. Most people celebrate the 1st, the 16th, the 21st, the 30th, and all the 10 year ones from then on. And yet I, I have been waiting most of my life for my 37th birthday. For real.
You see growing up that birthday came to have a certain significance for me. From as far back as I could remember, if ever there was something I wanted to do that my dad didn’t really want me to do (because that meant I would be getting older and no longer his baby girl) he would give me the same answer to ever question. That answer was, “when you are 37”. I wanted to wear make up. 37. I wanted to get my ears pierced. 37. You see where this was going.
I had tried to outsmart him (shocking I know) by making my number on my sports teams be 37. I thought it was clever of me. ;)


I think he just always assumed that 37 would never come. Not that he thought I would be dead by then (morbid thought). I am sure when a 15 year old, whom you still see as 5 years old, is asking you to go out on a date with a boy (a boy who is a senior and you are only a sophomore. A boy with a car), the thought of me being 37 seemed pretty far off.
And yet, here it is. Well, not yet, but soon. July 2nd for those of you wondering. I was born 7-2-72. Which pretty much makes me extra special.  ;)
In order to gear up for the big 37, my father has been sending me random photos of my childhood…and a check, each time for $37 (yes, my weirdness does come from my family, no denying that).
So sorry dad. Time is up. The birthday you always worried would come, is finally here. I get to get my ears pierced. I get to wear make up. Shave my legs. Go on a date. Kiss a boy. Dye my hair some weird color. Wear something that makes you shake your head.  Drive a car. Go away to college. Move out of the house. I get to get married. I get to (Dad close your eyes) have sex (ps. My husband is looking forward to this one :P ).
Now granted (again Dad, turn away), I’ve already done these things, but the year 37 has always stuck in my head. The longest running joke if you will in our family. Guess it is time for a new one.
To ease my father’s pain I have made a grasshopper tart. My Dad is a huge chocolate mint fan and so I figured if the big 37 was approaching, this might make it easier on him.
Hang in there Dad. I may be turning 37, but I’m still your little girl.

Grasshopper Tart

Chocolate Tart Shell:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I like Green and Black’s)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
½ cup unsalted butter, chilled, diced into small pieces
2 large egg yolks
1 TBSP Crème de Mente (or 1 tsp peppermint extract)
1 TBSP whole milk

Using a food processor, add the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and sugar. Pulse for about 10 seconds until all ingredients are combined.
Add the butter. Make sure to spread the pieces evenly through out the bowl. Pulse until the dough forms into pieces (about the size of couscous).
Add egg yolks, Crème de Mente, and milk. Pulse until completely combined and it has formed into dough.
Divide in half. Form into disc shape. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or up to overnight).
Remove from fridge and lightly flour a work surface. Roll out and form into tart pan/tart rings. Prick the dough with a fork. Cover with parchment paper and use beans or pie weights to hold dough down.
Bake for 8 minutes on 350F. Remove from oven. Carefully remove parchment paper and weights. Place back into oven and bake for another 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Filling:
8 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
5 TBSP unsalted butter
1 large egg yolk
¼ cup water
handful of mint leaves

In a small saucepan bring 1 cup (but you will only be using ¼ cup of it) water and mint leaves to a boil. Remove from heat. Let sit for 1 hour. Strain out the mint leaves and set aside.
Using a double boiler, melt chocolate and butter together, just until smooth. Set aside.
Bring ¼ cup of the mint water to a boil.
Whisk egg yolk in small heatproof bowl.
Gradually whisk in ¼  cup boiling mint water to temper the egg yolk. Place bowl over a small saucepan that has shallow simmering water (or you can use another double boiler) until instant-read thermometer inserted into egg mixture registers 160°F, about 3 minutes.
Whisk egg mixture into chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth.
Pour chocolate filling into crust. Cover and chill overnight or up to 2 days.
Garnish with marshmallow topping in whatever patterns you would like.
Before serving, let tart soften slightly at room temperature.

Marshmallow Topping:
1 ½ cups marshmallows
1 TBSP Crème de Mente
1 TBSP whole milk
couple drops of green food coloring
In a small saucepan combine all ingredients and melt marshmallows down over low heat. When marshmallows have melted and it looks sauce-like, remove from pan. Decorate tart.

Comments

  1. That’s so funny! It’s strange how certain ages seem so far off, but they keep coming quicker! This tart looks delicious! I love chocolate and mint.

  2. great story :-) and seriously that looks SO fabulous!

  3. Oh I will definitely be making this. And a very merry unbirthday, to you!

  4. Happy birthday :) Your dad is going to be shocked to read that you’ve had sex…poor man!

  5. pxilated says:

    very nice. :)

  6. The stories about your father are priceless. (I still love the one about driving through the ghetto and comparing that to the lobster dinner.)

    Happy birthday, Peabody!

  7. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Very cute story :) That Grasshopper Pie looks divinely rich!

  8. I love this story! Feel free to share the childhood photos :)

  9. haha, love it! happy 37th!!!

  10. That looks so decadent!

  11. That was so cute!! My grandpa would always say “It’ll be better by the time you get married,” whenever I’d complain about something or get hurt, as a child. :-) And since I’m 37 now (about to turn 38), I welcome you to your special year!

  12. This is so funny! Your family is priceless. Happy early 37th!

  13. how sweet! happy almost birthday!

  14. I laughed the whole way through that. Soooo funny that you picked 37 as your jersey #. That is totally something my oldest would do!
    And those tarts look just sinfully good. I’m so glad I’m 37 so I can have one!

  15. WISHING YOU AN EARLY HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY DEAR FRIEND!!! :-)

  16. Happy Birthday! That tart looks fabulous and soooo scrumptious!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  17. Awe great story!!! nothing like being a daddy’s girl. Happy early B-day!!!

  18. Happy (early) Birthday!!!
    I love love love your “Daddy-daughter” story.
    Our youngest daughter is only 2 yrs old but my hubby has already planned out what he’s going to do for some of her adolescent milestones.

    Ex: When the 1st boy comes to pick her up, he will answer the door in his work gear, holding his axe (he’s a firefighter).

    Oh but according to him that day won’t come bcuz she isn’t allowed to have a boyfriend lol

    There is nothing sweeter than the Daddy / daughter relationship.

  19. Your blog is so unique. Delicious food for the stomach and beautiful writing for the mind. Thank you. :)

  20. Happy birthday Peabody! My dad said when I was 50 I could do those things so you are lucky you get to do them at 37!!

  21. Kate D. says:

    I’m a huge mint and chocolate fan too. Possibly the perfect duo.

  22. Happy 37 to be. Love this post. So sweet….both in sentiment and recipe :)

  23. You have the most amzaing photos! Love this recipe and will have to try it for a 4th of July potluck I’m going to.

  24. Birthday tidings! That tart looks great.

  25. What a sweet post, Peabody. It makes me miss my dad. Thanks for another nice story and a fabulous recipe!

  26. happy early birthday! this tart looks delectable!

  27. That is a great story! My dad and I have always been close and this sounds like an inside joke we would have. :)

    I loooove chocolate mint. Looks so yummy!

    Happy (early) birthday!

  28. haha! Cute! I love the tart! :)

  29. What a sweet sweet story! My dad was equally goofy. We had a few stories like this as well. Mine, unfortunately, never saw me turn 37. Give your dad an extra hug for me.

  30. okay, now i have to change my son’s magic age to like 80 or something. thanks for the giggle…and the tart recipe! i’m so making it this weekend!

  31. Surely he can turn his head for a tart like that. Happy almost B-day!

  32. see now that was quite an adorable and sweet post. who cares what people think about the opinions you post here, its your blog! do with it what you will, whether that is to rant or review a childhood memory. either way, its wonderfully entertaining.

  33. Happy Birthday!! What a sweet story. The grasshopper tart looks amazing too!

  34. I was really hoping that I would be comment # 37, but I think I’m early. That tart looks awesome! Happy (upcoming) birthday. Party like you’re 37!

  35. Christine says:

    You have very straight teeth. You’re lucky!

  36. What a wonderful story and your Dad sounds awesome. Only slightly more awesome than that tart looks ::DROOL::

    I’m hitting the daunting 33 on July 2 this year and I’m still my daddy’s little girl :)

  37. I’m sure your DH *is* looking forward to you turning 37. ;) What a great post – but most especially – that last sentence. We’re always “Daddy’s Little Girl” – aren’t we? Happy birthday to you! (early) My DH will be…ahem…44 the day before you. :)

  38. Beautiful story and a lovely recipe. Great post!

  39. Happy Birthday! That’s a nice story and the grasshopper tart looks awesome.

  40. What a great post and family story and what a fun birth-day. Reminds me of how my mom has always called me her baby (I’m 3rd of 6!). But whenever I would want to do things, she’d always say I couldn’t because I’m her baby. Parents! ;)
    That tart looks de-lish!

  41. hope your birthday is a lovely one – your dad sounds great. i love the idea of those little $37 cheques arriving in the post!

  42. (Advanced) happy birthday! Oh, that is bizarre! But your dad sure is funny. :) The grasshopper tart looks uber-chic, I love it!

  43. At our house, it’s all “when you’re 38.” That goes for coffee drinking, beer drinking, getting a tattoo, etc.. Our girls (3 and 4 years old right now) figured out numbers right around the time their dad and I turned 38. Wonder if that magic age will stick for them like it did for you?! Wonderful story!

  44. For us, our mom used to say “wait till you get married”, which then seemed like never!

    And we tell our daughter, “wit till 16″ for some things and “when you’ve got a job” for some other things!! :D

    A very Happy Birthday to you Peabody. I hope you get to all those things you were waiting for till you turned 37. :)

  45. Happy birthday dear, amazing story! Your tart is a poem, I think your dad will forgive you for turning 37!

  46. Your dad sounds like a sweetheart. I bet this is a hard birthday for him to see go by. Maybe he will have to change that number to 73. I love stories like this. The mint tart looks great too.

  47. Ooooh that grasshopper tart sounds GOOD! 7-2-72 is a pretty cool number combo. I realized when I was like 12 years old, that I would turn 30 on 11-12-13. Ever since that realization I thought it was the coolest thing ever. As we are approaching 2010, I’m beginning to feel it’s not that far off and that seems CRAZY!

  48. i turned 37 on june 2nd so i can say it’s not that bad and i am still looking good LOL! the tart sounds great and in germany we do not wish before the actual birthday so i will keep the 7-2-72 in mind and come back then! hugs!

  49. Happy Birthday! I turned 37 in January. It doesn’t seem so bad…

    Your dad sounds hillarious and the tart looks really delicious!

  50. Kristin says:

    I’m envious of your relationship with your dad. Savor it! And happy birthday!

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