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. awww that’s really adorable! I think my dad kept forgetting how old my sister and I were. eh, oh well. ;D Happy early bday Peabody, and hope it’s a blast! i’m sure you’ll find a way to make it extra special!…like a tattoo, but that’s up to you :) if you don’t have one already, i hope your dad’s not reading this…if so, i’m totally kidding.
    take care!

  2. That is a lovely post, Pea – I’m sure this delicious dessert will ease the pain for your dad. :)

  3. Fathers are so funny. Hope you have a wonderful birthday. The tart looks delicious!

  4. Hahaha…dads are funny. And happy birthday to you!

  5. happy birthday! hope you have an l337 day! (that’s geek speak for elite heheh) your dad is just too cute!

  6. That post was both touching and funny! Oh, and your tart looks lovely. The marshmallow topping would be heavenly just on a spoon I’m sure.
    ~ingrid

  7. Happy Birthday! Dads are the best:) Love the tart!

  8. Awww I always love your stories but this one was especially great. Oh and the tart looks good too!

  9. Oh my goodness … that is so just the very best 37 grasshopper tart!!!
    Your family is wonderful.

  10. Happy birthday and the tart looks sooooooooooo good.

  11. Margaret says:

    That’s such a sweet story and a scrumptious looking dessert. Dads never stop seeing us as their little girl.
    My dad is also a fan of chocolate-mint. This looks far better than the epic disaster that resulted from his attempt at chocolate mint cheesecake. But we can always laugh about it.

  12. Pea –

    GOod afternoon. This is such a sweet post. Daddy loves his little girl and that is priceless, you are a lucky girl.

  13. Cute post! My dad never told me ages like that…though I probably never asked those questions! I will agree that certain traits run in families…my dad has this really corny sense of humor…and I inherited it! The tarts are SO neat looking. I love the stream of green on top…so artistic.

  14. How cool! I love it. I’m turning 37 this year too and I’ve been dreading it. 36 just sounds younger. Your post makes it sound nice! Happy Birthday!

  15. Lovely post! Happy birthday to you and happy father’s day to your dad too. (And regarding the idea of being 37 years old, I can tell you it sounds pretty darn young to me! It’s relative.)

  16. I turned 37 in April and it has felt like a strange number – your story gave it new meaning -THANKS!

  17. I turn 37 this year too! Funny how growing up you never feel like you will be 30, 35, …

    Your tart looks great. I may just have to make this one!

  18. Best. Story. Ever.

  19. This story about your Dad is so heartwarming. I love how every little girl has a special story they share with their father. Happy Birthday to you and I’m sure your Dad is happy to see his little girl finally be able to grow up…hehe.

  20. I’ll be turning 30 a few short days after your special day. :) Just wish that I was looking forward to it, rather than dreading the thought. Wanna just celebrate 37 twice for me??
    And your tart looks wonderful. I’ve been on a tart kick myself (orange-chocolate ganache, key lime, S’mores…)

  21. this is an adorably sweet post. happy soon-to-be 37th birthday :) the dessert looks delicious!

  22. thats so cute. what you write always brings the LOLz :)

  23. Happy,happy birthday
    Dear Peabody
    Happy birthday to you!!!

  24. Awwwww……

  25. Beautiful post, and happy early birthday! Every family has its in jokes; it’s what holds us together.

  26. I was born on 8-3-83! Yeah for our birthdays! :P

    That tart looks delicious.

  27. Happy soon-to-be-birthday!!
    37??
    Shoot, you are a youngster!!
    I love this recipe…may try to get all the ingrefiants tomorrow and make this for Father’s Day family get-together on Sunday..
    Your dad must be so stinkin’ proud of you!!
    Glad you decided to continue the blog :)

  28. Awwwww! That’s such a sweet story :) Wish my family was that cool & close-knit. You’re so lucky (and so is your dad, for raising such an awesome baker!). Grasshopper Tarts? Yes please!
    A very happy early birthday to ya. Do you plan to make your own birthday cake?

  29. happy (early) birthday! a really nice post …

  30. Delightful looking treat, and a delightful post. I love finding out other families are bizarre as well

  31. Enjoyable post! And that bright greenish on top of the cake makes it even more interesting ;-)

  32. Oh Peabody – that story reminded me of my mum when I first started dating. I always had to be home by 11.00pm – in her mind nothing naughty would happen before that hour – but after that uh oh! Promise to regularly comment and not be a lurker any more!

  33. Happy belated birthday, Peabody! I hope you enjoyed it to the fullest. :)

  34. First of all…HAPPY BIRTHDAY…love the story that you shared and the cake looks great…chocolate and mint…yummie!

  35. weird!

    My ex-husband’s birthday is 7-2-72 also!

  36. Beautiful tart and a great post that made me laugh out loud. 7, 37, or 57, you’ll always be your daddy’s little girl.

  37. What a beautiful story and delicious looking tart.

    Happy – almost – birthday!

  38. Nothing wrong with that! I’ve been the same way, always wanting to be 35. I’m 24 now, so only nine years to go :-) Have a happy! (And that recipe looks fabulous).

  39. So cute.
    And I think this tart would make anything easier. Chocolate and mint together is my favorite combo.

  40. lol. Hilarious story. This recipe is a keeper…just printed it out. I come to your site for the stories and pictures, but usually the recipes are out of my range (you have either more time or more dedication than I do!) but this one looks like something I’ll have to make anyway…and I have everything but the mint leaves, and those are growing in my MIL’s garden!

  41. OOO! I know what my hubby’s getting for his first father’s day!
    I was trying to decide what to make for him and I always forget how much he likes mint! (i’m not a fan)

  42. Oh, my nerdo number sequence freak husband would love your birthday, especially when you turned 27, because you’d be 02/07/72 27. He would LOVE it! Personally, I don’t get the coolness of it. He’d love it when you turn 72, too.

    Your grasshopper pies are sweet!

  43. Happy Birthday! This tart looks amazing!

  44. feliz feliz cumpleanos!! i love the grasshopper tarte and that u just still care yourself daddy’s little girl!

  45. Happy 37th birthday!
    What a great post! Thank you for sharing your story!

  46. So sweet and funny and touching…all at once. Happy belated, dear Peabody!

  47. That is so sweet! Happy birthday!

  48. Question: is the recipe for mini tarts or a large tart? And if it’s for a large tart, what size tart pan?

  49. Your poor Dad…now you are really grown up. Bet the tart sweetens the shock :)
    Happy birthday early Peabody. I have a special recipe I’m working on to celebrate it (virtually) with you.

  50. Chocolate + mint = DELICIOUS!!!! Hope your 37th is everything you hope for and more!

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