“You Are My Sunshine
My only sunshine.
You make me happy
When skies are grey.
You’ll never know, dear,
How much I love you.
Please don’t take my sunshine away”
Remember this song? It has quite a catchy tune. Let me tell you, once you get this little ditty stuck in your head, it’s damn hard to get it out! I actually found myself humming it around my house for hours the other day after having a slice of that Frozen Lemonade Pie you see in the pictures here.
The recipe for this little gem is ridiculously easy and doesn’t call for one single organic, farm-raised, free range, all natural ingredient. In fact, there are only four ingredients required – five, if you make your own crust. And, one of the ingredients involved is Cool Whip, which I hear many foodies don’t even consider to be real food. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have ever posted about this pie. I would have been too worried about damaging any reputation I might have as a “legitimate” foodie. After all, a five year-old could whip this puppy up, so you certainly don’t need me to tell you how to do it. Besides, I do believe that organic, farm-raised, free range and all natural ingredients are wonderful, and I do try to use them whenever I can.
Why then am I assaulting your delicate foodie sensibilities with this pie? Because, it was delicious and I loved it, and think you might love it too. And, because of a thought-provoking post I read last night written by Jerry of Cooking by the Seat of My Pants about how being a food blogger or proclaimed “foodie” often changes our perception of what good food is or should be.
In his post, Jerry explains that, “The quest for perfection that we engage ourselves in has an unfortunate side effect for almost every one of us at one point. It causes our focus to shift from what good food is at its core to a strange belief that the ingredients make the dish. Nothing is farther from the truth. The primary ingredient in great food is the love that goes into it, not whether or not the cheese used on the side was organically cultured three miles underground and cased in fine port for seven years.”
Amen to that!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve prepared a modest meal for my family or created a humble little dessert and never considered sharing it with you because I didn’t think it was “special” enough or because its ingredients weren’t lofty enough. You see, I want you to like me, (really, really like me), and think I’m clever and creative and smart! But, I’m beginning to realize that a great dish can’t always be measured by the individual ingredients that go into it, but rather the sum of its parts. Sometimes, what makes a dish great is the delight and enthusiasm with which it is received. And yes, dear readers, the love and care with which it was created is a big part of it.
So, I proudly present this unassuming Frozen Lemonade Pie to you, prepared with love in a store bought graham cracker crust, Cool Whip and all. I found the recipe on the Food Network web site after seeing it featured on an episode of the Neely’s show. It was a dark, dreary and rainy day, and I was looking for a little sunshine. I got what I was looking for. This pie took less than five minutes to prepare, and it was so luscious! With its bright, lemony, sweet-tart flavor and silky, chiffon-like texture, it really was like sunshine on a plate. My family loved it, as did the few lucky friends I chose to share it with. Watch out, though. If you make this pie, you just might find yourself humming that song all day too! Oh, and by the way, I served it on paper plates with some ribs and greens I picked up from a little roadside barbecue stand.
How do you feel about this issue? What constitutes great food to you? Do you believe that the love and care put into a dish outweighs the cost and cache of fancy gourmet ingredients? Do you refrain from posting about recipes you like because you don’t think they’re fancy enough? Do you think that as food bloggers, we run the risk of becoming “food snobs”? I’d really love to know how you feel.
Frozen Lemonade Pie
from The Neelys via FoodNetwork.com
1 large-size store bought graham cracker pie crust
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk, chilled
1 (12 ounce) container Cool Whip, thawed
1 (6 fluid ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, keep frozen
1 teaspoon candied lemon peel for garnish (optional)
In a medium bowl, add chilled sweetened condensed milk and Cool Whip and fold gently. Add frozen lemonade and continue to gently fold. Do not let the mixture become soupy.
Pour mixture into the pie crust and freeze for several hours or overnight.
Garnish with candied lemon peel, if desired.
Makes 8 servings.