Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Pyrite and Pie



Oh my god, finally something normal! And time to do it.  This is a lot of new for an old Taurus like me.  How are things?  Things are pretty good.  If one can’t have both, I’m glad things are good professionally. I officially ended my long-held dating embargo. Well god only knows what light was shining on me in June because the floodgays opened and I met not one or two, but several great guys where I saw quite a bit of potential.  But there was really one who stood out when I met him.  This guy was the personification of The List, you know like in Practical Magic.  I thought it’d be so easy, I thought he was so much like me, I was into it.  I’ve been told this is a problem but I really am done dating my opposite.  I’ve done it too many times and am too good at being rigid to be challenged on every fucking thing.  You wanna change soap?! Okay, let’s get a divorce.  You want to go to your mom’s house on Thanksgiving? I’m going to fake my own death.   You put fork tines down in the dishwasher instead of up?  I told you, this is my kitchen you are not even allowed in here.  Is it too much to ask that I find someone who just does everything I say and never disagrees with me?! Wellll, the more I got to know him the more I realized, he was in fact not exactly like me.  We agreed on the big things and nothing else.  But I still really liked him.  Okay, maybe I’ll budge on this and that, I can tweak A and B, etc. 

And I have to say, I was feeling pretty happy to accommodate.  I suppose this speaks to the chemical nature of love.  But then something in the energy changed.  I have been asked quite a lot What changed? And the answer is I don’t really know.  I have a few ideas, but chasing leads like that can get messy quickly.  But something did.  Well a week of that was too much for me.  I asked, got a vague answer, asked again, got a different vague answer.  As we all know, once a seed of doubt has been sown, it grows quickly and chokes out things that belong in its place.  So I sweetly but directly ended it.  Ten years ago, I would have thrived on the intrigue of finding out all the sordid details but the SAJ of today does not care for those.  My mantra let go or be dragged was once again of importance.  I asked myself all the times I was glad to have listened to my intuition and all the times I wish I hadn’t.  One list was much, much longer than the other.  Just as well, this is not the time for distractions for either of us anyway. 
The big news is that I don’t regret it.  I mean, I kiiinda regret it, but not immensely.  It was kind of a revelation that I could meet someone, like him, and see a path for the whole thing.  I’d say three steps forward, one step back.  I still feel I came out ahead from where I was, which considering the pace of 2017 for other people, is pretty damn good. 
If only I could learn to write about the thing I set out to write about.  Clearly this was all headed to a discussion on key lime pie.  As we know thanks to FF, we are most definitely in the season of Leo.  This also means the season of key lime pie.  My lifelong best friend is also a Leonine attorney like FF and throughout the years I have made her key lime pies on her birthday more years than not. 
Key lime pie is special to me because it is the first thing I ever mastered from scratch.  For a fat ten year old with a lot of feelings, this was quite the boon.  Looking back, I am less impressed because it’s really fucking easy.  Oh well.  Easy is good, especially for summer desserts.  Issue #1, do I use key limes? Fuuuuuck no.  By the time they make it to Ohio—if they ever make it to Ohio--they are petrified ghosts of fruit and completely useless.  Some people like to be annoying and scoff that it’s not key lime pie if it’s made with regular lime juice.  Okay, then don’t fucking eat it.  I really want it for breakfast tomorrow anyway, asshole.  Issue #2, yes I just use canned condensed milk.  Now I’ve moved away from evaporated milk in my pumpkin pies, so I’m tempted to try alternatives in key lime.  But it’s so easy and so beloved just like this, I think this is one time where my Taurian love for nostalgia and tradition must trump my Taurian pursuit for the absolute best ingredients.  Mix it in, get the embarrassing cans out of the kitchen and into the recycling and think about something else. 

Swamp Rose Mallow, an astonishingly beautiful wildflower in the Hibiscus family



Do those serving pieces in the raspberries look familiar?! They are from Ellie's shop! But I didn't buy them!
Dani did! I jokingly told her she stole them from me because I had planned to buy them.
A little while later she incredibly kindly said she was tidying up her drawers and looked at them and wanted me to have them. I tried to persuade her to keep them but she was resolute! I love them sooo much! Thanks again, Dani! 

Key Lime Pie
Adapted from an ancient Emeril Lagasse recipe that aired on Emeril Live!

Preheat oven to 350F, convection if you have it
CRUST
3 sleeves (1 whole box) honey graham crackers, ground
2 sticks butter, melted
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon whiskey optional
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine and press into greased pie plate. This crust does not bake at all before filled. Make a nice thick crust, we don’t skimp here.  You might have a little left over that you just can’t fit in—about 1/3 cup.  Much more than that is incorrect and you need to have a drink and let your hair down and try again. 

FILLING
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 large eggs

Mix and pour into pie crust. Bake about 15-20 minutes at 350, convection if you have the option. You want a slight wiggle but for the top to remain smooth. Let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate at least four hours, I prefer overnight. 

I go back and forth on if I like any topping with it.  Some days we are in the mood to gild lilies and some days we are not.  When I do, I like a lime whipped cream.  It’s more lime-y than sweet. 

LIME WHIPPED CREAM
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons freshly grated lime zest
Dash salt

Whip cream and sugar together in chilled mixing bowl until almost set.  Then add lime juice, zest, and salt and finish whipping.



59 comments:

  1. So glad you have officially entered the age where you meet someone there is a possibility of a future with, and can see a future both with and without them and weigh them as equally good. That's true freedom. It normally hits about 40, I believe, so you're ahead of the curve. LOVE your pie recipe, because my mother had the same one, only she used lemons and meringue topping so it was a weird, quasi-lemon meringue pie, and it was irresistible. I am unable to make it because I will eat the whole thing in one day and some days it may not even make it into the oven before I drink the contents. Truly. It's impossible to resist so I have to not make it unless I have 16 people coming to the house, all of whom will eat it.

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    1. Haha I know do you think it's the citrus that makes it *feel* not so bad?! Haha thank you so much!

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  2. LOL... I just love you. I hope you write a book. Please do.

    Thanks for the recipe! Will make it to share at cottage this weekend. With regular limes! Because key limes around here look like shoe leather :-)

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    1. Haha thank you!! Let me know how it goes!

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  3. Love your blog and hope to get an update about how the rest of your life is going though did really love the update on your social life. The pie looks divine. Will definitely make it for a special occasion before summer ends! Thank you

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    1. Thank you! Haha I swear I had no intention of writing about it but you know how things swirl in my head. Let me know how it goes when you make it!

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  4. Thanks for the recipe. Just reading it made me gain 5 lbs. I love your style - writing, view of the world and your
    serving pieces!

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  5. well, I grew up with Key lime pie with Key limes from the back yard, so I say ... the only hard and fast rule is, don't be throwing green food coloring in there (my mother will rise from the grave and read you the riot act over that).

    For a lemon alternative, do the google-fu for "Carolina Beach Pie" from Crooks Corner in Chapel Hill. A worthy alternative.

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    1. Haha! No! Never! I have made that! I loved it! I thought about posting that recipe along with this one! Love that saltine crust!!

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  6. Thank you for posting a delicious key lime pie recipe! I feel like I've come full circle after the incident with an in-law who made "key lime" pie that was supposedly the "famous" recipe from a restaurant where she worked. When I asked her for it, she refused! I had to divorce her brother immediately. From then on I've been certain that the limes in their pie in the shi-shi, dockside restaurant in Newport, RI are not true key limes either. And for the record, the seafood chowder at the Newport Marriott Hotel was better than in their place. Wow. Tucking the claws back in. And good for you for listening to the inner voice before finding out about somebody's secret life. I need to know a person and ambiguity and me don't gel. It seems like a sign..

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    1. Haha! She probably won't give it because it's too simple! I wouldn't share mine for years either! I thought I'd be ruined if anyone knew the filling had three ingredients! Thank you!

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    2. Oh and I should add, I don't think there's a secret life at play by any means. Just a change in chemistry.

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  7. You are very welcome and thank you for posting a picture, those serving pieces were meant to be yours! Your recipe looks so good and it does look easy, OMG whiskey in the crust I love it. I'd better bake this up for my hubs, also a Leo by the way. Another attorney Leo actually.
    I love the relationship update and I so admire your perspective on it: three steps forward one step back. So often people have a hard time seeing what they've learned and how they've grown from a difficult situation (because of course any break-up is no walk in the park). Or they see it but it takes years!
    Thank you Darling SAJ xxx

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    1. Thank you so much, Dani! I absolutely love them! And of course my promise stands if you ever want them back, back to Canada they will fly! Yes I'm sure he'd love it. Austrians have a great appreciation for salty sweet like this!

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  8. It is such a delight to see a post from you.
    That blackberry-tomato-basil dish looks pretty awesome.
    Key lime pie is the signature dessert of my BFF, whom I would love for you to meet. He, too, has standards, which I think are similar to yours.
    I am a little in awe that you saw things weren't going the way they should and let it go. I would have thought it was my fault and tried a million contortions to futilely make things work. Though with age, I have become much more sanguine. I think we get into relationships far too young. Good luck with it.

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    1. Thank you so much! That salad was so easy and sooo good. I literally just threw some salt and red wine vinegar on it. All you need when everything is so fresh! Oh I mean no doubt much of it was also my fault but I could feel the tide receding and just didn't care to watch it happen slowly. Thanks again! I'd love to know your best friend's recipe!

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  9. key lima and love
    or was it like?
    or was it...
    whatever. this post is another perfect one. I always laugh with you. you have a gift you know.
    the only thing missing in this one is my Barbie.
    LOVE you Stephen Andrew. hands down. no contest in adjectives there. XOXO♥
    oh yes. the pie looks scrumptious.

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    1. Thank you so much, Tammy! My goodness what was I thinking! You know Barbie will be pissed she wasn't the star. But don't worry about her, she has been running my friend's Keeshond puppy ragged the last few weeks so she's having a ball!

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  10. Oh that pie looks so tempting...I dare not make it until I have lost the weight that I gained.
    Dani is such a generous gal and so thoughtful...you'll enjoy those servers knowing that they were a gift and also from Ellie's shop...
    So great to see you back posting on the blog.
    Good for you to throw your hat back in the dating ring and I can only imagine how challenging it must be with a prospective new partner.

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    1. Thank you so much, hostess! I'm going hard on the diet too. Well I mean I was before all the tequila and cake last night but I'm back on it. I think my hat might be back out for now.

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  11. Oh happiness is finding a new post by you. What a wonderful gesture on Dani's part! My mother used to make what she called a lemon chiffon pie. I haven't been able to find the recipe for it in her recipes card boxes. In reading your recipe on key lime pie, I'll bet hers was similar but using lemons instead of limes. It was divine! I love the photos of the deer, too! I was just thinking of Ellie the other day. She (as do I) would definitely approve of ending the relationship. There comes a time (to refer to another reader's comments) that we need to stop guilting ourselves out because someone wasn't compatible. I can however, hear Elliesaying "Do tell!".























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    1. Thank you so much! Haha I needed to channel Ellie when I posted this because I knew I shouldn't but also didn't want to write a bunch of BS.

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  12. Third attempt. I've discovered the commentary. Happy day. I knew it had to be somewhere - just not attached to the post that comes to my email account. And I've created a Google account. Big day for me. I am content. Re dishwashers - either I load it or my wife loads it - "we" don't load it. Quirks are not always endearing. Photos, as always, are beautiful.

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  13. Fourth attempt - let's see how this one goes. I have discovered the commentary. Happy day! I knew it had to be somewhere - there are too many opportunities to share a thought - just not attached to the post that comes to my email account. And I've created a Google account. Big day for me. I'm a little slow. I am content. Re dishwashers - either my wife loads it or I load it - "we" don't load it. Quirks are not always endearing. Photos, as always, are beautiful.

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    1. Ah yes I'm sorry! I have moderation on so it seems your comment disappears into the ether after you post it but it just goes to a file for me to approve! Thank you so much! Haha couldn't agree more, dishwashers are certainly breeding grounds for domestic hostility

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  14. Thank you so much for this recipe, it sounds delicious and looks pretty easy! I will be making it for sure! Don't despair about not being partnered. I think so many of us are happier not partnered and it's OK. Society puts such pressure on us! Love Ellie's serving pieces too and that was so kind of your friend. Thank you! Valorie

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    1. Thank you! The truth is people are so much harder on women than they are on men! You are totally right. It was so sweet of Dani, it means so much to me!

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  15. Oh, you make me laugh! And you are very wise in the relationship department. I've finally struck gold at 45 but gosh those were some lean years in the desert. I'd move one step forward and then get hit by a proverbial truck.

    I'm allergic to limes and eggs, which makes me only really able to eat chocolate as comfort. It's all very sad!

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    1. Haha I don't think anyone has ever said I am wise in the relationship department! So glad you've struck gold! Oh I'm so sorry to hear no limes or eggs for you. But you can have a chocolate silk pie! Haha now I want to make that. I'm definitely in the mood to do some heartache cooking

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  16. I'm in awe of your writing skills - honestly, you could write about anything and make it entertaining.
    I would love to make this recipe, but I've calculated that, in Melbourne Australia, the cost to buy enough limes to squeeze a cup of lime juice would be precisely a zillion dollars.
    Kathryn.

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    1. Thank you so much! That is so very kind of you. You could do it with any citrus that abounds down there! Might not be much right now but I'm sure as spring and summer get rolling there is.

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  17. Sweet Stephen,so glad you're back! Your relationship evolution is to be applauded - it took me to my late 40's, unfortunately. And, I was thrilled to read about your real estate ambitions. There is much to love about the southeast coastal islands. One of my oldest and dearest friends just relocated to St. Simons, and I'll soon be visiting on our way to Charleston for the big Eclipse.
    Key Lime Pie: I live in freaking Florida and I don't use key limes. After a few attempts to use real key limes (too damn labor intensive with scant juice per lime), I found a Martha Stewart recipe (6/2000) that was superior to the 'real deal', and very easy. It calls for Persian limes (which are dirt cheap at the farmer's markets) with some lemon zest that produces the tartness of key limes. And Jean is so right - never use green food coloring, key lime pie is supposed to be yellow or very pale green. The crust is everything and hers is baked for a short time. I have used different kinds of graham crackers - currently partial to 'honey cinnamon' - generous butter and a little sugar. The pie ingredients are only the juice/zest, condensed milk and 4 egg yolks - period. It's simple and so delicious that the 'Un-Husband' would crawl over glass shards to get me to make one. It's great leverage. About ten years ago during a financial pinch, I was selling these 'key lime' pies to a friend for her diner/cafe. I made a nice profit and so did she, at $6 a slice! I always top it with real whipped cream out of a can - don't judge.
    Can't find the original Martha recipe I referenced, only more recent ones where she's back to using real key limes. But I'm certain it was hers as I wrote down the date on my original recipe card. I'll send you the full recipe that I use, and I look forward to experimenting with yours!

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    1. Thank you so much! Enjoy your trip! I know I was disappointed I couldn't find the original Emeril recipe for mine! Love that you had a bit of Mildred Pierce in you! I sold my KLPs too! My first foray into business! Haha I have made sooo many. You might try my crust. The bit of nutmeg and whiskey really give it a spicier flavor but not too much at all. Love the idea of a little lemon zest. Can't believe anyone would add food coloring to a KLP! I've never heard of that!

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    2. Yikes! Mildred Pierce! I had not made that connection as I never had her ruthless ambition, but the analogy is hysterical. Love you, Dear.

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  18. Hey Stephen...Thanks for making another appearance! Your photographs keep getting better and better...what kind of camera are you using? That fruit dish looks spectacular and I like the way you dressed it. As for the pie....perfection. So when are your fans going to convince you to write the book they are all waiting to read? Hugs to Barbie.

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    1. Thank you so much! A Nikon D3300. But realllllllly have my eye on an upgrade. Not now as my money is being hoarded into down payment and remodeling funds but hopefully next year. Oh I'm more than convinced to write a book! Haha I just need a publisher!

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  19. Thank you SAJ for the SRM (swamp rose mallow). For the past week, I’ve been meaning to look up the name of the big white flower that surrounds the pond I pass on my morning walk but by the time I get home I’ve forgotten. I remembered this morning but my search didn’t produce the right image, so perfect timing Mr. Jones. I meant to comment on your last post but got overwhelmed with everything I could’ve would’ve said, then didn’t – Ha! Like everyone else I was surprised and delighted to read your post. Oh, and the sunglass-selfie of you on Instagram reminds me a little of Thom Felicia - A real cutie!

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    1. Thank you so much! It's such a stunning wildflower, isn't it?! Well I'd be delighted to hear your thoughts on living two places if/when you find the time!

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  20. Not to ignore the key lime pie as it truly looks fabulous, but...

    "Is it too much to ask that I find someone who just does everything I say and never disagrees with me?!"

    HELLO!!!! This is what I have been saying all...my...life! I mean, it really simplifies things.

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  21. I'm a Leo (Dan is too!) Will you make us a birthday key lime pie?!!!! xxo

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  22. HOW MANY LIMES WILL THAT TAKE TO MAKE A CUP of LIME JUICE??????
    I WANT TO MAKE THIS ASAP!!!!!!
    XX

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  23. Stephen, I'm so glad you're back! I've missed your wit and sarcasm and since Ellie left us life has been so dull! I'm not getting your emails anymore - just lucked in to finding your first post after your sabbatical. I was a stalker, always googling you to see if you'd resumed writing. I'm not getting your posts but for some reason when I signed up again I was "told" that I was already receiving your them. Anyway, I'm thrilled that you're back and seemingly none the worse for wear.

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    1. Thank you so much! That is so strange! I am on my subscription and mine came but I wonder if that happened to anyone else?

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  24. I am so glad to hear you were able to walk away and not have your heart ripped out in the process. Sometimes, love is so fleeting and you hope it will never end---but even if it does end badly---you would not have wanted to miss those moments in time. Life is just so full of all those ups and downs, isn't it?

    I haven't blogged nearly as much lately so I am really glad to see a post from you. I have missed your wit (and sarcasm). Your pie is exactly like the one I make EXCEPT...I use 4 egg yolks instead of two whole eggs. Try it next time- A pastry chef shared that with me and it makes for a slightly creamier version--I can't explain it but the texture is a bit different. Now I am DYING for a piece of Key Lime Pie. The last time I made it some IDIOT, that shall remain unnamed, had opened the box of graham crackers, eaten every last one of them and put the empty box back on the shelf. The filling was already mixed...so I improvised and used Saltines. It was INCREDIBLE...it was that salty/sweet combo that I love. So....I suppose I am going to have to bake one of those again this weekend now---thanks a lot!

    Have a great weekend, Stephen!!! xo Diana

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    1. Hello Diana! So good to hear from you! You're so right! Someone else mentioned that about the egg yolks...maybe I should tweak the sacred recipe and try it! Thank you so much!

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  25. This key lime pie sounds wonderful. Would love to make it but then I'd have to eat it! And I'm already trying to lose some of the weight gained from nearly 2 months in France. Maybe when the family is next visiting. At one stage I worked with a super guy who used to make the best key lime pies and bring a slice each to work for when we had morning tea/coffee. Hadn't seen him for two or three years until I ran into him one day at our National Gallery. He didn't seem to know me but I could see he was struggling to work it out. Then he told me he had earlyish stage dementia - he's still quite young and otherwise fit. Huge shock and so sad. Don't attribute it to key lime pie though.
    Don't know what graham crackers are. Don't think we have them here in Oz. Do any of your Aussie readers know? Also is there a difference between Irish whiskey and normal whisky? We only have normal Scotch whisky at our house. Would it be OK to use that? Have nearly finished most of the limes from our potted Tahitian lime tree - they've been wonderful (so ours would be a Tahitian lime pie, right?) Mostly use them for breakfast to squeeze over papaya/pawpaw, bananas, melon etc. At this time of year they're so expensive in the shops, but I love them. Sad as my mother used to make a wonderful pie and I can't find her recipe - it was a two layer one called Heavenly Tart. Pastry with some kind of red jelly like filling, only not normal jelly, and then a sweet white filling on top which set (had vanilla and coconut in it I think) then the top was liberally sprinkled with desiccated coconut.
    Wonderful that you're feeling ready to seek a relationship again - also that you're trusting your instincts. Best wishes for that and also for your new business ventures. Can't wait for your book! It will be brilliant and you can do all your photos, so good! Pammie xx

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    1. Thank you so much, Pammie!! Graham crackers are cookie/biscuits that I think are flavored with a bit of nutmeg. Come to think of it, I don't even know what their flavoring is! But you could substitute another shortbread type cookie if you can't find graham crackers. Or even ginger snaps or saltines depending on your tastes. I use more of a bourbon whiskey which I should have specified. It has a warmer taste than scotch whiskey

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  26. Stephen, Nellie and Joe's bottled key lime juice makes delicious pies. If your local grocery doesn't carry it, you can get it on Amazon. Wouldn't it be great if Amazon could use its delivery drones to drop handsome dates on our doorsteps? Lucy

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    1. Haha oh I think there are services that do that! Bottled?! I'm so skeptical I might have to try it... thank you!

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  27. Stephen, how good that you listened to your intuition, which seems right on to me when I read your blog. It is heart-warming to know that there are individuals like you around. Oh thank god! And thank you for expressing so beautifully......

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    1. That is so very kind, thank you so much!!

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  28. ....let go or be dragged...I love that! I met my Sweetie when I was 56, worth waiting for. Thanks for sharing your recipe....I'll be making that. You're wonderful and yes a book! Rose

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    1. So glad to hear that! Thank you so much! Let me know how the KLP goes!

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  29. In the beginning it is easy to find an agreeable partner, everyone tries hard. It unravels with time.

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