I love celebrating birthdays – one-year-old birthdays to 90+ birthdays. I love filling the table with favorite dishes and desserts, considering the table detail for the little ones and the big ones, the celebrant and the celebrators.
Children’s gifts? I love the whimsy of finding the right gift for the right child. Can I tell you how exciting it is to have granddaughters after raising five sons? Crowns, tuts, whimsy dresses, The Secret Garden, little girl toys! When the boys were growing up, necessities like summer clothes were gifts, along with one longed-for item. Maybe it was a super-soaker water gun. Maybe it was soccer cleats or the newest video game, a baseball glove or a baseball card.
Grown up gifts? That’s challenging. Money is so impersonal – though greatly valued. One year Aunt Joyce and I drove to all the garden stores in Louisville looking for a Baptisia Tinctoria, a yellow flower, for her sister’s birthday. One year, we had my grandmother’s family bible recovered for her. Maybe it’s a hand-me-down gift like a beloved book, a quilt, a tea cup. My mom, if her birthday were in the summer, would love a daily gift of a tomato from my garden!
Grown-up sons are harder to buy for. No whimsy. They love a good shirt or something to go with their current hobby. One loved receiving a pocket watch with an inscription on the inside. There’s a 3-inch bladed hoe that was my aunts held togther with black duct tape – that would be a sweet hand-me-down gift to the son who will enjoy gardening. All of the boys are hoping that one day I will gift one of them with my blue bandana that belonged to Journey’s drummer I caught at a Derby Eve Concert in 1981.
I would hope the gifts given are appreciated – and the ignomy, the disgrace of a gift being regifted. It’s unsettling, more so when it is regifted back to you (Yes! That has happened). (For etiquette tips on regifting, check out this link).
After all, gift giving is all about giving a blessing. To give a blessing, knowing the recipients heart is important – intentionality is required. Giving is really a double blessing – the joy of being allowed to give, and the joy watching someone receive a heart-given kindness.
Yes! I always ask my boys what they want, what they need. This year one of sons gave me an answer that went straight to my heart: A Pie a Month for The Next Year.”
I love it! I get to hug in one of my fluent love languages: Baking! For the next year, I will be posting the a pie recipe a month! Ready? Set? Go!
Pie #1 is Muddy’s Oreo Cannoli Pie. There wasn’t even a crumb left over to re-gift to his sweet goldens Brooks, Junior and Clover. Maybe you will enjoy it, too!
Cannoli Pie Ingredients
1 1/2 Cups Waffle Cone Crumbs (about 8-10 waffle cones) (Spin whole cones in a food processor to crumb)
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 Double Cream Ricotta Cheese (Double Cream doesn’t need draining)
8 ounces Mascarpone Cheese (full fat)
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Teaspoon Orange Zest
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Cup Oreo Cookie Crumbs
1 Teaspoon Orange Zest
2 Tablespoons Cup Oreo Cookie Crumbs
3 Tablespoon Graham Cracker Crumbs
4 Tablespoons KitKat Bar Crumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pray a 9-inch pie pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a mixing bowl, mix together waffle cone crumbs, sugar and salt. Add butter and stir. Press crumb mixture firmly into the bottom and sides of the pie pan to form an even layer of crust. Bake the crust at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
When crust has cooled, press Oreo Cookie Crumbs over the bottom of the crust.
In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together ricotta, mascarpone and powdered sugar until well combined. Add vanilla, orange zest, cinnamon and salt, beating until evenly incorporated. Spoon filling over Oreo Cookie Crumbs and filling the pie crust. Be sure not to mix the filling with the Oreo Cookie Crumbs.
Sprinkle toppings on pie and refrigerate 3-4 hours or overnight before serving.