Wednesday, March 14, 2012

nostalgia wednesdays: pi day

I think I've mentioned before that I'm a bit of a weirdo, for, well, many reasons, but especially for loving, I mean LOVING high school. I could extol its virtues for pages and pages, but I'll spare you the details, and skip straight to one of the school's more amazing, sugar-laden traditions: pi day. 

It is only natural, I think, that a school built on the premise of butt-kicking academics, would celebrate "pi day." Happily, though, there was nothing particularly academic about said celebration. No, it was quite the opposite. 

It's funny, because I'm sure had you asked me even a few years ago, my memory of the logistics would have been more in tact, but I'm getting old, and the distance between high school graduation and the present is rapidly increasing. I think we operated on a short schedule on pi day, leaving the majority of the afternoon open for pi(e)-centric activities and sugar comas. Pie walks (in lieu of cake walks), pie eating contests, "pie a teacher" booths. All while we sported our clever pi day shirts, designed anew each year.

My contribution each year was something not quite as fancy or pretty as this, even:
from pioneer woman by way of pinterest

"It" is peanut butter pie, in case the picture didn't give it away. My memory also fails me when I try to remember the first time I made it and brought it in to school, but what is crystal clear in my mind is the cult following it attracted. 
What's so great about this particular peanut butter pie is that its popularity is rivaled only by its simplicity. My parents first had it at a local restaurant in the smallish town where they went to college, and it was such a popular offering there that the waitresses carried around giant pads of paper with the recipe printed on them and tore sheets off for inquiring patrons. Some time between then and the present day, my mom wrote it on a now yellowed index card and it lives in our recipe drawer in the kitchen.
It's ideal for everything from pi day to work potlucks, as my friend Sophie discovered when she took it in to her office last spring and reported receiving rave reviews. It was when Sophie made it that we learned just how forgiving the recipe is, too, when I walked in to the kitchen and saw her combining all the ingredients with a hand mixer in one go. While I wouldn't necessarily recommend that technique, the pie came out surprisingly unscathed. 
Without further ado, here's the recipe, passed down from a greasy spoon in Michigan to my parents to, well, pretty much everyone they know.  
1 pre-made oreo cookie crust
4 oz cream cheese
1 c. powdered sugar
1/3 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. milk
9 oz cool whip
1. mix cream cheese & powdered sugar
2. add the peanut butter & milk
3. fold in the cool whip
4. pour in to the oreo crust and freeze for at least 4ish hours 
5. eat the leftover batter with a spoon, or put it in the freezer, too, and eat it like light ice cream later!
Happy pi day, everyone!

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