On Sunday, I woke up and my right hand was partially numb. I, being an anxiety ridden ball of worries, immediately freaked out. This wasn’t my-hand-is-asleep numb. This was for real numb. I felt nothing from my knuckles to my wrist. It’s a scary thing. I had some work to do, though, so I got going in the kitchen. It was hard. I got exhausted really easily. I couldn’t hold things as strongly or hold my knife for as long as usual. I iced it, rested it, figured that it would be better tomorrow. On Monday, nothing had changed, except now there was tingling. I thought maybe that meant the feeling was trying yo return. I bought a compression brace on my way into the office and tried to make myself comfortable at my desk. On Tuesday, my left knuckles started feeling tingly and a bit numb. That’s when I really had a breakdown. I had to make a trip to Ikea for work, but after that, it was time to go to the doctor. Thankfully, I received good news. It’s most likely just a pinched nerve in my back or neck. It will go away eventually. But I have to wear elbow and wrist braces while I sleep and during the day if I need it, which sucks. It’s uncomfortable and I’m on day four of not feeling much in my right hand. If it doesn’t get better in two weeks, it may be something else and I have to go back to the doctor. This is on top of the physical therapy I have to do for my knees. I’m 25. What gives? It freaks me out and I’m not going to be okay until everything is normal again.
Whatever. Life goes on. Let’s talk about something happier, shall we? I’ve got a few more Outer Banks photos to share. While beach day one was sunny and lovely, day two was grim at first. There was rain and wind with no promise of sun in sight. Kramer was confident, though. He predicted that the sun would come out between 12-4, but we headed to the beach at 11 anyway to set up base camp. Kramer and my brother Dane got to work digging a small trench, which we put our beach chairs in to protect us from the rain. The bored life guards helped us build a small shield of umbrellas, too, since we were practically the only ones on the beach. After a few small tweaks, our shelter was ready, and believe it or not, right at 12, the sun came out! Kramer, ever the soothsayer. We enjoyed our last day on the beach, Tecates in hand, then headed back to the house for a dinner of steamed clams and crab, as well as a beautiful grilled beef tenderloin that Jill’s parents made for us. The next morning, we had a feast of pancakes, blackberries, bacon and coffee before hitting the road – Dane drove this time, all the way back to DC, where we had a few goodbye beers before he made his way back to Balitmore and we made our way back to New York. It was a great trip and I can’t wait until next year!
Let’s also talk about another happy thing: this pie. Kramer’s co-workers dubbed this “crack pie”, even though it is nothing like the Momofuku pie of the same name. I think it deserves its title, though. Start with a buttery graham cracker crust – it’s the only part you need to bake! Add in a rich chocolate pudding filling, then top it all off with swirls of peanut butter. Feel free to get fancy and garnish the top with chopped, salted peanuts and crushed graham cracker. Sure, it’s rich, but it’s almost no-bake and the classic peanut butter and chocolate combination is a favorite for everyone (unless you’re European or Australian and don’t like peanut butter, or you’re allergic to peanut butter, in which case, feel free to go back and scroll through the other desserts I have on here – there is plenty for you to choose from, but this isn’t for you). Kramer and I savored bites of this pie, looking at each other after each bite and thinking, “Is it worth it to have another bite?” followed immediately by confirming that yes, yes it was. A dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream would only amplify this pie-eating experience, but I don’t think it needs anything. It stands out all on its own, and with only 10 minutes of oven time needed for the crust, it’s a great summer dessert. Labor Day ideas, anyone?
I keep forgetting to bring my friend Kim her frisbee and football back. When we left for our trip, I realized we still had them…so we brought the frisbee along. I’m sorry, Kim!
Kramer digging us a trench.
Dane helped, too.
Combine your crust ingredients.
Press the crust into the pie dish, then bake until firm.
Gather your filling ingredients.
Heat your first six ingredients, then whisk in the chocolate.
Pour the chocolate into the pie crust, then add your peanut butter and draw lines through it with a chopstick or a butter knife to create a zig-zag pattern.
Chill until firm enough to slice.
- 1⅔ cups crushed graham crackers (about 10 whole graham crackers)
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 3 cups whole milk or cream
- 4 egg yolks
- 1¼ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup sifted cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups chopped chocolate
- 1 cup peanut butter, warm enough to drizzle/pour
- chopped peanuts, for garnish
- crushed graham crackers, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine the graham crackers, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add in the melted butter and use a fork to combine until the mixture is wet. Press into a 9-inch pie dish, using a firm hand to get it all to stay and stick together. Bake for 12 minutes or so, until golden and firm. Set aside until ready to use.
- In a medium sized pot, whisk together the milk and the egg yolks over medium heat. Add in the sugar, sifted cornstarch and cinnamon. Bring the heat up to medium high and whisk until boiling. Remove the mixture from the heat and add in the vanilla and chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted, then pour the mixture into your pie crust (you may have a little extra, which makes a great pudding or ice cream topping).
- Melt your peanut butter in the microwave for 30 seconds or so, being careful not to burn it. Drizzle the peanut butter over the pie in lines, then use a chopstick or knife to drag through the pie to create a swirl or zig-zag design. Sprinkle with crushed peanuts and crushed graham crackers. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, until firm enough to slice. Serve with more crushed peanuts, crushed graham cracker, and maybe a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.