J.C., Crickets, and Grasshopper Pie

Well its officially Spring, but my thermostat and sweatshirts say otherwise. What blooms of Bradford Pears, daffodils, and lilies that where filled with color are now browned and burnt by the frost. Trees are still bare, and not quite yet a warm day to open the windows and air out the house. One thing is for certain, the insects are coming out, just ask the chickens and birds.

Spring always makes me think of fishing. I grew up in a household where fishing was a religion. If it were decent weather, you were in a boat or on the bank with a zebco 33 in your hands trying to hook the one that got away. My dad took me along on most of his excursions, and for the most part, even as a young child, I could pass as an equal fishing partner. I knew how to tie a fisherman’s knot, bait my own hook, and take the fish off and gently return it back to the water. There was one thing as a child that I drew the line on and I stand firm on my feelings about, it was bait store crickets!

There was something about those khaki tan insects that had long barbs on their legs and some had projectile points coming from their bottoms that resembled needles. One fine day when everything went wrong which was often the case to hear my dad tell it, we were at Laurel Lake fishing and the outboard motor quit in the middle of the lake. My dad worked helplessly on the motor, waves gently rocking the boat and my dad’s patience. Meanwhile, I’m trying to snatch an elusive cricket to use as bait and one jumps on top of my hand and I sling it accidentally knocking over the cricket cage. Now nearly a hundred crawly creepy crickets begin to escape inching towards me single file to exact revenge for their fallen comrades. In a panic, I begin to quickly scoot backwards nearly knocking my dad out the boat. He turns to see the mess I created and back at the motor, he takes his Bass Pro hat off and shaking his head looking up at the sky says, “Why me J.C., why me?” My sister Jean’s father in law was named J.C. Smith. I jump to my feet, “Where is J.C., daddy, is he here to help?!” Evidently, that wasnt the J.C. dad was referring to. My dad just grabbed a lunch box and got out the mustard sardines and crackers remaining silent. What…a….day.

This pie doesn’t have a cricket in it, but I think it’s name maybe comes from one’s cousin. If you have a recipe you would like to share, email kdcole1120@gmail.com.

Grasshopper Pie

Ingredients:

1-1/2 c. 2% cold milk

1 pkg (3.9 oz) of instant chocolate pudding

2-3/4 c. whipped topping, divided

1 (4.67 oz) pkg of Andes mints, chopped and divided

1-9 inch chocolate crumb pie crust

1/4 tsp mint extract

2 drops of green food coloring, optional

Directions:

In small bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for two minutes. Stir in 3/4 c. whipped topping. Fold in 3/4 c. of mint candies. Spoon into pie crust. Place remaining whipped topping in another bowl. Fold in extract, add food coloring. Spread over pudding mixture, top with remaining candies. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or until set. Serves 8