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A Repost.... From August 2013.

(It Happened Grandma... it truly all happened)

When I was little, my grandmother had a huge lilac shrub in the back yard of her house. From her back porch there was a perfect view of the lilacs when they opened up in the spring… and the scent… well, that was breath taking. It became an obsession for me. Even as a child, I decided that nothing could be better than a lilac. There is something just so perfect about this rather strange, organic, epic flower for me. When I was something like the age of 10, my grandma and I even planned my wedding day around the lilacs. I would wear white and carry purple lilacs. And my bridesmaids would wear purple and carry white lilacs. Even though purple is not my favorite color, this was the perfect idea. Perfect because Grandma Otte came up with it. And I can’t wait for that day…

When I was about 20, my grandmother bought me my very own lilac shrub to plant in the ground. My mother planted it in the back yard of the house I grew up in… and every spring she takes a picture of it. With the flowers in bloom, to remind me of how beautiful life is. To remind me of my grandmother. And to remind me of this incredible flower… that somehow has guided me as a child… and now as an adult.

I’ve moved around a lot over the years… in search of… and in those places I’ve lived, lilacs are not grown. I hope I move to a place…some day…that I can plant my own lilac shrub in the back yard of my own house… so that I may enjoy this special flower and be reminded of how blessed I am. To be reminded of my grandmother… And to smell the most perfect smell.

Today I’m going to pair a Blueberry Ice Cream Pie with my Lilacs. My grandmother had obsession with Ice Cream. And up until the day she passed away, she always loved and craved Dairy Queen. So this is for you Virginia…..


. 1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs (from 12 whole graham crackers)

. 1/3 cup light brown sugar

. 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

. 3 pints strawberry ice cream, softened slightly

. 1 cup white balsamic vinegar

2 pints blueberries, plus more for serving

. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a bowl, stir the cracker crumbs, brown sugar and butter until evenly moistened. Press the crumbs into a 9-inch glass pie plate and bake for 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool completely.

. Meanwhile, line another 9-inch pie plate with plastic wrap and spread with 1 pint of the ice cream. Top with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 10 minutes. Spread another pint of ice cream on top of the plastic, cover with plastic wrap and freeze. Repeat with a final layer of ice cream and freeze until firm.

. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, boil the vinegar over moderate heat until reduced to 1/3 cup, about 15 minutes. Add the 2 pints of blueberries and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, crushing the berries, until thick and jammy, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and freeze until chilled.

Transfer the top layer of flattened ice cream to the crust, spreading it to the edges. Top with half of the blueberry mixture. Repeat with the middle layer of ice cream and the remaining blueberry mixture and top with the final layer of ice cream. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes. Cut the pie into wedges and serve with fresh blueberries.

When I was living in Chicago, I had a slight obsession with Jeff Buckley. And then when I moved to Los Angeles, It became an even bigger obsession because I learned to appreciate music so much more while living in the City of Angels. What a gifted musician he was… although my friends made fun of me because they always thought his music was a little darker than most… No matter how many times I hear his version of Hallelujah… it’s still, in my personal opinion, the best rendition. Today I want to pair my Summer

Blueberry Ice Cream Pie with Jeff Buckley’s version of the 1950’s James Shelton song, Lilac Wine.


Grandma… I miss you. And I will always be reminded of you when I smell those epic flowers. And when I get married… I know you’ll be carrying lilacs too.


And guess what Virginia it all happened the way we dreamed it would....

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