Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Swimming Pool Pie

When I was a little girl birthday parties were a pretty simple affair. I'd invite all my friends over and their mothers would bring them to my house decked out in party clothes, bearing a wrapped gift. We'd play some party games like pin the tail on the donkey then sit down at the dining room table to eat cake and ice cream. As a crowning touch of high society, each place would have a nut cup. Oooh. Then I'd open the presents, say thank you, and the girls would go home. Every body happy.

Somehow in the years it took me to grow up and have kids, this all changed. I realized this when, after the games / cake / presents extravaganza, a sweet little girl from the neighborhood lisped , "Where's the party bags?"

Hunh? What's a party bag? I asked my kids and they brought me up to date. Apparently you must buy bags for each guest and fill them with candy and stuff. Why? Well, because you must.

I called my sister to ask if she'd encountered this curiosity. She, too, was horrified at the escalating birthday parties. She'd recently attended a catered, sit-down dinner for 50 that was a birthday party - for a one year old! What??

I used to stress out for a month before a my kids' birthday parties, planning the perfect party on a shoe-string budget, trying to give my kids a glittering gala that would be on a par with the ones they attended. I was elated when they were old enough that I could just tell them to go have fun with their friends and I'd bake them a cake.

This year my son's birthday came about 2 weeks after we'd just had a wedding in our back yard. I was barely out of the stress coma and the idea of putting on a birthday party was making me think longingly of prescription medications. Every idea that I had seemed to blossom into a huge party that would require me to work non-stop for a week ahead of time.

In a panic I called my sister, the clipboard commando who'd run my daughter's wedding, and said, "Help! Fix my life. What do I do?"

She said, calmly and wisely, "Just have his friends come over and play in the pool in the backyard." Yes, a pool party. I could handle that.

The little kids swam and played on the slip and slide. The older kids played inside. And they all enjoyed the birthday pie.

It was a swimming pool pie, and it had every good thing a child loves - a crust made from rice krispie treats, a pool filling of whipped cream, blue jello, and blueberries, and a group of gummie bear friends hanging out together enjoying the sun.

Playtime with friends and sugar. What more does a child need?

Gummie Bears at the Pool Pie
(adapted from Taste of Home -makes 2 pies)

40 large marshmallows
1/4 cup butter
5-6 cups crisped rice cereal
1 package (6 oz) berry blue gelatin
1 cup boiling water
1 cup cold water
4 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
3-1/3 cups fresh blueberries
About 30 gummie bears

Grease 2 pie pans.

In a large microwave-safe bowl cook the marshmallows and butter on high for 1 minute. Stir, then cook for another minute. Stir until the butter and marshmallows are melted and combined, returning the bowl to the microwave for 10 second intervals if needed.

Stir in the cereal. With greased hands, press 1/2 the mixture onto bottom and up the sides of the pie pan. Repeat with the other half and the other pie pan.

In a large bowl dissolve the gelatin in boiling water; stir till dissolved. Stir in the cold water. Refrigerate until partially set, about 1 hour. (I got distracted and my gelatin was pretty well set, hence the blue chunks in the pie.)

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream until it begins to thicken. Add the powdered sugar and beat until soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream into the the gelatin mixture, then gently fold in the berries. Divide this between the pie crusts, smoothing out the top. Refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

Garnish with gummie bears just before serving.

Serves 12 to 16.


LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Haha oh yes, gotta have the party bags!! :0)

Okay, that cake is BEYOND genius, Lynn - love it!!

Sandra said...

Love the swimming pool pie. Hate the party bag thing.

Deborah said...

I guess I should start saving now for my unborn child's birthday parties!! That pie is too cute - I would have LOVED that as a child!

eatme_delicious said...

What an awesome and fun birthday pie!

The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

You know I think we need to bring simplicity back...especially when it comes to birthday parties.

Love the cake!

Anonymous said...

I think Samuel's pool party sounds perfect. I bet the gummy bear pool pie was a hit. All the kids will be wanting to do that now for their parties!
Thank goodness for clipboard clever sisters!

Ashley said...

What a cute idea! I love the swimming pool pie! Your blog is really great!

Katrina said...

My son (10)went to a b-day party last year and he brought back a gift bag with so much loot I freaked. I really think his loot was more than the gift we'd given his friend. There was at least 10 kids at the party and each gift bag was probably $20 worth of dollar store junk. Crazy!
We do a pinata for our parties, which for my son whose b-day is in June right after school ends for the summer, he usually has a pool themed party, but we do a pinata and their loot bags are what they get from the pinata and I usually throw in a few other toys, but not expensive. It's crazy, though, because I DO always want to make sure our parties equal that of their friends. I will not have $20loot bags though! My son's party in June there were 16 kids here! I also love making the parties all outside. He's done pool party for the last three years, so this past one he did a baseball theme (OUTSIDE!) We rented a cotton candy machine, which the kids thought was pretty darn cool. They took home cotton candy, popcorn and peanuts. Okay, sorry, I'm blabbing.
Loved your swimming pool pie! (We also just do ice cream sundaes, no cake, because the kids never seem to eat the cake!)
Love your blog.

Karen Baking Soda said...

Ah kids parties, don't get me started, bring out the wine and prescr. meds! No, they are/were fun in this house. The odd kid that stated: I'll keep my coat on, 'coz we're going out right? was directed to take it off as in right now, we're staying at home.
Only one ever asked when the gift bags were handed over. (NOT!)
Usually I single out the bad guys right from the beginning (as in right at the gate) and bring them into the house on a very short leash, releasing them after a firm hand on their shoulder -my mom taught me to never slap, pinching is much more effective-.
Yeah I'm the party Mom from hell and they love every minute of it. I do too.... afterwards.

Heather said...

so cute! i'd take this over a big bash any day!!

Lien said...

It's the same everywhere with these parties when I read this. Sometimes it feels like a competition who spends the most money. Once when my husband and I (in 2 cars) drove the kids back home, one refused to accept that she was brought home without the 'bag'. She was convinced that I forgot to take them with me.... I found that the simplest parties in the end turn out the most fun for the kids. Great poolpie!!!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

How cute! That's a real kids' pie, isn't it? But I bet big kids love it, too... ;-)

Aimée said...

Help! Now I am nervous. Noah turns 3 in September and I want to do an official party with his friends. (The previous two were just family)But this post and people's comments are making me squirm a bit! I am already a control freak--but just want Noah to have fun...I may be picking your brain, OK?

Anonymous said...

I used to organize fancy parties, then one year I just got cake and drinks and let the kids play. I think it was the best party ever. Lynn your party was fantastic and relaxed. Every parent there thought the rice crispy crust was the best crust ever. EVER!!!!

Anh said...

A lovely idea, Lynn! :) it's so nice to read your post after a hectic day...

Gigi said...

I love the pool cake! I am sending this to my SIL. My nephews will get a kick out of this cake!

Cakespy said...

How fantastic! My birthday is this month...I WANT ONE! :-)

Big Boys Oven said...

it is so warm over here, I wish I can get into the pool !

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I hope there is a backlash to all of these super $, super competitive kiddie b-day parties. I'm with you. A cake, a pool, and let's not forget Hoodsie-cups are good to me. Have fun!

LyB said...

My daughter loves the Bratz and her last birthday party was themed accordingly. Boy, I hope she gets through that phase before her next Bday! My son would go nuts over that swimming pool pie, I'm so bookmarking this! :)

Erica said...

What a cute pie! I bet you're an awesome mom!