ARCHIVE (week of July 21, 2002)
I've decided that Martha's definition of "easy" and my definition of "easy" are, um, completely not the same. The Grasshopper Tart pictured above was a recipe out of an issue claiming "Easy Icebox Desserts". The recipe itself wasn't that difficult, finding the ingredients and tools for the recipe, well, let me tell you...
I have a lot of cooking stuff. A LOT. But the tarts use ring molds. Has to be the one thing I don't have. So I went to the cooking store to get ring molds (of course they don't have the right size and they only have 5, I'm supposed to have 6, but I'm just happy they have them) and a candy thermometer. Next, I go to my local grocery store, the only thing they have, out of everything I need, is fresh mint. I try Cost Plus, figuring they'll have the chocolate cookies for the crust, and maybe they'll have spearmint extract. No dice. So I end up at another grocery store and they finally have Creme de Menth, mint extract (not spearmint, but I really don't care at this point) and chocolate wafer cookies. Finally, I can actually make the damn tarts.
While the recipe is somewhat involved...bring this almost to simmer and set aside, bring that almost to a boil, add mint, let steep for 10 minutes, whisk constantly, etc. I managed to do everything required, but they didn't turn out quite right. After sitting in the fridge for almost 3 hours the grasshopper mouse didn't set up all the way, and I had a ton leftover, which I don't think was supposed to happen. When I unmolded a couple of tarts a day later (after nearly 24 hours in the 'icebox'), they had set up a little better.
I suppose the important thing is that they tasted good. And now I have a big bottle of Creme de Menth, so I can make them again. So really, my issue here is that while it may be easy for Martha to make grasshopper tarts because she's got a huge-normous kitchen full of every cooking ingredient and tool you'd ever need, some of us don't, which makes things a bit less easy. But I must admit, her recipes are usually pretty tasty, so I can't complain TOO much.