Send them on their way dancing: Frozen Key Lime Pie

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Last weekend at the University of Tennessee, forty-nine percent of the students graduating with a Batchelor’s Degree in Engineering were women. One of those women was my grandson’s wife—a beautiful, smart, young woman with a head for math and an eye on the future. The next day at Anderson College in South Carolina, my granddaughter walked across the stage to receive her Batchelor in Special Education—another beautiful, smart young woman with a 3.87 average, the heart of a teacher, and a new job at a local high school.

The new engineer and her husband

The new teacher

Both ceremonies started off with solemn music and a stern admonition to “hold all hoots, hollers, cheers, and applause until each graduate has received their degree.” Of course by the time each one of the thirty thousand, seven hundred, and forty-two graduates had been announced, walked across the stage, shaken everyone’s hand, and exited, diploma in hand, the audience was asleep and in no position to woo-hoo. 

When are They going to come up with a ceremony that includes joy and celebration for students who studied hard, turned down frivolity, put in all nighters, and anguished over a million papers. And how about the family members who supported their person, emotionally and financially, for those long four years? Wish those in charge could come up with fewer admonitions and more words of praise, a few comedy skits, music revues, or even a dog and pony show to send them down the aisle, on their way, and into the world with brass bands and some guitar licks instead of sermons and a dirge. Maybe next year. Anyways, two more graduations down, with only a few left to go. 

In our family, graduating means food, lots of food. For the new engineer, it was a cookout: burgers, potato salad, fruit, baked beans, salads, and cake. The new teacher celebrated her degree and her new job with Lebanese food: kibbee, koosa, stuffed grape leaves, felafel.

The next day was Mother’s Day which in our family means food, lots of food. My son’s mother-in-law must have pulled an all nighter to come up with her glorious menu: grilled chicken, steak skewers, roasted vegetables, saffron rice, “Artisan flat bread”, and Key Lime pie. 


In between the eating, there was the visiting, singing, toasting, story telling, adventure exchange, laughter, and maybe a misty eye or two. So if I have any words for the new graduates, it’s hoot, holler, and woo-hoo at every opportunity. Celebrate each victory as it comes along with brass bands and cartwheels—save the solemnity for traffic court.

Nora Ephron’s Frozen Key Lime Pie

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed or bottled Key lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
  •  One prepared 9-inch graham cracker crust, refrigerated
  • 2 to 3 cups lightly sweetened whipped cream, for topping

In a mixing bowl, beat yolks until thick, about 3 minutes. Add condensed milk, lime juice and lime zest. Beat again until well blended, about 1 minute.

Pour into pie shell, filling it to the brim and mounding slightly on top. Cover with plastic wrap, stretching wrap tightly across surface. Freeze until firm, at least three hours

Just before serving, remove from freezer and discard plastic wrap. Allow to rest for 5 minutes, then spread with whipped cream and serve.

Or just buy one from Costco.

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5 Responses to Send them on their way dancing: Frozen Key Lime Pie

  1. Bob Allen says:

    I’m hooting and holloring for the grandmother who saw her grandchildren and spouses graduate and sit thru that when all she wanted to do was hoot and holler for Leah and Sydney. Thanks for letting them share you for a few days. They will remember.

  2. Barb says:

    Sounds like a very wonderful happy celebratory visit. I’m so happy you could be there. Love you Marla.

  3. Barb says:

    Love the music and the video. Send them out dancing is a great way to go

  4. Lara says:

    Amen to Bob!! Says a lot about your family when they’re willing to sit through two hoot stifling ceremonies in 2 days!! They will remember–we ALL will remember ! ❤

  5. Marilyn says:

    If you do not want to deal with a pie, try these scrumptious and easy key lime coconut bars:

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