Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Eclair No Bake Dessert

Long ago, in a place far, far away......

I met my bestie, Mel.   She taught in the classroom next to me and my principal suggested I introduce myself because we were both young, (see I told you it was a long time ago) and she thought we would get along well.  So that morning, when we met in the gym to get our students, I saw her walk in.  She appeared about 7 feet tall and had ALL this red (natural) LONG, curly hair bouncing side to side.  I thought to myself, "self, she isn't friend material look at her strutting in here like a diva".  She had on 4 inch heel boots, and was gorgeous and I thought, "wow, she is obviously delusional with her perfect hair, high heeled boots, makeup, accessories and all her tallness, in PRE-K".    Anyway, isn't it funny (and sad) how we judge people.  I think I was actually not judging, but intimidated by all that hair.  I finally decided to invite her class over to our classroom for a dance party after several days of being asked, "Have you met Melissa yet"?  It has been downhill ever since!!  We laugh over this still, 10 years later.   After 2 marriages (neither of us were married when we met) , 3 kids (almost), lots of tears, laughter, sadness, joy and 1500 miles apart later we are still best friends.  She married a wonderful man and they are creating a beautiful family!  I am so happy for ALL of them!  Oh WAIT.....did I mention, I picked her husband for her?  Ok well not really, but I facilitated it, isn't that just as important?  Thanks to her visiting me in Nebraska, and a blizzard, she is one adoring wife, of Tom!!

Mel with her husband Tom and son Jackson (and a little pink bun in the oven too)!
As we become better friends and started spending more time together outside of work, Mel just became part of our family.  She would come over and I would have a list, we affectionately called "the tall girl list".  You guessed it, she helped me paint rooms, hang curtains, cleaned out top cupboards. HA!  Oh, the painting...........!  Was not her favorite tall girl list chore.   I know she is thrilled over my creation of the tall girl last even to this day.  Yea, I am sure she is...

I was just starting to get into cooking, and she dubbed me the "soup Nazi".  Soup has always been my thing.  We would concoct some amazing creamy, fattening soup, slap a Grands biscuit on top and hang out, for hours, or days!  Mel on the other hand, is Betty Crocker.  There is nothing this woman doesn't bake or create.  It would become a tradition for her to make us this Eclair Dessert or we would go pick up french silk pie, (before I knew how to make it)  and we would stay up all night, my husband was working grave shifts then, and just laugh and have great adventures.  She was part of our family from the beginning and it just seemed like we had always been friends.  My husband had to nickname her Rusty.  I am sure she enjoys that to this day as much as she enjoyed the tall girl list back then!

I am not sure how I survived life before her, and there are times the distance since my husband and I moved will kill me but, one day Mel, I swear we will be neighbors, and I won't have 1500 miles separating me from my sister from another mister!  Thanks for sharing your life,  your food, and yourself with us all these years, you have never really been a friend, you have just been part of our family! 

Aren't girlfriends the best?  Are there things you do with your girlfriends that are hilarious and fun?  Did I mention we used to drive through the worst parts of Philly just for fun?  OMG, we drove through some sort of "event" on this narrow street in Fishtown and we couldn't get out of it so you threw the car in reverse and backed up 2 blocks to get out of it?! "Yelling" at me the whole time, "OMG OMG OMG OMG, WHY do you NEVER give me the right directions ANYWHERE" ROFL  I miss our adventures, Ikea, Staples (mwaaahaha), farms out in Franklinville and coffee, at Fortesque at midnight.  Some of these I still laugh out loud about when I think of them!  I love you and miss you!!

Eclair No Bake Dessert
3 small boxes of vanilla instant pudding (I used sugar free)
4 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 - 8oz tub of cool whip (feel free to substitute fresh sweetened whipped cream)
16 ounces of chocolate frosting.  (it can be store bought, or homemade)
1 box graham crackers (not the cinnamon ones)

In a large bowl combine pudding mix, vanilla, and milk.  With an electric mixer, beat until combined.  Fold in cool whip or whipped cream.  In a 9x13 pan, lay the bottom with graham crackers.  Don't crush them, lay the crackers so they cover the bottom.  Add half of your pudding mixture on top and spread evenly.  Add another layer of graham crackers and the rest of the pudding mixture.  Now take your icing and microwave it for a few seconds to make it almost runny.  It will pour easily over the top and you can use an offset spatula or knife to spread it out.  If you don't heat it up to thin it out, it will be impossible (obviously) to spread it over soft pudding.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.  I like to put mine in the freezer for a few minutes as well, I like the texture when it has been SLIGHTLY frozen but not completely.  Feel free to just chill if you like.

Easy or what?  The best thing is the memories it brings back, AND how delish it is.
Your "besties forever" chefwannabe

PS.  FYI, if there were written on paper, it would be unreadable because of my tears...HAPPY ones of course!


  1. I love reading your stories! This is my next thing to "bake" for Father's Day! My sister from another mister FINALLY moved back near me for the first time since our children were toddlers! Our future plans include having a purple bed and breakfast with a full library, many cats, and hubbies that either just don't care (or we can drive them I sane). They swear we are going to drive them to an early grave! We've been sisters since she was 3 and I was 5. I am the fourth of 5 and she had ACTUAL UNBROKEN CRAYONS that she shared with ME and not my siblings! Oh, and a coloring book taller than her that I got to color a WHOLE PAGE in! *sigh* it's the little things!

    1. I love this!!! Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing your bestie story!

  2. You have reminded me of my best friends that I have had since 8th grade, we have had so many crazy times growing up and sometimes out together. I am crying with you because I am reminded of how much I miss them. Its funny how life, kids, family, work and ect can get in the way of times we wished we could have spent together. However I know if I needed either one of them they would be there for me in a jiffy, I know this because I would be there for them anytime or any place they needed me. Love this recipe and I love the story behind it even better. I think I am going to try this with my little girls this weekend on movie night.

    1. Thanks Heather!! It is hard to be away from people you feel closest too!! Let me know how the girls like it and you too! <3

  3. I have been in Fishtown and you are crazy :o) Great story! I'm in AK and my BFF is in Florida, but we've been friends since I was 3 and she was 5 (we're in our forties now).

    PS: Is the French Silk Pie recipe on the site?

    Davette B

    1. hehehhe!! Yes the french silk pie is on the site, just type it into the white search bar on the left at the top! I love when friendships last so long, such a blessing isn't it! Thanks for stopping by!!

  4. Such a fun story!! If it weren't for Mel I would deCLAIRE you made this just for me!!! LOL
    Thanks for sharing!
    xoxo, Claire

  5. Great post...I love that food can have so many memories attached. How lucky of you and Mel to have such a good friend. :)