My husband (call sign: Shay) has flown the A-10 for the last 7 years and today was his last flight. He’s moving on to fly the F-16 and other aircraft. In the Air Force they call it a “fini flight” and everyone greets him at the flight line as he lands. He takes great pride in being a “Hawg Driver,” and finds it hilarious that I’m more attached to the A-10 than he is. This plane, it isn’t just any jet – let me tell you about it from my perspective…it can swoop down very low (to back-up the guys on the ground), use necessary weapons and then quickly climb back up out of the line of fire. Also, the cockpit sits in a huge “bathtub” of titanium so it’s pretty much indestructable.
Six years ago I woke up in the middle of the night to send my husband off to war in his A-10. I stood there with the other wives and waved good-bye on a cold, blustery morning and I cried as I watched him until he was out of sight. Five months later, I saw the entire fleet of A-10′s land together as we were united with our loved ones. Today, as I watched him fly his last flight I remembered all of the long hours, days without seeing him, and the protection it has offered for our country.
The fini flight was followed by a traditional “spray-down” with champagne. Our daughters had fire extinguishers filled with water to help ”soak Dad.” Afterward, we had lunch together with friends and colleagues in the squadron lounge followed by “thanks” and “congratulations”. Lunch included these yummy chocolate cream cheese brownies:
I know it’s sort of silly to get so sentimental over a plane, but it’s defined our lives for many years and now we’re moving on to something new. Maybe in a few years when it’s his last flight in the F-16, I’ll get all teary eyed again. On second thought…nah.
Chocolate is my husband’s favorite so I thought it only fitting to share with you a smooth, milky chocolate pie.1 pie crust (for the recipe click here)
2 cups whole milk
3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup maple syrup
5 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon arrowroot
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant herbal coffee (such asDandyblend)
sprinkle of cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups cream, whipped
Put all ingredients except vanilla and butter into a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until very thick and it coats the back of the spoon. (I usually run my finger down the back of the spoon to make sure it’s thick enough). Take off heat and add vanilla and butter. Cover with parchment paper and press parchment onto filling so it doesn’t form a skin. (I usually cut a round of parchment so it fits nicely on top of the filling). Refrigerate at least 4 hours until cold or overnight. Top with whipped cream.
*if you want to sweeten your whipped cream, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup will work nicely.
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