Happy Thanksgiving! I thought a Thanksgiving story was appropriate.
Most every year my family would be invited to the Cutler's for Thanksgiving dinner. This was heavenly for many reasons. One, I felt like I grew up there, so it was very homey; Two, Joanie is an amazing cook. Cook isn't the right word...Chef is better. Three, there was always a crackling fire going and great conversation.
One year, Joanie had invited another couple to the dinner as well. She had asked both my Mom and Sandra, the other lady, to bring dessert. She requested a trifle from my Mom and asked Sandra to bring a pie. After dinner, as we were all sitting around the fireplace, Joanie began to take dessert orders. I started to feel very sad for Sandra when person after person kept asking for trifle - and no one wanted her pumpkin pie. I really wanted trifle but asked for pie so at least someone ate some of Sandra's dessert. My Dad (step-dad) was sitting next to me and he also asked for pie.
I looked longingly as each person received their bowl of trifle. Soon Joanie handed us our pumpkin pie. I took a bite and had to use all my will power to not spit it out or make a face. Something was seriously wrong with this pie. Ironically, Sandra and her husband were also having trifle, so she had no idea that she had baked the worst pumpkin pie ever in the history of Thanksgiving. I looked over at my Dad and we exchanged knowing glances. I sat in awe as I watched him actually take another bite. He gave me a small nod, as if saying, "Come on...we have to make an effort." I managed to take two more bites. If I ate anymore I was sure I would begin spewing pumpkin pie all over the coffee table.
It was clear that Sandra did not put sugar in filling and she seemed to be lacking in the finer art of crust making. The crust was very, very hard and salty - that combined with unsweetened pumpkin custard is not a great way to finish a beautiful meal.
I couldn't wait to get in the car with my parents so that my Dad and I could discuss the trauma we had both experienced. I needed to have some group therapy time ... and was nervous that Joanie would ask if we wanted more. I have been very careful about pumpkin pie ever since that experience. Every time I see a pumpkin pie I have a flash of post traumatic stress disorder. So, before you dive into your pie today, pick someone to taste test it for you.....does anyone know Sandra?