Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sugar, Sugar. Aw, Honey, Honey!

Seems like all of a sudden everyone's thoughts have turned to Thanksgiving. Forget that Halloween isn't even here yet; I've already had people asking me what we're doing for Thanksgiving.

And may I just now say that I don't know yet what we're doing for Thanksgiving. No plans. Yet. We don't have family nearby, so we often end up just doing something with the five of us. It always feels a little pathetic to not do something with family, but that's just the way it is.

We'll see family at Christmas.

Anyway, all this talk about Thanksgiving got me to thinking about a Thanksgiving many years ago when we did still have family in the area. B and I had been married a few years and were expecting our first baby. I still remember the mystery of being newly-pregnant and going through the holidays. We'd sit and dream of the next Christmas when we'd actually have a baby with us. Would it be a boy or a girl? (We didn't find out . . . the first time anyway.) What would our lives look like with a baby? (Good thing they don't tell you ahead of time.)

All that dreaming. And eating. Oh to be able to eat like I was pregnant again!

Who am I kidding? I put on 50 pounds with each kid. I ate like a horse and looked like one too.

But I digress. . . . That year we spent Thanksgiving with B's family. His mom would make the turkey dinner, and I was to bring the pies. I spent the day before Thanksgiving baking, what else? . . . pumpkin pies. And one pecan pie, too, because that's my personal favorite.

B's brothers were there, and I think my sister-in-law, Julie, was a part of the family by then too. We had a great day together, eating the feast that my mother-in-law had prepared and sleeping in front of the football games.

Sometime in the late afternoon we decided our turkey had finally moved over and made room for dessert, so I went to the kitchen, cut my pies, and proudly served the pieces with real whipped cream. B and I were the only ones to take the pecan pie--I guess his family is big on the pumpkin.

We all moved back into the living room to watch more football. I don't think the cushions even cooled before we plopped back down in front of the T.V. Don't you just love Thanksgiving?!

Shortly after we started eating our dessert, I noticed B's dad slowly get up and wander into the kitchen. A couple of minutes later he came back with a piece of pecan pie.

"Hungry, Dad?" we asked him.

"Oh, you know. It's Thanksgiving. You have to try a little of everything."

A couple of minutes later, B's brother got up and wandered to the kitchen too, coming back with a piece of pecan pie. Then his mom did the same.

To tell you the truth, I didn't think much about it. There was definitely something going on in the kitchen, but I figured they just loved my pie so much that they wanted more.

At the end of the day we started packing up to go home. As any good guest would do, I offered to leave some of my pie with my in-laws.

"Here," I offered, "why don't you keep a couple of pieces for your lunch tomorrow?"

"Oh no, you keep it." My mother-in-law practically pushed the half-full pie plate out the door with me.

Later, when we were alone in the car, I asked B if he had noticed all the going in and out of the kitchen during dessert. And didn't he think it was weird that his mom didn't want to keep any of the pie? There was no way we could eat all that was left over, and she was certainly not the type of person to waste anything. It just seemed odd that she would let all that delicious pumpkin pie go to waste.

Whatever. We just shrugged our shoulders and forgot about it.

Until the next day. B had to work, but I had the day off, so when it was time for lunch I thought I'd feed my baby a nutritious lunch of pumpkin pie. I've always been interested in nutrition that way.

I sliced myself a piece of pie and added whipped cream to the top because, you know, the baby needs her dairy. And I took my first bite of that perfect looking pie.

And quickly spat it into the sink.

That beautiful looking pumpkin pie was the absolutely worst thing I had ever tasted! In my pregnant state I may have been just a tad forgetful because I had left the sugar out of the pie. It was like eating pumpkin straight out of the can. Absolutely awful.

My mind quickly went back to the day before as each member of B's family had quietly gotten up from eating their pie and taken it to the kitchen, returning with a piece of pecan pie. And how they didn't want to keep any of the leftovers. It all made sense now. They had been too polite to tell my that my pie tasted like hooey. They simply tossed it out and exchanged it for something a little better.

I immediately picked up the phone and called B at work to tell him what I had done. And then I called my in-laws to apologize and to ask them why they didn't tell me about it at Thanksgiving dinner. They just laughed and said they didn't want me to feel bad, but also added that there was no way they were going to keep any of that pie!

The sugarless pumpkin pie has gone down in family lore. We still, to this day, laugh about that awful pie. And I can't look at a piece of pumpkin pie without chuckling at my big mistake.

So, spill it. Have you ever had a holiday disaster? Or a pregnancy-induced disaster? I want to know.


  1. I'm sure I have had my share of disasters. But, my sister's comes to mind immediately -- isn't that interesting?

    She made chocolate chip cookies once -- and left out the FLOUR--or only put in half, or something. We ate these rich, gooey "things" and all nearly got sick. :)

  2. That's funny, Angie. One of my girls did the same thing one time!! Flat and gooey. Yuck.

  3. Three thoughts this morning:

    1. Pecan is my favorite too!

    2. Still thinking about kitchen disasters. Hal's Mom left the salt out of chocolate chip cookies one time. You wouldn't think I would make much differnce. It does.

    3. We don't have Thanksgiving plans yet either. Everyone (including our kids) seems to think this is a problem. I guess we'd better get moving.

  4. My family used to love telling stories of cooking mishaps I'd had as a kid/teen. The one I remember this morning is when I made a gallon of tea. Instead of putting in 3/4 cup of sugar...I put in 3-4 cups of sugar!

    Everyone laughed, but I just thought it tasted like my Granny's tea (she was from Georgia)! :)

  5. While at Matt's parents house at Thanksgiving when we were dating, I peeled a bunch of potatoes and shoved them down the disposal, because that's what I've always done and it's always been fine. Yeah...not so much at the in-laws. Major cloggage action. So embarrassing.

  6. My first Christmas married to Rob I volunteered to host dinner on Christmas eve. I was 10 weeks pregnant and extremely morning sick...what was I thinking? Apparently I wanted to impress the inlaws. The table looked great and so did the food - until we started serving the ham and realized it was still frozen in the middle! I'm never buying a frozen ham again.

  7. I was there and do remember, as pumpkin pie is my absolute favorite! But you've more than redeemed yourself, dear sister-in-law, because you are one of the best cooks I know! :-)

  8. I love these stories! I'm so glad I'm not the only ditzy one!

  9. Shelly,

    My first thanksgiving cooking for the family (first turkey) was when I was 20 I believe. I was very excited. I prepared EVERYTHING! Starting from the turkey to the dessert ( I make pumpkin cheesecake every year) When we all sat down to carve the turkey... we realized that it was still raw in the middle... But we didnt let it ruin the dinner... We ate what was cooked and stuck the rest of it back in the oven *idk how safe that was* =)

  10. One year when we were having Thanksgiving with my Dad's side of the family my mom dropped the entire green bean casserole on my grandma's newly re-upholstered dining room chair. No one ever let her forget about it.

  11. This is a Christmas disaster:
    I was home from Auburn for Christmas and needed to bake cookies to take to a SS Christmas party. I was feeling quite creative and had always seen sugar cookies with silver dragees on them. My mother didn't have any of those in the pantry, so I raided my brother's room and used the next best thing-BBs. I mean, they look identical, right? Luckily, my parents came home and saw the BB box on the counter and stopped me before I inflicted lead poisoning on the College and Career class of First Baptist Church. This little debacle earned me the nickname of BB. In my defense, I didn't know those darn dragees were edible-I'd always picked them off cookies!