The Infamous Pumpkin Pie Story – or why I’ll never eat pumpkin pie again.

This post has no writerly dilemmas, no pearls of wisdom, no lectures on the use of the hyphen in modern day language. What it is, however, is a story.

I was sixteen years old, madly in love with my boyfriend Steve. My world revolved around him. I called him incessantly, he called me incessantly. We spoke over CB radio. (I’m dating myself here big time) I was in Loooooooove.

With a capital “L”.

After a time, we decided to meet each others families. For Thanksgiving that year, we went to his aunt’s house. Two maiden aunts living together, with their brother. Truly, the nicest people imaginable. Sweet. They made me feel to home, and were perfectly adorable.

Then they offered up the prayer. I knew the words so joined right in. See, I was fitting in just fine. Then they decided to sing the Star Spangled Banner. Um. I don’t sing. Ever. (ok, Christmas carols when I’m alone in the car, but that’s it.) I stared around in shock, but gamely mouthed the words. Awkward. But hey, I was fitting in.

Dinner came, turkey with all of the fixings. Even pickled beets. And sweet potatoes. And whole milk. Everything a sixteen-year-old girl (ok, just ME then) doesn’t eat. I had turkey and mash and gravy though and was happy enough. I even let go of Steve’s hand long enough to eat.

Dessert time! Yeah! The aunts brought out beautiful pumpkin pies. I did enjoy my pumpkin pie. I’d love a piece, I enthused. Please! This was going to be the highlight of the day.

Except.

The aunts apologized, as they had made the pies a little later than usual, and then they put them in the freezer for a bit to set up, but they might still be a little warm.

No problem. Ice cream and pumpkin pie. Life is good.

I dug in. I had the first forkful in and was heading for the second when I bit down. The outer layer of pumpkin pie was frozen. Crispy even. The next layer was cold, pumpkin pie’ish. The middle layer was warm and oozing. Like baby-poo. Not that I’ve ever eaten it mind you, but that’s the image that flashed in my brain.

Heroically, I kept my mouth shut and chewed. I closed my eyes and concentrated on getting it down. My stomach heaved and went through all sorts of contortions to try to avoid the coming pumpkin pie.

I swallowed. I prayed. I gritted my teeth.

I looked around to see if anyone else was having difficulties. No, no sirree. All were tucking right in.

There was no way I could take a second bite.

“Is everything all right, dear?” Auntie Emma, the sweetest lady in the entire world asked.

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Would you like some more?”

“Oh, no. I’m …good.”

And I ate it. Rather than disappoint a nice old lady and her sister, rather than slip it under the table and hope the poodle would have at it, I managed to get the entire piece down. And thanked them for the beautiful meal.

That, in my mind, made me more a part of the family than anything else I could have done.

Auntie Emma turns 101 this past week. Even though I’m no longer a part of that family, I still remember how nice she was to a young girl, and I will always remember that pumpkin pie. And I’ll never eat another piece as long as I live.

Happy Birthday Auntie Emma.

10 Responses to “The Infamous Pumpkin Pie Story – or why I’ll never eat pumpkin pie again.”

  • Carrie Cae…

    Your parents raised you right. 🙂 I had a similiar experience with a Cool Whip/Jello pie on Christmas one year.

    Making pumpkin pies tonight. (Do you want to come over?)

  • NO! it was indeed only good manners that forced me to finish that piece of pie. but never again!

  • lol Nasty. I hate, detest with a passion, warm pumpkin pie. lol You always have entertaining stories 🙂

  • LOL – Mine was my grandmothers buttermilk pie, which I like second only to my mother’s fudge pie. Hold up a second while I get a napkin to wipe the dribble off my chin and keyboard…….wipe….okay, I’m better now. So we’re having Sunday dinner after church there, like we did most weekends, and she passes the pie around to everyone. I’m about half-way around the table, and I don’t notice that the others are looking funny when I take my piece. Being the young teen that I was, I took a huge bite into it, expecting that rich creamy goodness, when AXCKKKKK (I thought to myself, because I’d never want to hurt my grandmother’s feelings). I looked at everyone to my left, and they all had this strange look on their face like I did. My grandmother got the last piece, and when she bit into it she spit it out, and said, “What in the world.” Then she took another bite, got up and went to the cupboard, opened the door, and then started dying laughing, and said, “I put salt in the pie instead of sugar.”

  • Poor Carrie, life without pumpkin pie!. I understand, truely I do. I can’t remember anything I just won’t eat because of how it was made. If I didn’t like something, I’ll go home and make it myself. Usually I like it a lot better.

    There was a neighbor next door on the farm that baby sat us when Mom was in a pinch. We didn’t eat much there for fear of how it was made. Not a very clean environment. My dad was over there helping bail hay once, you know when all the farmers lent a helping hand to everyone else. The men came in for dinner (lunch to everyone else) and every last man sat down to that table and ate what was served. Each one saw the meatloaf still on the counter and not one of them mentioned it. They went through the whole meal without the main course. When it was time to go back to work, the wife stood up and turned beat red as my dad walked out the door exclaiming, “O.M.G. I forgot to pass the meatloaf!”

    • hehehe…..that poor woman. i bet she got that rubbed in for the rest of her life! and yup, I get the lunch/dinner vs dinner/supper routine. Something about living in the midwest!

  • You are the sweetest girl in the whole world. I don’t know if I could’ve done that. If something is iffy to me, it’s real hard to get it down. I have a terrible gag reflex. So, what kind of pie do you have now that Pumpkin is off the table?

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