The winner of The Great American Bake Off is… Part 3


(If you missed them, here are parts one and two.)

When you were last with our heroine, I’d just discovered that I had refrozen my pumpkin puree for the pie I was supposed to take to Thanksgiving lunch that day. I had no choice but to grab another bag from the freezer and toss it in a bowl of warm water to hopefully thaw in time.

Recall that I had proudly announced to my husband that there would be no last-minute dash to the grocery store, as I had remembered, for the first time ever, that I needed evaporated milk for this recipe and so had bought it in advance.

While waiting on the puree, I started to make the pumpkin pie crust, by hand this time, when I stopped to put Joe down for a nap. I asked my husband to step in. When I came back, my husband was gone. On the counter was our near-empty tub of Crisco.

Right! It was running low, which is why I’ve had it on my shopping list… for months. I knew I’d need more eventually, like for baking season. I just didn’t realize it was upon us.

Now we were running low on time, too. While my husband was gone, I started scrubbing potatoes for our famous mashed potatoes, which always turn out great.

My husband makes them.


Another image from Pixabay. Like I had time to stop and take pictures. Besides, ours look nothing like this. We used a giant pan filled with ten pounds of spuds.

Husband returned after insane Thanksgiving day shopping with a pie crust mix to save time. The girls wanted to help (always!), so they put the crust together and rolled it out while I continued peeling and chopping potatoes. When it was time to put the crust in the pan, my husband asked me to take over.

The dough was stuck to the cutting board.

I had to peel it off, scrape up all the pieces, flour the board, and start the rolling process over again. The pie would cook for one hour. We had 55 minutes left. In my haste, I was doing an awful job of it.

Then my husband read down the recipe–something you’re supposed to do before you start baking.

“It says cool for four hours.”

I hung my head. We had no intention of spending that much time at the in-laws.

“Oh forget it! Let’s just throw that frozen apple pie into the oven.”

“Ah, hell no,” he said. I’d bought that pie for him. He dislikes pumpkin pie, even when not made by me, and annually laments that we don’t make apple pie instead. When people start making jack-o-lanterns from apples, we’ll have apple pie.

“I’ll buy you a new one! Grab it from the freezer.”

“It cooks for forty-five minutes. Then you drop the temperature, spread the crumb topping, and cook it 10 minutes longer.”

“Who cares! Just throw it in!”


Here’s the apple pie. It was delicious. Thank you, my dear friend Marie Callender.

Finally, out of time, Husband took the girls and the mashed potatoes to the in-laws and only arrived eight minutes late. I stayed home while the apple pie baked and Joe finished his nap. We got there a half hour or so later. The food was still good, though colder, and there was plenty of it.

You wanna know what else there was plenty of? Pie! Two pumpkin pies, a pumpkin pecan pie, a cheesecake, and two apple pies, not including ours, which wasn’t touched by anyone but us. We brought it back home, and it was thoroughly enjoyed!

I also baked the pumpkin pie. And guess what? It, too, amazingly, was great, jack-o-lantern pumpkins not-withstanding.

Extra bonus: That pie crust mix my husband bought came as a pack of two. Now I can make another pie for my daughter’s birthday. I still have some baker’s chocolate in the cupboard. I’ll invite the in-laws!

50 responses »

  1. Are you as cool then as you sound here? I would have been a mess of nerves! Btw, my husband says my best dishes are the ones in which I just toss this and that, made only for ourselves πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  2. LOL! At least Paul got to enjoy his apple pie at his leisure! And Joe got his nap. Nothing like when good intentions go awry (Crisco on the list for months–been there! I end up using margarine in a pinch, like when making buttercream frosting, which has 50/50 Crisco and butter or margarine. So without Crisco, it’s all butter or margarine (usually margarine, because it’s kinda like Crisco). So you guys had excess pie too? My in-laws usually have at least 1 too many. Not that it matters to me, because I don’t eat pie. Well, unless it’s fresh apple pie, and warm, with ice cream. πŸ˜€


  3. It was a good pie. And it was a crazy morning…cannot wait until I see what we do next year.

    And for the record…the commonly known phrase is this: “It is as American as APPLE pie.” Not pumpkin.


  4. I never made pie crust from scratch but my mother-in-law did. Oh my they were great! So much better than the sticks or the frozen. But, with kids to raise, pie crust from scratch and cleaning just go out the window!


  5. Hurray, all’s well that ends well! By gosh, I think you’re getting the hang of it…even though the process sounds a bit chaotic (hello, how can you expect otherwise with kids) you somehow manage to pull it off. Can’t wait to hear about the birthday pie!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sometimes the Holiday, it’s just another added stress, I ended all that nonsense twenty eight years ago, no Christmas diner, no Gifts, no cards, no traveling! πŸ™‚


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