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.
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!”
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!