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Since Tom and I arrived in Los Angeles on November 15 we have to date made thirteen pies, not counting the eight (or is it ten?) pizzas I've made so far (and will no doubt make a few more of before our visit is over).
Thus it might have been understandable if, with all those pizzas and pies, we'd had at least one culinary disaster among the lot. But of those twelve pies and eight (or ten) pizzas, we've had a whopping four pie mishaps.
That's almost a thirty-three-and-a-third percent pie misfortune rate, which leads me to believe that we were obviously on the receiving end of some Bad Pie Karma.
Our tale of this outbreak of pie-baking gone south is actually intertwined with another story, which I'll start with so as to be able to reference it later.
This other story is that, as Tom and I would be in Los Angeles visiting our daughter and her family over the Thanksgiving holiday, and as our son-in-law's parents were hosting Thanksgiving, Tom and I were likewise invited to our son-in-law's parent's house for Thanksgiving dinner .
However, the weekend before Thanksgiving there was a sudden family emergency that, it was feared, might prevent my daughter's in-laws from hosting Thanksgiving dinner. My daughter, therefore, was on standby to take over hosting the family dinner if necessary. There would be nineteen for dinner.
Now, a turkey big enough to feed nineteen people needing at least the better part of a week to thaw before roasting, we made a command decision to buy a 25-pound turkey on Monday morning with the plan that, if my daughter was called on to host, the turkey would be thawed and ready to roast on Thanksgiving day.
As it turned out, though, the emergency was resolved, my daughter's in-laws would host Thanksgiving after all, and we'd have to cook up and figure out what to do with 25 pounds of turkey the day after Thanksgiving.
But I'll get back to 25-pound turkey story in a bit.
As for all the pizzas: My grand daughters love above all my famous secret recipe pizza, the secret being that I use canned pizza crust and pizza sauce from a jar (see post from 8/3/2017, https://www.ailantha.com/blog/where-has-this-pizza-been-all-my-life).
Hence whenever I visit my grand daughters I stock up on the pizza supplies so that I can bake up fresh, hot, homemade pizza upon request. Which happens about every other day.
As for the pies: Along with my pizza, my grand daughters also love Tom's apple pie. In truth, everybody loves Tom's apple pie. Tom is a veritable apple piemaster, his secret being his method of cutting the apples, which he slices into flat, thin pieces that bake through to juicy perfection.
And so the day after our arrival in Los Angeles we baked up our first round of pizzas and pie,
That first pie, which I'll call pie #1, turned out fine,
...as did pies #2 and #3, also apple, which Tom made a few days later to serve for dessert on Saturday when we had company for dinner.
I'd say the Bad Pie Karma kicked in with pies #4, 5, 6, and 7, which I made to bring to Thanksgiving dinner at my son-in-law's parents' house, as it was requested that I be in charge of bringing pies for dessert for the nineteen guests. Or at least that was what I understood.
Here's a timeline of the four pie calamities that ensued.
The First Pie Calamity:
On the day before Thanksgiving my grand daughter and I made two pumpkin pies,
...one pecan and and one of my specialty pies, cherry almond streusel, for Thanksgiving dessert.
After all the pies were made and sitting on the counter,
...my daughter hovered over the pecan pie, pecan being her favorite of all pies.
"Mmmm, it smells so good!" she said. "I want a piece of the pecan pie so bad!"
In truth, I kinda wanted a piece of that pie myself. "Fine," I sighed, succumbing to my desire to make my daughter happy and my own temptation. "Let's cut into that bad boy." And so we did.
And so I was now down a Thanksgiving pie and had to hustle to make another one, pie #8. (Admittedly, I brought this loss of pie, and perhaps the ensuing Bad Pie Karma, upon myself).
The Second Pie Calamity:
On Thanksgiving morning there was a cry of distress from the kitchen as my younger grand daughter discovered that one of the pumpkin pies, covered in plastic wrap and sitting on the counter, was crawling with ants. It was a ghastly, grody sight, like something out a horror movie.
Still, We don't know by what good fortune amidst the bad that the ants congregated only on that one pie. My daughter suggested that they invaded that first pie and found it so delicious that they were happy to just stay where they were.
"Do you want to take a picture?" my husband asked before he disposed of the pie and the ants.
I told him this was one shot I'd pass on. Some images once seen can't be unseen. That ant-covered pumpkin pie was one of them.
The Third Pie Calamity:
Once again we were down to three pies for nineteen people. Luckily, I recalled seeing a can of pumpkin on my daughter's kitchen shelf. I figured I could cobble together a another pumpkin pie, which would be pie #9.
Though the can of pumpkin was not outdated, when I opened it I noticed a small dark spot on the top of the contents. I scooped off the dark spot and mixed the pumpkin with the rest of the ingredients. I poured the mixture into the pie shell but then hesitated before putting the pie into the oven. I took a little spoonful of the filling to make sure that it tasted okay. It didn't. I tossed out the unbaked pie and worried that I'd E-colied myself. But luckily, I hadn't. I was just back to being down a pie for the Thanksgiving dessert.
The Fourth Pie Calamity:
And so we arrived for Thanksgiving dinner bearing one pumpkin, one pecan, and one cherry pie for for nineteen people.
"Oh, my gosh," said our hostess, "you brought three pies? Now we have six pies!"
"Wait," said I, "you have six pies? "I thought I was bringing all the desserts."
"No, no, I only wanted you to bring one pie. One apple pie!"
(Of course. Now I remembered that the last time we'd been invited to dinner at my daughter's in-laws' house we'd brought Tom's apple pie and it had been a great hit).
I figured it must have been our continuing Bad Pie Karma that had caused the Thanksgiving pie miscommuniqué; however, after that fiasco - which turned out to be not so bad after all, as who really minds having too many pies? Even if one of them wasn't apple? - the next four pies came to pass without incident. I wondered if our Bad Pie Karma had moved on.
Which brings me back to the 25-pound turkey.
As we didn't need to host Thanksgiving, we now had a 25-pound turkey that would need to be consumed. To this end, my daughter and son-in-law went out among the highways and hedges - well, actually, they just called some neighbors - and rounded up a couple of families who were glad to have a second turkey dinner on the day after Thanksgiving.
So on Thanksgiving Friday, while the (fortunately) thawed turkey was in my daughter’s upper oven, we made and baked in the lower oven pies #10,#11 and #12: two apple and one cherry almond streusel,
…without mishap to either the pies or the turkey.
By 6pm the turkey was ready,
...and soon all the fixing were schlepped out onto the counter, the guests arrived,
...and a fine time was had by all.
The following day we brought half a left-over apple pie to my daughter's in-laws as an apology for not bringing one on Thanksgiving.
Then on Sunday Tom made one more apple pie, pie #13, for a good friend of our daughter's.
And so, thankfully, our bout of Bad Pie Karma seemed to be over. As is my story.
by Patti Liszkay
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by Patti Liszkay
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"Equal And Opposite Reactions"
by Patti Liszkay
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I am a traveler just visiting this planet and reporting various and sundry observations,
hopefully of interest to my fellow travelers.