“JoLynn, everything will be okay,” I said to a sobbing daughter on the other end of the phone line. The apple pie she had made for a bake sale was apparently all over the floor, and she didn’t have any more apples.
“Mom, you don’t understand. They’re counting on me having my pie. Danny said he would buy it for ten dollars. The basketball team really needs that money for their uniforms.”
“Honey, don’t panic. I’ll put one together for you.”
She hesitated. “Are you sure you can get it done?” She spoke as if she didn’t dare believe I could finish the pie in time.
“Of course. Stop by on your way to the gym.”
As I hung up, I wondered: Could I get it done by then?
I stood open-mouthed at the pantry door. Where were the apples? I searched and searched, but couldn’t find a single apple. Oops. The kids must have eaten them all.
Okay. Don’t panic. Scanning the room, I found the perfect substitute!
After turning the oven to 375 degrees, I rushed to roll out the pie crust. Grabbing the potato peeler, I worked as fast as I could, combining all of the ingredients into a big bowl and mixing together. I added a large can of apple concentrate juice with a dash of cinnamon and a little flour. I finished up with several dabs of butter to the top crust and a little cream to smooth out the crust before putting the pie in the oven.
Just as I was cleaning up the mess, JoLynn walked into the kitchen.
“Mom, you’ve saved my life, “ she said as she gave me a big hug. Then she glanced at the peelings in the compost pot. “Are you having zucchini tonight?”
“Well, as a matter of fact, I am.” I smiled.
“Where is it?”
“In the oven,” I said, as I opened the oven door to take out the pie.
She frowned. “Mother, your zucchini is not in the oven. I only see the pie.”
I looked at the clock. “JoLynn, only twenty minutes left. We have to hurry.” I put the pie into a box and helped her carry it to the car. “You’ll make it just fine.”
She placed the box in the back seat.. “You know, Rod will want to run by after the bake sale for a piece of your apple pie,” she hinted as she closed the car door.
“Okay.” I kissed her on the cheek. “I’ll stick a couple more in the oven.”
Later that evening, I served freshly baked pie to my daughter and her husband.
“Mom, Danny paid fifteen dollars for my apple pie and said it was out of this world.”
“Great.” I smiled, but it was time to acknowledge my guilt and embarrassment. “There’s something you should know. I didn’t find any apples in the pantry.”
She paused mid-bite and looked at me.
“I substituted zucchini for apples. Danny bought a zucchini pie.” I nodded. “That’s what you’re eating too.”
“This can’t be zucchini pie!” JoLynn said. “It tastes like apple.”
“Honey, honest. It’s zucchini pie. No ifs, ands or buts about it. We solved your problem. Danny was happy, I’ve confessed and the boys will get their uniforms.” It was sweet embarrassment.
She shook her head and then laughed, as she took another bite.
“It has half the calories,” I said, my confidence restored. “It’s very healthy, and no harm was done. I suggest we pray for forgiveness and have another piece.” I dished out another slice onto Rod’s outstretched plate.
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