Sally walked through the front door. “Dear … What’s that smell?” She dropped her purse on the desk near the computer.
Chuck popped his head out of the kitchen. “I’ve got a surprise for you.”
Sally turned toward her husband, curiosity and excitement dancing in her eyes.
“I know you’re really busy, so…” He stepped around the corner holding a pie between a pair of sunflower oven mitts. “I made the pumpkin pies for the church bake sale. They just came out of the oven.
His wife walked into the kitchen. “But it doesn’t smell right.” She propped her nose into the air and sniffed a few times. “What’d you do?”
“I followed your recipe … to the letter.” He set the hot dessert on a cooling rack. “I even made a small one for us to share tonight.”
Sally grabbed a spoon and dipped into the filling of the tiny tart. She hesitated and dabbed it on her tongue. “Oh honey … This is horrible.” Her face twisted as if she was looking at a distorted funhouse mirror. “What happened?”
“I followed your recipe. I added the sugar, the cinnamon, the clove, the allspice, the ginger, the salt …” He slid the containers across the shelf as he recited them. “I mixed them with the pumpkin and the eggs and…”
“This isn’t cloves,” she interrupted. “It’s garlic.”
Chucked stared in shock. “But it says one teaspoon equals a clove.” He grabbed the bottle and pointed at the label.
Sally rolled her eyes. She spun the spice rack like a roulette wheel and grabbed a bottle from the blur of labels. “Cloves … Not a clove.”
The bewildered husband heaved a sigh. “Alright, you go relax. I’ll make a couple more pies.”
“No, I can help.” She yawned. “It’s okay.”
“You’re falling asleep on your feet.” Chuck grabbed the bottle of spice. “If I need help I’ll come and get you.”
She kissed him on the cheek. “I love you.” She strolled into the living room and flopped down on the couch.
“Sugar, cinnamon, allspice,” Chuck muttered from the kitchen. “Cloves…” he said with a cynical emphasis. “Ginger, salt … Now for the eggs.”
Sally giggled as she turned on the evening news. She cuddled close to a throw pillow as her eyes fluttered closed.
“Wake up, sweetheart.” Chuck nudged Sally’s shoulder.
She sat up. “Wow.” She sniffed the air. “It smells like pumpkin pie.” She blinked her surprised eyes. “I’m impressed.”
“Told you not to worry.” He helped his wife to her feet. “I made another miniature pie, too. You wan’a taste?”
The two shuffled into the kitchen. Chuck’s grin grew ear to ear as he handed her the tiny pastry.
Sally dipped the spoon into the petite pie. She sniffed it with caution and nibbled at the spoon.
“Well?” Chuck couldn’t hide his excitement.
Sally’s eyes began to water as her face puckered up. “What did you do to it this time?”
“I followed the recipe … I promise.”
Sally guzzled a glass of water. “It’s … it’s…”
“I made sure I did everything the way it said.” He grabbed the cookbook. “Cup of sugar, tablespoon of ground cloves and allspice …”
“A tablespoon, like it says.” Chuck pointed to the page. “One t-s-p … tablespoon.”
“Oh no, honey.” Sally shook her head. “It doesn’t mean tablespoon … t-s-p means teaspoon.” She tried to muffle a giggle.
Chuck’s cheeks flushed.
“Don’t worry about it, babe.” She hugged him. “I’ll make the pies … you go relax for a while.”
“No way. I’m not letting a pie beat me … I’m go’na do this.” Chuck laughed. “And you know I’ve had plenty of practice now.”
Sally smiled. “Alright … but I’m going to supervise.”
Chucked grabbed the mixing bowl. “Let me see … One cup of sugar.” He measured the granules and poured them in. “One teaspoon allspice.” The familiar sarcasm dripped from his words. He grabbed a utensil. “Is this the right spoon?” He spun around holding a large serving spoon.
“You’re a nut.” Sally laughed. She grabbed the teaspoon from the counter. “Maybe you should let me help you.”
Chuck held her hand. “I’d like that.”
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