Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: MIX (10/22/15)
- TITLE: Pumpkin Pie Surprise
By Lisa Hudson
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When our first child, our little girl, was just about to turn two years old, my mother passed away at a way-too-young age of 57 years old. I’m guessing anyone who has lost their parents once and for all, understands the tasks that have to be done amidst the fog of the funeral and other obligations that are dealt with at such a difficult time. One of the hardest things to go through is when you have to manage your parent’s belongings, deciding who gets to keep this, or who wants to have that, and of course, what needs to be thrown away. An enlightening part of the process is when you realize new things about yourself and your siblings. At times, we went back and forth on who was interested only in items of monetary value, or who may have had their eye on a particular painting or a set of dishes that they liked especially.
Our mother had many lovely things that I was happy to acquire, but I also found myself wanting to keep things like her high school annual, or her little packet of papers that included a report card, her birth certificate, and even a little lock of her own baby hair that Grandma had given to her years ago. I wanted things like her locket that she wore all of the time that held a photo of my grandma when she was a little girl. As we kept going through her things, I was so excited because I came across Mom’s small, solid oak recipe box. It was like finding a gold mine. I opened the box and started thumbing through all of the recipes she had so beautifully and meticulously written on each of the index cards. I found myself going to the letter ‘P’ and to my delight, there was her recipe for pumpkin pie. In seven months, I would be making pumpkin pies for my family, for the first time.
Thanksgiving finally came upon us and I was ready to create my own memories with Mom’s famous pumpkin pie recipe. When I opened the little wooden box I found she even had a separate recipe for the pie crust. I was very proud of myself as I completed the required cutting of the flour mixture into the correct measurement of Crisco, and then of course I hand rolled the dough with Mom’s wooden rolling pin. I already knew Mom’s pie recipe included Libby’s Pumpkin Pie filling, evaporated milk, as well as the other seasonings that she deemed necessary for her glorious pies.
I had all of the ingredients laid out according to the recipe card, and when I reached for the Libby’s pumpkin pie filling, I started to notice something. The ingredients on the can of Libby’s were identical to my mother’s hand-written recipe card! I held the recipe on her card next to the can and ingredient by ingredient, they were identical. I wasn’t sure if I should be angry, or disappointed. Disillusioned was probably the best description I could come up with. “Why that little devil,” I thought to myself.
Honestly, I don’t think my mother tried to be deceitful by writing down the same recipe from the can for herself. I think she just enjoyed adding many different recipes to her already varied collection. I have come across many recipes that I can remember her making, still written in that pristine handwriting of hers. Over the years I’ve even added some of my own favorites. That little recipe box is quite full now. By the way, I managed to make those pies on that first Thanksgiving, and I still do to this day. I’m very proud to say they were and are as tasty as my mother’s. After all, why wouldn’t they be?
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