Half baked?  Been there.

Burnt crust? Done that.

Patio stone of burnt orange stink?  Done that, too.

It can’t be my fault. I know how to cook. I can make homemade pasta, and my apple pies are epic.

At least I thought I knew how to cook until I started my saga of Pumpkin pie baking. I have found 100 ways to fail at pumpkin pie baking.  (I’m getting closer, right?) From burnt at the edges and raw in the middle… I suggested it become a pumpkin smoothie, which no one was brave enough to try. They said something about raw (ish) eggs….and food poisoning… the gall! I’v produced pies that could be used for a professional curling tournament, They were so solid and burnt that your fork begged not to be subjected to it’s doom. (Maybe thats why the dish ran away with the spoon? It feared my pie!  I’ve tried several recipes, from can backs to cookbooks, with no success.

There are rumors of a canned pumpkin shortage..  I fear I caused it by wasting more than my share in my failed attempts. Even the compost pile rejected my pies… I find them tossed to the side by the proud vegetable peelings.

The thing is, I hate pumpkin. It all smells like punkin guts to me which makes me gag.

“So why are you devoted to making a pie?”

It’s love.

Not of the squash.. (let’s face it, squash + pie is just not right.) it’s love of my people. they love the orange goo.

So I try again, every year.  I purchase the ingredients. I ask for recipe recommendations.  I set out to bake: the perfect pumpkin pie.  (Or an edible pumpkin pie, at this point my hopes are minimal.) Each year I steady my nerves with a good cup of coffee and a moment of prayer. I ask the Lord to be with me in battle, and to bless the work of my hands…

I arrange the ingredients on the counter like I’m building an altar to the pumpkin gods… or maybe the Great Pumpkin?..  I’ve tried organic canned pumpkin and the “gold standard” every-mom -uses -it -so -how- can you -go -wrong- canned pumpkin. (You can if you’re me. Just sayin. ) I’ve even tried some high end pumpkin praline in a jar. That was a pricey fail.

Each year I carefully measure and combine those ingredients.  Each year, I follow the oven time and temperature, whether low and slow or high to begin then medium to finish… and I wait the results with nauseated anticipation. (I’m never sure if it;s my nerves or the smell that does it..) And each year it’s a flop of turkey tamping proportions.

They either cook too fast, or go from raw to radioactively over done in an instant.

Yes, I’ve checked my oven’s calibration. It’s spot on. I can’t  explain what happens.

I think the pumpkin knows I hate it. I think it hates me right back. or maybe my failures have made me paranoid.

One year, I tried to trick the orange tart- I decided to go with an un-baked version that included a creamy layer…..it. was. just. wrong.

It’s that time of year again. Time to face my baking nemesis. The classic pumpkin pie. I’ve procured my offerings of sweetness and light. I’ve beaten eggs and blended spices. I’ve pre-heated,  carefully timed and mindfully watched. I’ve tested and sniffed and I’ve choked back my gag reflex and followed directions….

guess what?

I maked a pie. A pumpkin pie! I cooked it until the knife inserted in the middle came out clean. I used the standard back of the Libbey’s can -recipe. Nothing fancy- nothing creative. Just plain ole’ pie.

It may taste like pumpkin poo. I have no idea. I won’t know until after dinner. Even then, I’ll have to rely on those who are brave enough to try it. (nd if they love me- they will lie if it’s more poo than perfect.)

But- for now… I celebrate. For now- it’s my first “win”. At least, it’s pretty.

Maybe the starts aligned, Maybe God intervened. Maybe it’s the Edison effect and I finally failed enough to succeed. Or maybe it’s the fact that I’m now bionic.. that did it…

I don’t know.. but for now— I’m thankful for family, friends, for walking without a limp and for (what appears to be) a well baked pie….

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Questions-

Do you have a cooking nemesis? (Or am I the only paranoid freak?) What is it? What happens?

Favorite holiday recipe?

A no-fail pumpkin pie recipe?

Part of being thankful is sharing… post away in the comments!

Continue to live your lives in him, 7rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Col 2:6 b & 7