Thing 2, my beautiful 6 year old daughter, spent the past week talking about pumpkin pie. Not turkey, not dressing, not cranberry sauce. Pumpkin pie was her sole focus. Oh, and whipped cream.
Thanksgiving day arrived and the pumpkin pie talk went into overdrive. Our family gathered for lunch at a local event space large enough to accommodate our crew and then moved the party to my aunt and uncle’s house for football and dessert.
When we arrived at the house we were greeted with a large spread of sweets. Pecan pie, chocolate cake, apple pie, pineapple cream pie, cheesecake, and a particularly tasty bread pudding with bourbon sauce. But no pumpkin pie. I looked around the kitchen to see if the holiday staple was waiting in the wings. No luck.
I do not try to spare my children from any and all disappointment and pain. They have heard me tell them life isn’t fair more than once. But this injustice could not stand. My daughter wanted pumpkin pie and pumpkin pie she would have.
I got in my car and headed to the local Walmart. Just earlier that day I had negatively remarked about another Walmart that was open on Thanksgiving. Now I was thankful to see those doors sliding ajar. I hit the bakery department and spotted an orange custardy pie gleaming on the shelf. Thanksgiving was saved. Just before I triumphantly removed the pie from the rack I noticed the disappointing label. Sweet potato. The bakery shelves were otherwise decimated by the holiday shoppers.
Plan B sprung into action. Time to gather the ingredients and as my soon to be three year old, Thing 3, says “I do it me-self.” I hadn’t grabbed a cart because I thought I was just getting a pie. I found a few remaining cans pumpkin pie filling and located a can of evaporated milk. Next was a six pack of eggs. a box of pre-made pie crusts and a can of whipped cream. Then I made my way through the gathering shoppers to the home furnishings section for a pie pan. The pie filling can called for an hour of baking time for a standard pie. We did not have that kind of time. Instead I opted for two mini cupcake pans to minimize cooking time. Just as I was about to find the round cookie cutters to complete my list, the can of whipped cream fell out of my arms and went rolling down the aisle. At least it wasn’t the eggs. I picked it up and cautiously walked to the front, trying not to drop anything else. The cashier did not seem particularly troubled to be working on a holiday and I made sure to thank him profusely for scanning and bagging my eight items and pushing the credit card button on his computer.
I drove back to the house, ready to complete the mini pumpkin pie project and save the day, and found Thing 2 joyfully eating pumpkin pie. Apparently shortly after I left on my hero’s journey, my aunt arrived home and retrieved a pumpkin pie from the back of her commercial sized refrigerator. It wasn’t entirely a wasted trip. Thing 2 was excited to make the desserts and said they tasted great. She appreciated my efforts and thoughtfulness. Although she would have appreciated it more if it weren’t for that damn pumpkin pie hiding in the back of the cooler.