‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

pumpkin chiffon

Every year, on the night before Thanksgiving, my sister and I make my mother's recipe for pumpkin chiffon pie. We live in different states, but we have the same pie experience and therefore are practically in the same kitchen. For the first few years, we'd call each other and compare notes. "What does 'custard consistency' mean," she'd ask. I'd describe what mine looked like when I thought it reached custard consistency, she'd agree, we'd decide that we couldn't both be wrong and it would be The Law of Custard Consistency as far as we were concerned. We would forget this law from year to year and have to call for moral support.

After the first few years we didn't need to call each other. Since we didn't chat the night before on pie-related business, we'd call on Thanksgiving day. "How'd your pie come out?" we'd ask - which is Sister Code for Happy Thanksgiving.

This year, for reasons I cannot fathom, she's forgoing the pumpkin chiffon in favor of some sort of mincemeat abomination.

I feel so alone.

You see, if mine comes out horribly, I want to know that hers is delicious. Or, if mine comes out looking like a fluffy, orange bridesmaid's dress, I want to send her a photo and ask if hers is nearly as spectacular.

Somehow there are Good Pie years and Bad Pie years. Which does not stop us from eating them. It just stops us from gloating.

But we won't be eating the same pie. I am all alone, waiting for the custard to cool so I can fold in the egg whites. Her pie is probably done and she has nothing to do but read smutty romances and eat bon bons.

Misery does not like it when other people read smutty romances.

This year I will call her and say "how was your pie?" which is Sister Code for "was it even Thanksgiving without mom's pie?" We'll compare notes on the relative merits of pumpkin vs. mincemeat. We'll discuss how much more sleep she got than I did.

It will be like we're in the same kitchen, states apart, eating pie.

And for that, we are thankful.