I like pumpkin pie. My wife makes the best pumpkin pie ever. She’s not so hot on chicken, but her pies are better than Aunt Edna’s.
My favorite pumpkin-pie-making aunt died a few years ago. She was in her mid 80s. Her husband died a couple of years before that, so I’m sure she died of loneliness.
I’m certain, too, that my mom baked her share of good pumpkin pies and I’m sure they were very tasty. It’s not a competitive deal. I just remember the smell and taste of pumpkin pies being baked at Aunt Edna’s house.
Once, while in college, I raved to my girlfriend about Aunt Edna’s pumpkin pies and how I looked forward to visiting the family during the Thanksgiving break. My girlfriend joined us one Thanksgiving and had the pleasure of tasting Aunt Edna’s very special, often revered pumpkin pies.
That’s when I learned her secret. If absence makes the heart grow fonder, and anticipation is greater than reality, then Aunt Edna’s pie secret should have not been a shock to me.
While we were eating dessert and I was digging through my second piece of pumpkin pie, my girlfriend asked Aunt Edna for her pumpkin pie-making secret, because I, the boyfriend, had raved about her pumpkin pie-making prowess for years.
Much to my surprise, and to the surprise of everyone else except my dad and grandma, Aunt Edna revealed her secret.
She bought the pumpkin pies at Kroger’s, the local supermarket. That’s what she’d been doing for years.
I was shocked. I was disappointed. I was aghast. My girlfriend laughed hysterically. My grandmother grinned. Aunt Edna looked a bit embarrassed, though far less so than me.
But I kept eating. The pumpkin pie was great.