This is a special memory from my own childhood.
I’m not sure how old I was when this all happened but I am guessing I was about five. I was old enough to know how to turn on the oven but I wasn’t old enough to read a recipe. Our mom was sick and while she was resting in the bedroom upstairs, my sister (4) and I decided we should do something nice for her – and make a pie! How hard could it be? I had an easy bake and I was experienced!
We decided on a pumpkin pie! We knew that there were large jars of pumpkin in the basement that mom had canned. At five, I already knew that making a piecrust was hard so we decided our pie didn’t need one. I’m not sure why we decided we shouldn’t bother to put it in a pie pan as I vividly remember that we made it a glass Pyrex bread pan.
I guess we had never actually seen mom make a pumpkin pie because we thought all you had to do was take the pumpkin out of the big jar and put it in the pan and bake it. There was no recipe on the side of the glass jar like there is on the can of Libby’s pumpkin, not that I could have read it! So we just dumped it in and put it in the oven. Done! It smelled so wonderful cooking!
The minute we took it out of the oven, we knew we had to take it upstairs to mom and show her. Somehow, we thought she would be so pleased. My mom was never one of those moms who would praise you and pretend something was wonderful even if it wasn’t. She didn’t like our gift of a pan of baked pumpkin that really tasted like squash without the cinnamon, eggs, sugar and such. She wasn’t very happy with us and it just got worse.
I don’t know why my little sister ended up carrying the still hot pan back down the stairs. We lived in an old style home where the stairway was enclosed and very narrow. She slipped. Our pie went all over the walls and steps; the two of us were in tears.
Daddy had to finish cleaning up after us when he got home from work. We were too short to reach some of the globs. I do remember running my fingers through a couple of those globs while I was cleaning and being repeatedly disappointed by how it tasted when those fingers ended up in my mouth. It had just smelled so good.
While I am still intimidated by piecrusts,
I am much better at making pies now!