"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

Pumpkin Pie EPIC FAIL!

by Julie on November 24, 2011

in Good Ideas Gone Bad

I was making it easy on myself this year. No turkey, no fancy sides. Not even any guests. Accepted an invitation to dine with good friends who live less than a mile away in a beautiful, airy, mid-century home. All I had to do was bring the pie (and pray E.J. didn’t make his infamous turkducken again).

Actually, I didn’t need to bring the pie. I told Marya I’d bring A pie.

“Oh we’re gonna have lots of pies,” she said.

“I know,” I told her. “But I haven’t made a pumpkin pie in a long time, and this one’s supposed to be the best.”

Marya laughed. “Knock yourself out,” she said.

The pie. Eight of you voted (out of the 10 people or so who read this blog), and the verdict was that I should make Cook’s Illustrated best pumpkin Pie, as described by the Delicious Sarah Gim.

But I’ve made pies before and I know this much: Pies are not hard, but you must be in the pie zone or you will not be successful.

I have not been in the pie zone this last week. At all. No focus, no motivation. Each of the hundreds of Thanksgiving day recipes coming at me from all directions on the web hitting me like a pellet. I think I just shut down.

I managed to cook dinner last night. I just couldn’t do the pie. I tried. I made a decent pie crust, I thought. But as it was chilling the thought of rolling it out, baking it, timing it with the filling, which I had to do in a certain order and get into the crust while still warm was too much. I had measured everything out for the filling and yet I didn’t seem to be able to focus enough to get it started. Something was holding me back. At 10 p.m. I retreated to deal with it in the morning.

Anyway. The morning came and my kitchen was a mess and not surprisingly, I was still not in the pie zone. No, not even after yoga. Not even after coffee. Then came the fight with the teenager. Then I had to do the dishes. Then I tried to roll out the dough for the pie crust…


pie crust fail

Take the hint: Buy a pie next time

I try to listen to the Universe when it speaks to me. And it was telling me to stop. Breathe. Be thankful. Especially for the fact that Marya was not likely to be holding her breath for this pie.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! May you all enjoy your feast, no matter how the pumpkin pie turns out.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura Zinn Fromm November 25, 2011 at 9:19 am

Julie, I love your brutal and unfailingly funny honesty! I gave up making pumpkin pie years ago and now just make pumpkin soup. Hope there was plenty of pie where you were and you had a good holiday.


AT November 26, 2011 at 1:37 am

Dear “home skillet”, next time head to “The Park Pantry” in Belmont Heights and pick up pie!


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