Baking Thanksgiving Pies: A Journey


This past Saturday, I was to attend a King's multi-House Thanksgiving dinner and the House of Lewis was assigned desserts. Never one to disappoint my incredible Lewis brethren, I decided to go all out and make an awesome pie. In fact, I was planning to make several killer "VanZandt specials" (name is still a work-in-progress). The only problem, I do not know how to bake a pie. Or much of anything, really, and I did not have a single mixing bowl.

The first day.

I had to admit: I had a problem (or a dozen). Beyond accepting this new reality, I also needed to believe that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity (a few mutterings of "sweet Jesus help me because I just do not get it" here and there). Finally, I had to make a decision — go to Target, get the ingredients and get baking.

Well, I succeeded in making a trip to Target, returning that eve with several frozen pizzas, some "Eazy-Cheese," mint holiday M&Ms (why not?). But only then did I have the sudden realization that I was supposed to buy pie stuff. Evening came, and morning followed.

The second day.

After scrolling aimlessly through several articles on restored WWII bombers, it struck me that I was supposed to do something.

"Ah yes, that's right! I have to clean my desk! Let me just move these pie crusts out of the way... There we go, job done!"

Evening came, and morning followed.

The third day.

"Why do I have pie cr... ah, rats!" (sweet Jesus help me because I am just not getting it...) So I ran to Target again, and returned with more frozen pizzas, cookware (a prerequisite to any quality pie), no Eazy-Cheese (because they only had Cheddar) and some brightly colored mixing bowls, which were not so much practical as they were a minor source of joy to gaze upon. I think that is how most quality restaurants make purchases — do not ask if a dish is useful; ask if it comes in bright green! I ordered a mixer, and had to wait for that to arrive.

Evening came, and morning followed.

The fourth day.

The mixer arrived up and I immediately unpacked it. I am ready, I am prepared, let us cook a pie! Several pies! Maybe even make cookies, who knows? I am practically a certified chef now!

Well, surprise of surprises, I got distracted. The Russian military made a new propaganda video and, out of curiosity, I wanted to make Phil Will proud and practice my QR skills by estimating how much money the Russian Navy spent making this video (the answer was roughly $27 to $28 million, depending how much fuel the jets expended, but to find that information I had to dig through an obscure Indian Army forum for quite awhile). Much later, I picked up the disassembled blender -- remembering that I had pies to make -- and I did what any responsible male college student does when something needs to get done.

I drummed on random objects, for longer than I care to admit. Yes, I realized that you can use the beaters as drumsticks. So I wound up cooking into the wee hours of the morning, thanks to my procrastination and incredible drum skills. But a little over seven hours after I started baking, I had three pies and a bowl of cookies all ready for Progressive Dinner that weekend and thus my journey came to a close.

OpinionEddie VanZandtComment