I love a well-stocked pantry. It makes me feel good to can and freeze food so that I can pull out good, wholesome “fast food” to serve at a moment’s notice. My husband, Bud loves pie. One summer, we had a bumper crop of butternut squash, so I reasoned it would be a great idea to make some of these up into pies and freeze them. I rolled enough piecrust to build a driveway, prepared large kettles of pie filling, and kept my oven going till I had fifty-two beautiful butternut pies ready for the freezer. My kitchen looked like a bomb had gone off, but I was so proud of those pies as I wrapped them and stacked them in the freezer, anticipating the pleasure of pulling out a pie from time to time to enjoy after a good meal with family and friends, along with a good story.
It didn’t exactly work out as I planned. I hadn’t taken Bud’s love of pie into consideration but I did get a good story out of the deal. Bud was delighted with “his” pies. All the food at our house undergoes an immediate conversion the minute it is cooked and becomes “his” as in, “Is there any more of my apple pie?” I wouldn’t dream of making a dessert to take to work without making an identical one for home. I don’t know if he would be more hurt if I “ran around” or “cooked around” on him. He still hasn’t forgiven me for giving away a strawberry-rhubarb pie over twenty years ago and still brings it up regularly.
Anyway, Bud and I had pie after dinner that night. It was delicious. He finished the pie off the next day after lunch. When he went to get “his” pie after dinner that night and found the pies all frozen, he was horrified. I explained to him, again, that I made them to freeze and serve over the next few months. Apparently, my first explanation had gone straight over his head, like so much of my mindless babbling. (We’ve been married forty-seven years. That’s how it works.) Frozen, in relationship to food he was planning to eat right then, is the F word at our house. We try to avoid it.
Heartbroken and betrayed, he self-righteously pulled a pie from freezer and left it on the counter to thaw overnight. He consoled himself with butternut squash pie for breakfast the next morning, adding it to his new breakfast menu. That was just the start. Unless there was another dessert on the menu, you can bet Bud had butternut squash pie, sequentially going through that mountain of pies in less than three months. When I had the satisfaction of eating the last, lonely piece of the final pie, Bud spoke what were very nearly his last words, “You ate my pie!”