Friday, October 23, 2015

Cough Syrup in My Coconut Pie and Other Cautionary Tales

The following post is not for wimps.

You might be shocked, nay, even scandalized with the notion that I am not perfect.


I make more than my fair share of boo boos, guffs and pumpalumps (don't ask me) every single day.

It is even worse than when I'm sick.

The following tale is one of caution. Let's see what we all learn at the end of this story.

Last week The Muffin mentioned to me that there was going to be a potluck at work. They have one every few weeks or so. I nodded my approval (for you know this "mentioning" meant I was now in charge of the potluck dish) and tucked it back into the deep pockets in my brain.

By Friday or Saturday that same brain was so full of snot I could barely think straight.

It didn't get any better. On Tuesday The Muffin called and reminded me about the potluck and told me he had committed to bring a dessert.

I was honestly okay with that. The grocery budget has been almost nonexistent and I knew that I could throw something together.  I made a cursory survey of my supplies and after a little online browsing determined that I would make a scratch chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting.

I know! I thought it was a wonderful idea. My cake making ability is respectable and I felt that considering my precarious health and less than predicable baking history my choice of the chocolate cake was a good one.

The Muffin, however, didn't feel that chocolate cake was special enough.

What?  I was already looking forwarding to dipping into that frosting.

He asked me, instead, to make a couple of pies.

Here is the thing.

I am not a bad pie maker. In fact, I have made many pies for his work potlucks. But...

I took another inventory of my supplies. I decided I would make a sweet potato pie (sweet taters from Dad's garden) and a coconut cream pie.

I had just enough eggs, just enough butter, just enough get the picture.

I knew things weren't going to go my way when my usually reliable pie crust recipe failed me. Or I failed it. I'm not sure what happened.

So...after using a cup of butter, several cups of flour...I determined that it wasn't going to work. My usual problem solving skills were MIA.

My quick and easy crust recipe (which is different than my company/feeding other people pie crust) is an oil pie crust. I whipped one up, but still wound up wrestling with it. I pasted it into a pie plate and made my sweet potato pie. It wasn't pretty, but it worked.


I was out of flour for another pie crust. My original pie crusts were now about the consistency of hockey pucks. When The Muffin got home from work I batted my non-existent eyelashes at him and pleaded for him to take me to the store.

This was my delemia. Did I need to buy more flour for more crusts or did I just need to give into my inept pie making run and buy a refrigerator pie crusts?

I bought the refrigerator pie crust and started again.

I baked the crust (though I kept eyeing it like it was an alien) and whipped up the coconut filling.

The pie crust crumbled in the pan when I filled it with the filling.

We wound up having it as a snack that night.

Now I only had one more pie crust. I was out of butter. I was out of flour. I was out of eggs.

The next morning I dragged myself out of bed (5:30am) and went to the store for more supplies. In the middle of my drive to the store I had an inspiration.

Along with the coconut cream pie I would make a butterscotch pie, too!

I have occasional spots of  insanity brilliance.

At home I once again began my quest for the perfect coconut cream pie.

I am laying it all out here. This is what my kitchen looked like at the height of my crisis. It's like the light is shining its shiny beams down on the glory of my dirty sink. "WAAAAA." It no surprise I was having just a few issues.

I started by baking the other refrigerator crust left in the box from the previous evening. Are you kidding me? I put a pie crust in the oven and it came out a fluted Frisbee. I had to make more pie crusts, after all.

And then there was the whole issue of my rolling pin. I used this glass for the majority of my pie making efforts. The glass is from the in-law's church. I might be able to do many things, but rolling out a crust with a glass is not in my wheelhouse. At some point of my crusty efforts I thought to ask Josiah. He, after all, is the main "disher-puter-awayer." When asked he got this sheepish look on his face. 

It was in his room. I didn't ask what he had been using it for.

Making the filling for any creme pie is relatively easy. This recipe calls for a little cream or milk, buttah, sugar, flour, a dab of salt and finally vanilla and coconut. Easy, right?

Notice the bit of hot pink syrup in my pan of filling. That, my friends, is cough syrup.

I put COUGH SYRUP in the coconut pie. I should have known something like that might happen. I had tried to give Josiah a teaspoon of vanilla the night before for his cough. He's the one that noticed. "Is that vanilla, Mom?"

Here is another picture of my kitchen at the time of the "incident." Notice the placement of the bottle of cough syrup. And can you see that cup of coffee waiting for me in the far back corner? I hadn't touched a drop yet that morning. There is a lesson here, dear friends.

After deliberately escorting the bottle cough syrup to the bathroom medicine cabinet, I made another pie filling.  Here is the deal. I didn't beat my meringue long enough. It was kinda of a "meh" effort.

I decided to plow on ahead with the butterscotch pie.  This was to be the pie of my dreams. The results would prove my pie making prowess.  Some brown sugar, more buttah, a little flour and cream...I was cooking pie!

I was not disappointed. I beat the meringue just enough. It piled majestically on top of that creamy butterscotch filling.

This was the pie I could be proud of. Sure. Coconut Cream is pretty tasty, but this Butterscotch pie will make folks rise up and take notice. This woman can bake a pie!

I placed both pies in a box, grabbed my phone and keys and prepared to leave to deliver the pies....After I chased Josiah off the couch. The cough syrup obviously did him some good.

Now we just live across the street from The Muffin's work. My plan was to stick the box in the car and drive them over...after my mission was done I was going to come back home, give myself a dose of the infamous cough syrup and go to bed for a bit.

As I was going down the stairs with my box I thought to myself, "It would sure be a shame if something happened to these pies on the way there."

Just seconds later the Coconut Cream spitefully slid over the top of my beautiful Butterscotch.

Oh, yes. I almost cried. I drove both pies over to The Muffin. He took the Coconut Cream pie in hand (at this point I was glad to see the back of that one) and decided to pass on taking in Mr. Butterscotch.

The Moral of the Story? The next time you have a cold and your husband asks you to fix a dessert for a work party... RUN (don't walk) to your nearest Krispy Kreme for a few dozen donuts and call it a day.

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