The day before Thanksgiving has always been a cooking/baking day for me. We were a little late getting back from our walk because of an 18-wheeler. The big rig, loaded with slabs of stone, came up the steep hill just after we turned into our road. The little state road begins hopefully enough, but it is barely two lanes wide before it degenerates into dirt and gravel. The semi stopped at the top of the hill, waited a bit, then began backing into a driveway. After several tries, the driver pulled further down the hill and stopped again. Every time he moved, we stopped to watch. The next attempt was halfway down, but that didn’t work, either. John sent him telepathic messages to try the farm. We could no longer see, so we walked on. I wondered if we’d see him stuck at the bottom of the hill, but I forgot to look when we got home.
Seeing the time, I went into high gear. Lise and Chris were going to visit family friends, and if I didn’t hustle, they would not have time to eat the pumpkin muffins I planned for breakfast. I aim for one pumpkin dish a day when Lise is here. Just in case anyone wants to know, I wouldn’t mind chocolate once a day if I stay at your house. I was hurrying, but I also had half my mind on the next cooking project, the cranberry mince pie that defines Thanksgiving for John. I stirred the dry ingredients, dumped the wet ones on top, blended as quickly as I could, and slung the batter into muffin cups. I know just the spoon to use, how much to load it with, and presto! The job was done. Into the oven! Oops! Before the pan got hot, I realized I hadn’t added the oil.
“John!” I yelled. “Can you come help me right now?”
Bless his heart, he came on the run. He scooped the batter back into the bowl while I greased the spare muffin tin. It took only seconds more to blend in the oil and fill the cups again. Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise. Lise likes limp bread, and I like crispy. I took the tin out of the oven as Lise and Chris came to the table, three minutes shy of the timer ding. The muffins were a little wobbly. Would the centers be gooey? Thank heavens they were acceptable. I felt like a spectator at a sports event, rooting on the team to beat the clock. They were quite late leaving, for which I’ll take responsibility for at least 15 minutes.
Unless I left out the sugar, the cranberry mince pie will be fine.