Humble Pie

Posted: November 30, 2013 in glimpses of real life
Tags: , ,

I’ve already mentioned the pumpkin pie stupor that prompted me to start a blog. Of all Thanksgiving traditions, easy access to homemade pie is probably my favorite. With one exception – which I’ll write about in a bit – I’ve never met I pie I didn’t like.

Humble pie is far less sweet and has the distinction of being readily available all year long. A large, warm slice can be served up at the drop of a faux pas – any time of day or night – dollop of whipped cream optional.  And while nowhere near as decadent as a velvety, bourbon pecan, it can be just as satisfying.

One Thanksgiving past, I’d gotten it into my head that in addition to the apple pies I was making to bring to the family gathering, I would make a special lemon meringue pie for Uncle Mac. Uncle Mac was the nicest man in the universe. He was renowned for helping anyone and everyone in need, and he had natural sense of humor that made him a joy to be around. When he found out he had diabetes, he dutifully followed his new diet with the same good cheer with which he faced all challenges.

But it was Thanksgiving. And Thanksgiving without pie, at least in my opinion, is nothing short of an abomination. So I did my homework, found a recipe and baked the most magnificently health-conscious pie ever. It was beautiful, and I’m sure the angels in heaven smiled down on the perfectly browned mountains of sugar-free meringue. I admit, I was positively bursting with pride as I presented a piece to Uncle Mac, and basked in the praise that followed every bite.

The really interesting part of the story, however, is that my brother-in-law decided to have some of the pie later in the afternoon. He, too, was diabetic, and was ecstatic at prospect of guilt-free pie. His reaction after the first bite, however, was far less complimentary. While rushing for the paper towels (so as not to ruin the linen napkins), he managed to sputter that it was the worst pie he had ever tasted.

Arrogantly thinking something along the lines of casting pearls before epicurean swine, I tried the pie myself and was immediately crestfallen. It tasted as though it had been baked in the forges of hell by Sweeney Todd, himself. I was further humiliated when everyone at the table felt compelled to try the pie and weigh in on its capacity to suck.

Humble pie hadn’t been on the menu that day, but I nevertheless ate my fill of it, and I smiled and enjoyed every bite. After all, I had already been shown how to swallow something unpleasant with good grace by Uncle Mac. It was a lesson in kindness and dignity that I’ll never forget.


  1. Health conscious pies are rarely tasty, but the amount of effort you put in sounds wonderful. An definite moment where it was the thought that counted.

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