Saturday, December 25, 2010

Pumpkin Pie

People come to our home and are surprised when we offer them pumpkin pie in the middle of the summer. We eat pumpkin pie all year round and the fact that it surprises people so much caused me to think about why pumpkin pie has such a strong hold on me.

My father had a luncheonette in a mixed commercial and residential neighborhood in Philadelphia. Three streets down was the Mrs. Smith's Pie factory. You may know Mrs. Smith's for the frozen pies you see in the supermarket. Well back then it was a real factory putting out fresh pies for the local groceries.

The lunch order would come from the pie factory for steak sandwiches and hoagies. I would make the delivery and would enter through the budget shop - a nondescript concrete stairs leading to a simple sign that you would probably miss if you were not looking for it. This is the way I think of a budget shop - part of the factory offering damaged pies which did not meet the quality criteria for general sale.

After I delivered the food and settled the bill they would take a fresh warm pie and drop it on to the counter from a height of about 2 inches and say "oops looks like a damaged pie." That pie would be my tip. I would bring it back to the luncheonette and my father and older brother and I would sit down and eat a piece of warm fresh pumpkin pie.

My father and brother are both gone now - Pumpkin pies are a moment frozen in time.

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