Posted by: Chelsea Novak | January 12, 2007

The miracle of pumpkin pie

It comes as no secret that I’ve been a rather finicky person for most of my life. In our house growing up, it was four picky people and the few things that we all agreed were tasty we would eat in repetition. It was a house of staple foods and a champion of the Nordic palette. I never really had a problem with that, but when I met M he was all about me trying everything once, having new foods and culinary experiences.

While I’m no where near the level of food adventurer that he would like me to be, I have come a very, very long way. And I’ve discovered that there are a lot of things that I had ruled out of my diet without having tried for, really, no good reason at all.

For example, pumpkin pie. Never in my life had I experienced pumpkin pie until this most recent Christmas holiday. I mean, my great aunt’s pumpkin pie recipe was used at the Royal York for awhile back in the 50s, and I have NEVER experienced this. So wrong.

I can’t even remember why I wouldn’t eat pumpkin pie. I imagine it was because I’d assumed that it actually tasted like the bits of pumpkin I would nibble on while doing Hallowe’en carvings. Sure, it was kind of like turnip, but would would want that for dessert. Also I violated my belief that vegetables have no business on your plate after dinner. But I was wrong. So wrong.

I became amenable to the idea of pumpkin pie in several phases. First, a few years back, M’s mother made us a pumpkin loaf, and it tasted sweet and yummy. I learned that all things pumpkin didn’t mean all things gourd-tasting. Then this summer M and I made lamb burgers (you really should try them Shaver) that were seasoned with pumpkin pie spice. Again, sweet and delicious.

Finally, being friends with Tash and Chris has given me a new appreciation for pie. I’ve always been a pretty dedicated cake fan and thought that having pie would be like winning runner up in a beauty pageant. Also growing up in my house we usually only had one kind of pie. Lemon meringue, because it was my sister’s favourite pie (as she loves all things lemon) and I just hated it. Eventually we discovered the merits of the key lime pie after some time in the southern US. I guess it was there that I began to make my peace with pie.

I have learned that pie is good. And that I have a fondness for pies like key lime pie, chocolate pie and, most importantly pumpkin pie. Tash made pumpkin pie for our annual get together and gift exchange. It was my first pumpkin pie experience and it was as close as an atheist gets to a religious experience. Oh My GOD. If there was a religion that was all about the glory of pumpkin pie and if accepting the host at mass meant actually eating pumpkin pie, I would become a theist so fast…

Anyway, I can’t believe I didn’t try it sooner. I’m sure that it had been offered time and time again. So it serves as another example of me being pig-headed and stubborn about something I would really enjoy and thereby losing out on years of goodness.

At least I’ve learned my lesson now.



  1. I used to think that I hated pumpkin pie too, but have recently started eating it. Don’t tell Mark though, who would probably interpret it as some kind of culinary victory.

    – Laura (still in NB)

  2. Hee Hee. You made peace with pie.


  3. As I wrote that I wondered if anyone would find that amusing. I can always count on you Kari!

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