Do not believe anything in your Facebook feed. If you posted something on Facebook about giving birth, I’d check the crib before you hit SEND.
People post the stupidest things. The latest example: There’s a graphic going around on social media purporting to show the favorite Thanksgiving pie for the various U.S. regions. It’s a hoax. A parody of a sham of a mockery! But just to test your credulity, which one of these is the pie purportedly preferred by Gopher State citizens?
1. Gopher mush with crunchy onions from a can.
2. Minced yams on an acorn crust.
3. Coconut cream.
4. Grasshopper. “I know, I know, but it was the last one they had at Perkins. I know I was supposed to bring pecan, but you have no idea what my week was like and don’t start with me about how I had one thing to do and I couldn’t do it, you just can’t wait to find something wrong, can you? I know you’re always the one who has to make the turkey, but I think you get your jollies out of being the overworked martyr, and you’re angry that I’m the fun one.”
(Repeat until Uncle Hank says, “Is that peach pie as in imPEACHment pie” and then everyone bites their cheek.)
The answer is No. 3, coconut cream, according to the sham graphic. We all know this is wrong. The correct answer is pumpkin, with some generous Minnesota love for pecan, and maybe a nod to mince, whatever that is. Sugar and bovine thyroids and raisins and nuts or something.
But we know in our bones it’s not some cold, gelatinous thing wearing an inch of meringue. Our preferred pie must be brown, because the world is brown and the bird is brown, and it’s served with a dollop of ice cream that melts a bit and forms a white lake around the slice. Half an hour ago you didn’t think you could eat anything else, but the appearance of this triangular confection changes everything.
Perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps I’m holding to some outmoded paradigm of Thanksgiving, and the chic thing now is an ostrich stuffed with kale and glazed with llama spittle. Every year we’re given new recipes to expand our horizons, but I believe most of us think “on this day, I would like my horizons to contract as much as possible, please.” We want a few familiar items to tie the day to the Thanksgivings of yore, none of which we remember with particular clarity, since every new Thanksgiving joins the long parade of predecessors.
Oh, there were differences — one year the snow was drifting on the roads, one year it rained, one year fresh snow covered the yard, one year it was bright and brittle with cold.
Every year the cooks fretted about whether the bird was done, and performed the alchemy that made the gravy. Every year something went wrong. One year the bird was so dry you wondered if the museum was missing a mummy, but who cares? Ladle on the gravy, butter up the dollar buns, spoon out the yams, release the shuddering cylinder of jellied cranberries from the can, and exult: Here we are, together, again.
The combination might not be the same as last year, and it might be different next time. But for now, on this day, there’s the “here,” and there’s the “we” and there’s the bird.
And the delicious coconut cream pie!