Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Blast With Vinegar

Vinegar Pie ... The heroine offered ‘Vinegar Pie’ to the hero. I’m not much into movies, but the mention of a pie made with such a caustic ingredient made me leave my book and watch the rest of the movie. The woman, man, and woman’s man all loved Vinegar Pie.

If such a pie existed it would be in a cookbook that was made up of recipes from women that had lived through the Depression. So I went searching through the cookbook that my mother and her friends had compiled. Sure enough, there it was on page 231, “Old Fashioned Vinegar Pie”.

I had everything needed to create one, including the 1/3 cup of cider vinegar. It was a very impressive pie, when it was sitting on the shelf cooling, if you discounted the smell of vinegar wafting through the kitchen. The meringue was high, peaked, and a lovely shade of brown. In fact, it was probably the most perfect ‘looking’ pie I had ever made.

Dinner conversation that evening centered primarily on what they thought was Pennie’s folly. The words 'vinegar' and 'pie' just dont sound compatible. When dessert was served they all eagerly took their dessert plates and winked and smirked at one another. They thought that they were really going to have something to tease me about now. But after the first bite they ate with relish. It was delicious. There was a light undercurrent of vinegar, but the taste so resembled lemon meringue that there were murmurs of appreciation from all, even the teenagers. It was a rounding success.

John ate two pieces.

One hour later my son doubled over and said, “I think I’m going to be sick.” Five minutes later I said, “Oh, my stomach hurts.”

We have two bathrooms in the house. My son ran to one. I rolled to the other.

John blithely sat watching TV.

My son and I were miserable. We had stomachaches from hell. We also both had the taste of vinegar in our mouths. We even tried mouthwash. Nothing would get rid of the vinegar taste.

John continued sitting quietly in his chair.

I was moaning. My son was groaning.

John was maintaining his superior composure. Until ... he moved to reach for the channel changer and a series of blasts erupted from his composed self that were so loud that the dog jumped a foot into the air and the cat ran and hid under the bed.

“I don’t feel that bad,” he said as another series of blasts shattered our eardrums. I think I might get another piece of pie. It’s delicious.” And with that said he tried to stand. But the blast that was issued was so resounding that it scared even him and he sat back down. A large jet flew over the house and we didn’t even hear it because John was trying to stand up again. The new parents next door called and said that some loud noise coming from our house had awoken the baby, and all the dogs in the neighborhood started howling because the noise that was emanating from our house hurt their ears.

John claims that the pie just gave him a bit of a gassy stomach. But this morning I had to call the glassier to replace two of the windows that he broke with the concussion from his personal explosions.

By this morning my son and I had both recovered, but we both had had a miserable night. John? I caught him just as he was cutting a piece of Vinegar Pie for his breakfast.

As I grabbed the pie and headed for the garbage I could hear him say, "But it was just a ’bit of a gassy stomach’."

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