Cherry Pie (Not Like George)

Cherry Pie With Cellophane

Thinking about greed today.   And urges.

Early this morning, bleary-eyed and blind (I was stumbling around my apartment without my glasses), I tore a frozen cherry pie from its box and put it on a baking sheet.  I have been thinking about cherry pie ever since President’s Day, the modern stand-in for George Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthday.  (See e.g. portrait of GW with Cherry Pie.)

As I turned on the oven to pre-heat it, I delighted in the home-made aspect of the frozen pie—that is, the lopsided puff of its upper crust, the slight pucker to one side.  It took me a minute, with my uncorrected vision, to realize that the pie box must have been bumped slightly (there was a crimp on one side of the aluminum pie plate) which seemed to be what was responsible for the asymmetry.  I told myself that the pie still looked wonderful.  I was absolutely determined to like it.

I hurriedly stuck the pie in the oven, deciding that it was preheated enough.

Approximately fifty minutes later when I pulled the pie out (with my glasses on), I found a crumpled partly-melted ripple of plastic sticking to one side of its top crust.

I lifted the large crumple of melted plastic off first, hardly able to believe it.  Concerns about both my vision and idiocy filled my mind, but, then as I noticed suspiciously shiny bits on the ripple of outer crust, these concerns took second place to worry over the pie.

The pie!

Does plastic get smaller when it’s melted?  Could those bits and the big piece really be all there was?

I pictured a residue of cellophane dripping down through the beautiful slits in the golden crust, throughout the ruby of cooked tart cherry.  I felt sick (besides blind and idiotic.)

My husband, more of an optimist than I, was sure the pie was fine.  Especially after we lifted off the whole outer perimeter of crust, even the parts that didn’t have shiny bits sticking to them.  Even after we took a bunch of plastic off the bottom of the pie plate.

“What’s if some of the plastic’s melted down?”  I asked.

“It hasn’t melted down.” he insisted.

With the confidence of a mother, that is, a woman who feels like she can try anything (even poisonous or boiling things) as long as she is doing it fast and supposedly to protect  someone else, I tasted one of the upper cherries.

I was sure I felt a soreness instantly start in my throat, though I was equally sure that the cherry tasted absolutely delicious.

Even though I said, repeatedly, that the pie should be thrown away, that I would get another, my husband served himself a big piece with vanilla ice cream. (We are still talking breakfast.  He has an excellent metabolism and really likes pie.)  And then I ate two or three bites of his piece.  (Since bites of someone else’s food have absolutely no calories, they are very hard to pass up.)

Then my throat began to hurt some more.  And then, a few minutes later, I became convinced that a bitter aftertaste of plastic coated my tongue.

“It’s the tea,” my husband said.

“I drink a zillion cups of tea a day,” I insisted.  “How can it be the tea?”

“It’s the…tannins,” he said, “in the tea.”

But, now his throat was hurting too.  “It’s my cold,” he said, “and the tea.”

He went back to the kitchen to throw out the pie.

“My throat really hurts now,” I called after him.

“It’s psychosomatic,” he called back.

“It’s melted cellophane,” I replied.

“They can’t possibly allow them to put poisons in plastic like that,” he said.  “People must eat it by mistake all the time.”

“We didn’t do it by mistake.  We even saw it.  We just wanted that cherry pie too much.”

“Yes,” he agreed.

“George Washington wouldn’t have eaten it,” I said ruefully.  “He would have resisted.”

“Yes,” he said. “George Washington would probably have resisted it.”

There didn’t seem to be much else to say.

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One Comment on “Cherry Pie (Not Like George)”


  1. […] Cherry Pie (Not Like George) « ManicDDaily […]


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