Here’s how clueless I am

OK, here’s an utterly ridiculous story for you. Since my husband insists on growing dozens of pumpkins in his huge garden, for years I’ve considered it my patriotic duty to make pumpkin pie from the actual pumpkin. A long process, but one I took pride in mastering.

Last week my mom asked me to contribute 2 pies to a family dinner. I was swamped, crazy busy, but said yes anyway, thinking I’d find some extra time, somewhere, somehow.   Nope. The afternoon of the gathering when I realized I couldn’t make pie from a pumpkin in 2 hours flat, I caved and went to the store, deciding for once in my life to buy pie, ready-made.

I blithely pulled two pumpkin pies out of the frozen food section and brought them to the check-out.   I figured if I left them out on the counter til it was time to leave, they’d be just about thawed.

I arrived at my mom’s house just when they were ready to serve up dinner.  Opened my pie boxes.  Set them on the counter, saying something joking about letting the last of the ice crystals melt off.  Wondered absently why my mom and sisters looked puzzled.

My son looked down at what I’d just set on the counter.  “Mom, these aren’t cooked.”

My mouth dropped open.  I looked down.   Sure enough, my pies were not only still frozen, they were also raw.  Meaning it would be a good 2 hours before anybody’d be getting a bite.

Silly me for assuming store bought pie is ….ya know….cooked.

Apparently I can make pancake syrupgrape jelly, yogurt, granolamac and cheese,  and dozens of other things entirely from scratch.  But I somehow got to the age of 42 without knowing how to make pie from a box.


  1. That is the greatest thing I have heard today. I needed a good chuckle. Thank you for brightening my day, you do so much anyway that I am sure they all had a good laugh and will let this one slide. Keep smiling

  2. Hi ..I may be using your recipe for making pie
    filling from “real” pumpkins …I heard on the news, here in the Portland,Or. area, that there
    is or was a shortage canned pumpkin pie filling for our Thanksgiving Day dessert.
    Thanks for the recipe..many blessings to you
    and your have fond memories of
    my daughter being born in Ontario, Or…Also
    loved picking cherries near Emmett.. :o)

  3. multi-taskingmom says:

    Psssttttt (shhhhh looking over my shoulder as I quietly say this – doing my best imitation of that guy from sesame street) go to the in store bakery section next time… speaking from experience from someone who burned the pumpkin pies she was supposed to take to the church dinner a couple of years ago 🙂

  4. lol! I often thing about this kind of thing when I make a box of mac n cheese and I have to read the directions on the side of the box.

  5. I love that! I am unable to make mac and cheese from a box. I follow the directions and it comes out soupy. This makes my 2 year old cry.

  6. What?! You can make pumpkin pie from actual pumpkins?

  7. Rolling on the floor laughing! Thanks for making my day alittle brighter, as reading your blog does most days. I feel your pain though, I have MS, had a major flair and was in hospital last week, when I asked my family what was important for Thanksgiving and what could slide, both Husband and Daughter want Mom’s pumpkin pie, which they will do for me with canned pumpkin-Gasp! Usually done with roasted. They still think it’s better than the ready to serve one’s – I think the one Costco makes is good in a pinch! 🙂

  8. Bless your heart! Although I prefer to make my own pies 9even if it’s with store-bought crust – gasp!), I can tell you that the pies in the freezer still need to be cooked while the ones in the bakery section of the store are cooked & ready for consumption. 🙂

    I have to tell you that my grandfather told my mother that he liked my pie better than my aunt’s b/c of the crust – I’ll never tell that I didn’t make it myself…

  9. I say it’s a good thing that you don’t know that you have to cook the ready made pies.
    Next time go for the Edward’s brand. You really only have to thaw those. I also like the bakery section idea. Just pull the sticker off and, voila, “homemade” pumpking pie.
    Thanks for brightening my day with this story.

  10. Love it! It just shows a lot about who you are.

  11. So funny!
    I wrote a review for your book, finally, today! Love it!

  12. This reminded me of my Aunt trying to make me an Angel Food cake for my 7th birthday, since my Mom had the flu and Grandma’s arthritis was so bad she couldn’t. We had bought a box mix. My Aunt had never in her life made a cake from a box and it turned out so wretched, she had to go make one from scratch for me to have a decent birthday cake. 🙂

    My Mom and Grandma got a really good laugh out of that then, and now I do too!

    Incidentally, I’ve never bought a frozen pie in my life. My son just won one in a charity bingo game and I’m going to make a note to myself to carefully read the directions before trying to serve it!

    You’ll learn…

  13. If it is any consolation, I would have assumed it was pre-cooked also. LOL!

  14. Pumpkin pie is not big in Australia, but I decided to make it for my hubby (from scratch) about two years ago as a special treat. I was about a million years pregnant with two toddlers underfoot but I did it, pastry from scratch and everything, only to find out that “Um honey, thank-you, but pumpkin is SAVORY putting it in a sweet is just – wrong” *sigh* even when you get it right you don’t always get it right!

  15. Oh that makes me laugh! I agree with the suggestion above to go the CostCo pie route…they make a pretty mean pie and in true CostCo fashion those things are huge!

    And because I fall into the category of crazy that would actually make a pumpkin pie out of actual an actual on-the-vine pumpkin I have to ask you what variety of pumpkin you use. City girls liek me either need to make it to a farm stand and buy a pumpkin someone else has grown or attempt to grow one myself in the 3 square feet I have available for the pumpkin growing. So given that, what variety of pumpkin is best for the pie making? I’ve heard not to use jack-o-lantern pumpkins because they’re too watery. On the other hand, I’ve heard to use Sugar Pie pumpkins but I don’t think it gets cold enough down here to grow that one. Suggestions?

  16. lol. next time you are in a bind – i’ll fed ex for you. 🙂 hilarious.

  17. Well thanks for the heads up. I’ve never purchased one either and guess I would have naturally assumed they were already baked 🙂

  18. Hilarious! Boy, you sure know how to make me feel better about my lack of culinary skill.
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  19. Oh man, that’s great! Happy Thanksgiving!

  20. That cracks me up!

  21. Love it! My hubby and I got a big kick out of that story! : )

  22. I love it! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  23. Ha! I would have done the same thing!

    Canned pumpkin here is ridiculously expensive and there’s no such thing as ready-made or frozen pies. But fresh pumpkin is cheap! When I’m in a big hurry, I cut the pumpkin into cubes and cook it in the microwave. It usually only takes 10-20 minutes. Not as good as cooking it in the oven, but still delicious. We love pumpkin pancakes, too, though, so I cook a whole pumpkin at a time and keep the puree in the freezer. Just let it thaw and it’s as easy as canned.

  24. Yep, did the same thing. I didn’t find out ’til days later, after the pies had sat and thawed in frig for a few days. There was so much food, that no one missed the pumkin pies. When I did discover it, I cooked them. We ate them. No one died, lol.