Chapter 17: Pies
Edie was miserable. Supposedly her grandmother was doing all the cooking for Thanksgiving dinner, as she usually did—she did the hosting, after all—but her mother had decided that she needed to bake some pies and had recruited Edie to help. It was sweltering in the kitchen, with the oven fully heated even though they hadn’t finished the pumpkin pie filling, and her little brother kept stealing pieces of pie crust.
She shook her pie-filling-covered wooden spoon at him. She was really tempted to give him a smack with it, but that would just get her in trouble. She, Leah, and Jacob had certainly had plenty of experience being grounded for hitting each other over the years. “Leave it alone, Jacob! It’s going to be a hundred times better once it’s baked into a pie anyway!”
He grinned, unrepentant, and grabbed another pinch off the edge of a crust she’d spent ages rolling out and fitting to the pie pan. “But then I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to eat it.”
“That’s the point. It’s Thanksgiving pie. Mom!” She hated to have to call her mom for help, but what else was she supposed to do about an obnoxious little brother?
“Leave your sister alone, Jacob,” her mom replied automatically. She was squinting at a recipe she’d taped up to the kitchen cabinet. Edie had to admit that the chocolate spice pie sounded like it would be amazing, but she wasn’t sure her mom was going to get it right on the first try.
“Fine, I’ll have some of your pie crust, then,” Jacob said, leaning across the kitchen.
Their mother did give him a smack on the shoulder with her spoon—which luckily didn’t have any filling on it yet. “Don’t you dare. What are you going to tell Bubbe when she sees the pies we made her are missing pieces from the edges?”
“It’s scalloped,” said Jacob. “It looks decorative.”
Edie pushed a sweaty curl out of her face and turned back to her pie, tuning out Jacob. She added a shake of nutmeg and stirred until the light brown spice had disappeared into the creamy orange filling, then brought the spoon to her mouth for a tiny taste. The filling had eggs in it, so eating it wasn’t a good idea (and probably the only reason Jacob was sticking to the crust, which was just flour and shortening), but she wanted to make sure it tasted right. If she was going to be forced to make pumpkin pies, she at least wanted them to reflect well on her baking skill.
Thankfully, the filling tasted great, so she picked up the bowl and started pouring. She had made two pie crusts, since the recipe made filling for two pies, so she was careful to pour the same amount in each one, ending with pouring little bits at a time until she was satisfied. Finally, she put on her oven mitts, opened the oven with a whoosh of hot air, and stuck the pies inside to bake.
She closed the oven, then stood up and took a deep breath. “I’m going to go up to my room for a while, Mom.”
“Okay, Edith,” said her mom, still slightly distracted by her new recipe. “Don’t forget to come down before your pies are done.”
“I won’t,” she said, wincing as she left the kitchen. It felt strange to come home and have everyone calling her Edith again, even if it was just her family. She’d gotten so used to Edie. Leila called her Edith, but it didn’t sound the same at all. She wanted to ask her family to start calling her Edie, but wasn’t sure how to say it without sounding like she hated the name her parents had given her.
It was cooler up in the room she shared with her little sister. Thankfully, Leah didn’t want to have a conversation, being already engrossed in one on the phone—a very intense conversation, judging by her expression. She rolled her eyes at Edie when she came in, but Edie ignored her and went to the window, pressing her face against it. The cold glass felt good against her hot skin.
After she’d gotten some relief, she picked up her headphones and put on some music. She’d gotten used to ignoring Leah, but it was easier to do with some nice instrumental music in the background. Then she picked up her knitting needles. She was just working on a plain sock, but it gave her something to do while she waited for her pies to bake and got some all-too-rare time to herself.
She loved Thanksgiving, and it was nice to see her family again after being away at college for so long, but she was already looking forward to going back to school.