Thursday, September 5, 2013

Tangled webs and peach pies ...

"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive" my mom used to tell us as children. 
Of course she did it in order to discourage us from lying, fibbing and not being totally up front whenever we'd done something that we knew we were going to get in trouble for.
It worked some times. But I have to admit there were those days when a little white lie seemed totally appropriate and not harmful in any way.

That was when I was a kid. But the biggest lesson for me in regards to the fate of tangled webs, occurred after I reached puberty, passed through the teenage years, found my one and only, was married and became a mother.
... In other words I was a full-grown adult and for all intents and purposes ... I should have known better.

Have you ever felt envy for anyone?

Down the hill from where we lived was where the perfect family resided.
The wife, an accomplished singer (gorgeous voice) thrilled many of us with her performances at church,  and community productions and passed on her musical skills to her children. Each one played several instruments and were also, it seemed to me, always impeccably groomed and well behaved.

Her husband?
Kind and gentle as well as being tall, blonde and handsome. He measured up in every way.

That's why it was a surprise when news came that the family could use some assistance. They had  experienced some illness over the weekend, were expecting company in a few days and needed a large meal to be brought in when they arrived. 
... My assignment was dessert.

I don't remember exactly what happened to clog my mind and make me forget that assignment. But suffice it to say that I never thought  about it again until about 5 minutes before the dessert was due.

I went into panic mode immediately, trying to think of ways to save the day with what I had on hand.
Would they believe, I wondered, that I had really made the Twinkies I just unwrapped and arranged hastily on a plate?
Or would instant pudding mixed up and poured into a ... breadcrumb (all I had) crust, pass for a pie?

"The writing was on the wall," I thought. I had but ONE option.

Earlier in the day a sweet friend had dropped off two freshly made sour cream peach pies for our family to enjoy.
...  And there they sat in the refrigerator just waiting to be eaten.

Everything seemed to be working wonderfully. I delivered the pies on time and basked in the praise from the perfect family who were astounded at the hard work I must have done to produce such a delicious-looking treat.
I also accepted the adulation of others who were present, hugged them back and returned home thinking all was well.

I wasn't even all that upset when the request came from the perfect family a few days later. All they needed was the recipe, after all.
It was the best pie they'd ever eaten, the wife said. Her mother-in-law was coming the next week and she just had to have it.
"No problem," I think I responded. "I'll have it to you by this afternoon."

... I'm embarrassed to tell you that what I planned to do was call my friend who'd created the pie, secure the recipe from her, copy it off in my handwriting and pass it off as my own ... ... again!

However, after several attempts to contact her failed, I found out she and her family had left on vacation earlier that day. They wouldn't be back, I was told, for a few weeks. ... Suffice it to say my plans "went down the toilet."

I won't bore you with how devious I became after that and what led me to deliver a recipe as promised. 
Of course it wasn't THE recipe, but one I made up from what I believed had to happen to produce a pie like that. 
... And then I spent several weeks undercover, hoping things would blow over, and avoiding talking to the perfect wife at all costs. ... I mean she wanted me to help her figure out what she'd done wrong with the recipe!
"The pies," she reported, "were just awful!"

... "Oh what a tangled web" ... etc., etc., etc.

♦ Hope you'll let me share your stories and photos here at my new residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at 

Click on Under the Nut Tree tab today for a yummy sour cream peach pie recipe. ... Not THE ONE ... but a great one nonetheless.