Is Your Oven Broken? Here’s a Pumpkin Pie Recipe From Your Mother-In-Law

Humour: A take on what your perfectly passive-aggressive mother-in-law wants you to bake this Thanksgiving.

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illustration of a woman making a pumpkin pie

Illustration, Leeandra Cianci.

Dear daughter-in-law,
I thought you’d like to have my recipe for pumpkin pie, in case you ever want to actually make a nice dinner for my son.

Prep time: 30 minutes (about an eighth of the time it takes you to reply to my texts).

Cooking time: 45 minutes. I’m smiling because that’s how long I spoke with Lori, my younger son’s wife, last night. We both believe in making time for family.

Serves: 4 to 6. I had to adjust the recipe, as I’m a woman who’s used to serving considerably more people than that. Should be fine!

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Apparently, that’s how many degrees you feel you need to earn before you start a family. To each her own, but I finished breastfeeding all three of my babies before I was born.

2. Whisk a 15-oz can of pumpkin in a small bowl, not unlike how you whisked my son to Iceland and, I guess, forgot to invite Ronald and I. All good. We had the Larkins over nine weeks after you left, so we couldn’t have made it anyway—dinner prep and what have you!

3. “The decision to elope [to Iceland] robs family members of the chance to celebrate a marriage.” See? That truism is not ONLY my shoulder blade tattoo: Boomer Life Hourly ranks it as one of the most profound traumas there is—not as bad as a death, obviously, but worse than a death. I’ll forward the article to your old Hotmail address after I’ve correctly rotated it into landscape format, but probably before.

4. Fold in 2 eggs, a can of condensed milk and 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Some things just fold in easily, with barely any effort—like milk, or Lauren. Others, not as much. You may have to stir things up. You’re good at that!

5. Pour mixture into pie crust (unbaked, like how my son used to be before he became so taken with you and your “CBD oils”—I saw them on your dresser when I FaceTimed him at 7:12 a.m. last Saturday). Do this VERY carefully, which is how I instructed my three boys to choose their life partners. A portion of them listened!

6. Bake for 45 minutes. Funny, that’s exactly how long we waited for you outside the movie theatre that afternoon in 2009. Things come up, I know. You’re a busy lady! Who needs to see the start of a film anyway?

7. Allow the pie to cool off for 10 minutes. It’s a technique you might try the next time immigration comes up at the dinner table, don’t you think? Speaking of which, the Larkins have yet to receive your handwritten apology card. What day and time did you send it?

8. Serve with whipped cream.