My sister, Carolyn, has always had a knack for some things, and a obvious lack of knack for others. Cooking is one of her strong suits. If I ever criticized her cooking, it was in fun. I knew that, more often than not, Carolyn would be the one to cook my next meal. But my sister isn't perfect, and this story is about one of her more humorous culinary blunders.
One day, she decided to make a pumpkin pie. This was an admirable aim, and one by no means beyond her expertise. She was taking the recipe off the back of a Crisco can. Carolyn followed the steps in making the pie crust but finished without opening the Crisco! This didn't strike her as odd at the time, even though most recipes that come off the label of a product generally use that product in the recipe. Nevertheless, she forged ahead and, later, commented on how hard the dough was to roll out. She succeeded in forming the dough and fitting it in the pan and then proceeded to cook it. When it was done, she decided to test her masterpiece. At this point she discovered that, without shortening in the crust, you get a rock-hard bowl. To actually cut a piece of that pie one would have needed a hacksaw. It was a very interesting pumpkin pie, the likes of which, I have, thankfully, neither seen nor tasted since. --JM