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Tart Potato Pie: Don't Forget The Butter!

By Expert Author: Donte Henrie

As of today, I get requests from my children and friends to make sweet potato pie. I am proud of that because I've mastered it through the years; however, there was a day of small beginnings. In 2005, I was stationed in Fort. Irwin, California. My new church was in Barstow, and I joined around the holiday season. For Thanksgiving, the women's department held a meeting to discuss the menu. We agreed to do a potluck; each woman volunteered to make their special dish. I was still new in the ways of the kitchen; I sat there wondering what to pick. The ladies became concerned about the absence of sweet potato pie, my favorite treat. A very stern, elder church mother boldly declared, "I don't eat anybody's sweet potato pie." Her face scrunched up in an unpleasant manner, daring anyone to challenge her opposing statement.

I took it personal, loving the opportunity to prove her wrong. I fantasized about her adoring my tasty dish; boasting before the congregation the skills, I have as a cook. Attracted to the glory that would've come through this kind of acceptance persuaded me. I raised my hand, not realizing what I was doing. The service and community dinner was only a week away.

My mom was known for making the best sweet potato pies, so, I called her to get the ingredients. She gave me step-by-step instructions, but I didn't write all of them down. When the pies were done, they looked a little darker than usual. I sampled one of them and it wasn't sweet like Momma's; the ingredient of nutmeg stuck out the most. Those pies weren't Thanksgiving good; even so, it was time to take them to church.

On the way, I wrestled with keeping or tossing them out the window. I called momma and told her how the pies turned out. She asked me, "Did you remember to use three eggs? Vanilla extract, milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar, and two sticks of butter?" I gasped; I forgot the butter. Butter is the mojo to sweet potato pie. How could I forget?

It was time to face my shame. Only one member from the church took a gambled, and tasted my wretched work of art. He liked it, but I still didn't prove anything; accept that I knew how to make tart potato pies.

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