Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Pie-O-My

Today I indulged in nostalgia and had my first Table Talk pie in at least 10 years. The experience was not as bad as when a lingering cold drove me to the only thing that could satisfy my hunger as a little boy: SpaghettiOs with franks. When I tasted those slimy pasta poseurs in that watery red liquid -- a mixture that was stone cold even though I had seen it bubbling like lava on the stove only a few minutes before -- I thought, for a moment, that I had simply lost the ability to feel happiness or pleasure, because how could I have been so wrong about something as a child? I didn't even try any of the franks, instead simply probing one with my tongue before throwing the whole poutine (in its literal definition, "a mess") in the garbage. So, the good people at Table Talk Pies of Worcester, Mass., should be happy that their product did not reduce me to tears. Their individual-size cherry product did remind me why my mother made us eat Table Talk instead of Hostess's sugar rush pies. The crust does need to be washed down, possibly with whole milk but preferably with RC Cola. The cherry filling is definitely preferable to sucking on cough drops, but I remember that I liked the lemon pies best. Cherry filling is never as good as real cherries, but lemon filling is more palatable than the fruit itself. Lemons must be beaten and sugared into submission, and the tartness that survives is just right for a trashy dessert. Under this theory, apple and blueberry pies aren't so satisfying. But what about a horseradish pie? Jalepeno pepper pie? Wasabi and rhubarb? Break the spirits of those flavors, Table Talk, and I'll be a regular customer again.

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