The old gut feeling and the ethereal lemon pie

Source: fotosearch

Source: fotosearch

My gut is smarter than my brain. I can do probabilities in my head but my gut will tell me the truth without any data to back it up. It just knows.

I don’t trust my heart. It gets veered off into the emotional far too often. It’s that whole “feelings movement” from the 70s.

But my gut – I can rely on that even when it makes no sense.

The plan was to have a nice lemon meringue pie for dessert on Easter day. I did the prep work of looking for a place that has the best. (No! I’m not baking it! My meringues always weep.)

I bought some to try out (it was in the spirit of research. I tried not to enjoy the tastings. My body is a temple and all that stuff.)

The perfect pie was found at an upscale grocery store. Boogers! Those are the worst for planning. You can’t order one. You must come to pick one up when they have them out.

Plan A was to discuss with staff when the best time would be to get one. If you come too early they are in the oven. Come too late they are sold out.

Chipper older pie lady (who had the deer in the headlights look) told me not to worry (ha!) they would have a lot of them. When I probed to see when the best pick-up time would be, she said she didn’t know but there would be “plenty.” “Don’t worry” is a direct quote.

My gut wasn’t feeling good about this. Pie lady didn’t refer to any chart or schedule. She also didn’t have a hairnet or hat on. Real bakers wear hairnets or hats. (It’s the little things that sway me.)

I would need a Plan B just in case. (No, I’m still not baking it myself!) I pulled out my strawberry cake recipe and made a list of the ingredients I needed for that. If I couldn’t get my lemon meringue pie I would make (yes, I would make it myself) the strawberry dessert I normally make for Easter.

First choice was still the lemon pie.

Oh dear, what to do. Go on Friday? Go on Saturday? Early? Mid-day? Surely not evening.

In the end I decided to go Saturday mid-morning. That might be the best chance of snagging one. There may be some from Friday leftover and if not, surely the new batch would be out.


The parking lot was jammed (as I knew it would be). My gut wasn’t happy. It reminded me to be sure to take in the list for plan B. My mind was still thinking positive (and dreaming of winning the lottery).

I pushed my way through the produce section over to the bakery. There were four different kinds of cake/pie selections – coconut cream pie, cheesecake, a vanilla iced cake and another cakey thing. That was all that was in the cake/pie section.

There were cupcakes and brownies and cookies and individual tarts. Nothing lemony at all. My head wasn’t deterred. They only had so much room so surely the pies would be in back of the counter. (Logic tries to prevail.)

I waited my turn for a chipper pie lady. That would be a long wait because no one was chipper that day.

I asked if they had a lemon pie in the back. The unchipper pie lady turned to ask a pie person with a hairnet (I told you hairnets were important in the bakery hierarchy). Nope! They hadn’t made them yet.

My head was crushed but my gut was saying, “Told you so! Told you so!” (Yes, my body parts are like school children some days.)

On a more practical point….holy freakin’ Moses! It’s almost noon the day before a holiday and you didn’t make the desserts yet? Whassup wit’ dat!

Still not giving up, I asked when they would be available. “Later” was the answer. How much later? No one knew. Limited oven space, yada yada. Truth be told I stopped listening when I heard “No.”

I bought the strawberries and made the damn strawberry dessert. The gut reveled in its superiority all weekend. My head has lost all confidence in anyone who doesn’t wear a hairnet.


58 thoughts on “The old gut feeling and the ethereal lemon pie

    • This bakery has good stuff but it’s chancy at holidays. It’s extremely busy and you never know what you’ll find. If you go with an open mind it can work out. It’s the same way with their breads (which are wonderful). My favorite isn’t available until after 10 a.m. which I learned from repeated disappointments. I usually shop in the early morning to avoid the crowds.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Random 5 for April 3 – Sperm squirter, pie, disappointment, pond, neighbors | Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

  2. That’s crazy! I do think sometimes there is very little investment made in working towards positive results almost anywhere or about anything. I completely understand the “trusting your gut” instinct and then talking yourself out of trusting! You learned an important lesson…always trust your gut, and don’t use this bakery again!


    • I did send them an email suggesting they put up a schedule of when things would be available. Not sure they will but I did my best. For some things (but not cakes) this is a great bakery. Their cakes tend to be heavy and sweet for my taste. (Said by someone who was raised during the era of light chiffon cakes!)


  3. Always the backup plan! Excellent. I have no confidence in people. I think that’s kind of a good thing. Sometimes I am happily surprised. 🙂

    I never thought about the hairnet. I’m going to look for those henceforth.


    • I think it may be a government reg. At least at this place they have them wear a stupid looking hat or a hairnet. As for the whole event, I had no confidence it was going to work out from the beginning and I can’t tell you why. It’s my gut.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sometimes I think we lead parallel lives! I also scouted out desserts! I also found the perfect thing – chocolate cupcakes with whipped strawberry frosting and a sprinkle of chocolate chips on top. Perfect for Easter! Did they have any when I went back two days before Easter? No! Did the lady behind the counter have any idea what I was talking about? No! Did they have any special desserts out for the holiday (like they did the week before)? No! Unlike you, I didn’t make anything. I bought a cake. So disappointing!


    • This also happens with picnics too. When I am asked to bring a dessert I try to get one of their triple berry pies. They are wonderful but very sporadically available. Never have been able to take one to a picnic yet! Someday……
      I just couldn’t believe that they didn’t have more dessert varieties the day before. The place was packed. I don’t think you can freeze lemon meringue successfully.


  5. I bet your strawberry dessert was delicious. I tend to follow my gut… 🙂 I would be happy with a banana cream pie but The Mama(CH’s Mom)made some kind of gooey cake with cool whip and cream cheese and pineapple and cherries and I don’t know what else… too sweet for me! BUT it was nice to be with family the Easter weekend!


  6. No! No! No! …. just No! I was virtually looking forward to that lemon pie. My sister asked if “Happy Birthday” could be written on an egg cake and received a “No! we can only write Happy Easter” She made the mistake of asking “why?”


  7. The lemon would have been my first choice. I’d think lemon would be very popular for Easter but maybe it is too early in the season. How about a nice lemon meringue for the 4th of July?


  8. Kate, I’m not certain on this, but I found an old “Hairnet to English Dictionary” and under the letter L I found this translation for the word, “later.” Its translation…Next Easter. Guess that didn’t help.


  9. Strawberries are nice. I’d be happy to eat anything with strawberries in it. If it helps you feel better, I didn’t see any lemon-y anything at our Kroger before Easter. Maybe lemon meringue pie is considered too summer-y for Easter? You were just out of season– and your gut knew it.


  10. So much for organization… 🙂 When someone mentions lemon pie, I always think of my dad. It was his favorite: lemon filling, graham cracker crust, meringue topping. Really, they are not too hard to make if you buy the crust or the crumbs and use jello lemon pudding for the filling.


  11. I am not a lemon meringue fan either! (as some of your readers suggested) My Mom used to bake one for every holiday. I suppose they were delicious because everyone else clamored for it. My favorite is a good chocolate cream pie or a wonderful apple pie. (I also like your brother’s cherry pie). Did you try Egypt Star Bakery? I am surprised that the gnarly bakery lady did not suggest you order one. If you went to the store I think you went to, that is what they usually tell me to do. (“To be on the safe side, why don’t you just order one!”) Sure great….at least tell me when the one I ordered will be ready!!!!!
    And, I also have found the strawberries not to be sweet at all.


    • There were no chocolate cream pies or apple pies when I was there. I was told they were not taking orders for anything but birthday cakes so that option was out. My husband doesn’t like coconut cream pies or I would have taken one of those. From what was available it seems like cheesecake is the cake of choice for Easter. The strawberry cake turned out good. A little powdered sugar helped the strawberries but you can tell they are not in season.


  12. Another lesson – “Don’t worry” really means “good luck, sweetie; not likely to happen”. Oh well, I’m sure the strawberry desert was delicious, and I happen to second Elyse’s comment, in that I would always choose strawberry over lemon (but it’s not like I would turn either one down). Get that lady a hairnet so that her advice might actually be useful? No? Oh well. 🙂


    • The day turned out great even without lemon pie but I was disappointed. I did send the store an email (a nice one suggesting they post a schedule of what’s available when for holidays). I received a nice answer along with an offer of a free pie. Most likely the first lady (who tried) was helping out for the holiday and didn’t know much. She was manning the counter rather than helping in the cooking area and clearly couldn’t get straight answers from the real pie people.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Things Learned:
    Chipper bakery people don’t know what’s going on. Bakery people should be mildly annoyed and need to be wearing a hairnet to be true advisors.
    Got it. Will know for future forays into wilds of Bakeries.
    I’m sorry you didn’t have a lemon meringue pie for Easter, but at least you did have it as part of the taste testing. ;-D


  14. Lol…this is hilarious, Kate. I wonder if it would have made any difference if you spoke to the store manager. But if he wasn’t wearing a hair net what difference would it have made..:)


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