Years ago in the program I was teaching every Thanksgiving do or die

I would enter my class in a contest to bake the most delicious pumpkin pie.


I would find the most delectable recipes and only the finest ingredients would I choose

But somehow in spite of all this dedication, my homemade pie would lose.


I thought baking a pie from scratch is always best; this turned out to be a myth

Because 3 years in a row I lost to a pie baked by Mrs. Smith.


Mrs. Smith was not another teacher whose homemade pie made a real smash.

No, my nemesis was Mrs. Smith the frozen pie (it was I who found the box in the trash).


(I will not reveal the name of this fraudulent cooking whiz

Because she is a friend on Facebook...and she know’s who she is!)


Even after showing them the box, the judges were unswayed; their ruling stood.

They were adamant my homemade pie just didn’t taste as good.


I never won a pie making contest.  I like to think my pies were too unorthodox.

Still today I can’t walk through the frozen foods without cursing out the box.


But that was long ago and I’ve recovered from my shame

I understand when it came to pie contests I only had myself to blame.


Flash ahead to this Christmas season when it was prearranged 

I would be a willing participant in my former school’s cookie exchange.


Once again I looked up recipes, would I make my cookies green or red?

Finally I decided on cake pops made out of gingerbread.


So I mixed up all the batter, rolled them into balls, then put them in the freezer.

I was sure these gingerbread cake balls would be a a tasty, fun, crowd pleaser.


I covered them with chocolate, knowing in the exchange they would be the stars

But I noticed they didn’t taste as good as Barb’s sweet lemon bars.


I asked her how she made them, to reveal to me her secret baking tricks

She smiled and said she ran out of time and used a Betty Crocker mix.


Once again I felt a blow to my cooking prowess and my self-esteem

In fairness how could I compete with a box that labeled their lemon bars supreme?


I have learned a valuable lesson or perhaps all this failing has sent me off my rocker


But next year’s when I enter I’ll sign up as Mrs. Smith then cook with Betty Crocker.

View joy's Full Portfolio