When people think of Thanksgiving, they usually think pumpkin pie. I actually hate pumpkin pie and have not eaten it in years. It is the fruit pies--apple, peach, cherry, to name a few--that I cannot resist.
I actually hold a pie eating record in my family. One Thanksgiving I ate twelve pieces of pie--in addition to double helpings of turkey and all the trimmings. Granted, I could not eat for several days afterward, but it was so worth it. Albeit, eating at a competitive level is not without its downfall. I felt a great pressure every year to outdo myself. Even today, years later, an aunt or cousin might say with a slight trace of disappointment, "You're only eating three pieces this year?"
On another occasion I tricked my family into letting me eat an entire apple pie. To set the scene, my aunt, uncle and cousins were visiting from out of town, and my mom made an apple pie. I had a doctor's appointment in the morning, and I feared that I might return to a pie that had been eaten in my absence. So, I wrote a note saying, "Please save a piece for me. Thanks, Gretchen." When I returned from my appointment, no one had eaten a piece, so I helped myself to a slice, but left the note in place. For the rest of the day, family members kept asking if I had gotten a piece of pie--and every time I had another slice. As the day progressed, the offers became more urgent: "That pie is going fast--you better get a piece." Little did anyone know that I had eaten the whole pie myself over the course of the day.
People often ask me, "Gretchen, how can you consume such massive amounts of pie?" And my answer is quite simple, "Eat through the nausea." It's actually my mantra. And, it's true. Just when you think you can't eat anymore, push through with another piece of pie and you will find room in your stomach that you never knew you had. But just be aware that competitive pie eating is not for the faint of heart--or stomach.