A Special Slice of Pumpkin Pie

Isabella Alden tells a lovely story about a very special Thanksgiving she spent in Auburn, New York.

Thanksgiving feast

She was 22 years old at the time, and living with her older sister Marcia and brother-in-law Charles, while Charles attended Auburn Theological Seminary.

That year Marcia and Isabella prepared the family’s Thanksgiving feast, and Isabella was responsible for baking the pies. She wrote:

My mother was a wonderful cook, and her pumpkin pies were especially renowned, but I, her youngest daughter, had been busy since very early in life in other places than the kitchen, and knew almost nothing about cooking.

Modern Priscilla 1915-01 ed

Despite her doubts, Isabella’s pies were a success, and Charles declared:

“Upon my word, I believe this pumpkin pie is every bit as good as our mother can make. And we three know that there can’t be any greater praise for pumpkin pie than that!”

When they’d finished eating and had cleared away the dishes, Charles suggested they ask some of his fellow seminary students to come in and share their cheer.

Of course Marcia and Isabella agreed; and while Charles was gone, hunting up lonely students to bring back to the house, Marcia and Isabella prepared turkey sandwiches and sliced the remaining pies Isabella had made.

McCall_s 1913-11 ed

Charles soon returned with one lonesome stranger in tow. Isabella described her first impression of their guest:

He looked uncommonly tall to me, and he certainly liked pumpkin pie. My sister had no difficulty in persuading [him] to take another piece. Also, there was much fun over the fact that these were the very first pumpkin pies I had ever made.

They spent an enjoyable evening together, unaware of how great a role their guest would play in their futures.

Post Toasties ad 1914 - at the dinner table ed

As Isabella later wrote:

That lonesome stranger who ate my first pumpkin pie was the man who afterward became my husband!

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