Is it wrong to swear when baking for church pie sale?

For our annual church pie sale, I usually keep it simple and use convenient pie crusts that unfold from a box, loading them with sweet, stress-free fillings.

But one lovely summer evening after a satisfying day at the office, I announced I was going to make lemon meringue pies from scratch. Patrick pointed out that this might not be the best night to experiment in the kitchen, but I forged ahead with luscious delusions of grandeur dancing in my head.

I congratulated myself on remaining calm while ‘no fail pie crust’ dough stuck to my rolling-pin. I employed utmost patience while I lined tiny aluminum pie plates with ragged ribbons of mangled pastry.

Rolling out cookie dough on a cutting board

Easy as pie is a big fat lie (Photo courtesy Depositphotos_Copyright-mettus)

When I took a flip on the flour-coated floor, a couple of curse words escaped my pristine lips. But I dusted myself off, rationalizing that my slip of the tongue was excusable, since I didn’t take the Lord’s name in vain.

While my pastry masterpieces were browning in a 450-degree oven, I whisked boiling lemon filling, and beat egg whites. Patrick couldn’t help but notice I was a little agitated when he helped me wrestle the filled pies into the oven. Wisdom prevailed, and he refrained from reminding me of his earlier warning about tackling this culinary adventure on a blistering, humid evening, after a long, stressful day at the office.

He had no cutting retort as I glared at him, my lips pressed together restraining these bitter sentiments, “For the love of God, why didn’t you talk me out of this?” Under my torrid breath, I muttered a stronger profanity, but rationalized it was permissible, since it was unintelligible.

As my physical and emotional temperatures rose, I watched through the smudged oven window while copious chunks of crust crumbled into a lake of fire and brimstone. I had an asthma attack when I opened the oven door, and inhaled toxic black smoke. Wheezing and coughing made it difficult to steady the pies, and molten, lemony lava crested and receded, threatening to overflow the crusts’ jagged edges.

The smoke detector made a piercing announcement that the house might be on fire, and the dog began to bark and run in circles around my legs.  I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience when to my horror, I finally uttered an expletive that shattered a commandment.

Pie with meringue on a white background closeup

Photo courtesy Depositphotos_Copyright-Olyina, edits by author

Once the pies were on the cooling racks, weeping syrupy meringue tears, I rationalized that I had done what any Christian would do under the circumstances: given a shout out to Jesus for help in a desperate situation.

I’m sure that even the most pie-ous among you will not cast judgment on me for swearing (or writing bad puns) now that you know the full story. After all, didn’t Jesus say not to look at the speck of pie crust in your neighbor’s eye, when you have a whole lemon meringue pie in yours?

©2015, Stevens. All rights reserved.

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24 thoughts on “Is it wrong to swear when baking for church pie sale?

  1. I love this post, I’m extremely No challenged. It’s the uncomfortable place I always come back to, and find that it’s never going to be my reflexive answer so I have to think about it and continually work on it! Sharing this info!

  2. Pie-ous! Love it! Yes, I totally agree calling on Jesus a few times during a baking session, even if it’s for church, is totally OK in the big man’s book.

    • I’m glad you have given me some absolution for the broken commandment, Rosemond. Honestly, writing a blog is better than confession. I imagine. I’m not Catholic, but I’ve always thought confession was a great aspect of that religion and wish it was incorporated into mine.

    • I’m glad I’ve changed pie making for you forever, Lindi. It is definitely off limits for me to even think about baking a pie. Especially after work. The annual church pie sale is going on right now, and I am enjoying a nice cold glass of Chardonnay. I feel God smiling on me this very moment.

  3. Oh my GOSH! LOL! I will have to remember that! I’m not taking the Lord’s name in vain, I am calling on Him for help!! I cuss. A lot. At least in person. I try to not cuss in my writing, but I’m sure one day you will go on my blog and see all sorts of cuss words in a blog post. I’ve already given my readers fair warning lol. I have been trying my hardest to change my Oh my *** to goshs. I feel super corny saying oh my gosh though lol.

    I have yet to try a lemon meringue. Pie crust from scratch ALWAYS gives me problems, so I buy premades from the store lol.

    • I am all about not making pie crust from scratch, Jessica, though someone did give me a recipe that uses vodka and I am considering another blog post detailing my experience making this crust, while drinking vodka. Cussing is a bad habit I have gotten into through the years. I use my nursing profession as an excuse. Little known fact: Nurses originally taught sailors how to curse. hahaha!

  4. I know where you are coming from Molly and I don’t think less of you LOL:) – You were doing something for the Lord. I am exactly the same when I take on the project of making elaborate birthday cakes for the grandchildren. ‘Oh this is an easy one’ I say to my husband as he nods sagely and knows that when I’m making it, well let’s just say he puts up with a lot. The pie looked fabulous and I’m sure it was divine intervention. Have a great day! Sue from Sizzling Towards Sixty stopping by from BSL xx

    • The photo I purchased on depositphotos did depict a beautiful pie, Sue. I wasn’t blogging at the time I actually made the pies or I would have had a much different depiction of these delectable God offerings! I like how you have cut me some slack because my intention were honorable after all. As for doing birthday cakes, I have a long way to go in the self actualization scale before I would dare to tackle that job! Congratulations on your courage.

  5. The Lord is very understanding of our human weaknesses – and it was the thought that counted so the swearing was probably overlooked 🙂

  6. LOL!!!
    Molly, you were simply calling out Jesus’ name for help. You are exactly right.
    I noticed your “lsatisfying day at the office” quickly turned into “a long stressful day at the office” as the pie-scapades became an excruciating battle between good and evil!
    Now, I could use a nice pie to get me through the day tomorrow. I hear you’re great at baking them. Would you so kindly make me a lovely blueberry pie from scratch? Oh, thank you!

  7. Oh this struck a chord! Not about the swearing part, since I swear ALL THE TIME—but the mere mention of lemon meringue pie still makes me sweat. After twenty years of married bliss for this experienced pie maker, my sweetheart aka The Birthday Boy told me that lemon meringue was actually his favorite pie—who knew? So I prepared to make his heart’s desire completely from scratch for a birthday dinner with friends. Little did I know… This pie took me TWICE AS LONG as any of the thousands of berry pies I have made over a lifetime, and the hot pie finally came out of the oven minutes before we needed to walk out the door in order not to be late. I was stressed to say the least, but sat holding the steaming but towel-swathed pie in the passenger seat as my sweetie drove my car to our destination. Did I mention that my car is an automatic and his was a 5-speed? We crossed the river and climbed a rather steep hill en route, and at the midpoint of the hill the aforementioned sweetheart downshifted my automatic. The car stopped on a dime, but the contents of the hot pie kept going to our friends’ house. Wet lemon curd and meringue covered the windshield, the dash, and dripped down my legs into my shoes and open pocketbook. The half of the windshield not covered by goo was now obscured by steam, from both the pie and my hot tears. Have I mentioned I have never made another lemon meringue pie and don’t intend to before I die? I DO, however, have a NO FAIL crust recipe that will make you lift not swear words but grateful tears heavenward. It involves vodka. Email me if you want it 😉

    • LMAO! Your response was hilarious and could be an entire blog post all by itself. It is very funny now but I can only imagine how horrible it was at the time. Did you have to trade in your car? The stickiness factor must have been very impressive. Yes, I want the no fail crust recipe. I doubt I will ever make it, but it will give me an excuse to buy vodka. 🙂

  8. Ddrecently had a similar experience with regard to the main theme of your question beginning above. As I was mowing the lawn of my church, I slammed my head into a low hanging pine tree limb. The profanity that escaped from my lips as a result, may have gotten me thrown off a sixteenth century pirate ship. Instead of immediately resigning my commission at the church office, I rationalized it by declaring that it had been totally involuntary. I suspect I may have to account for this again a little later on?

    • Noreen (sister), you guys should take your show on the road. You are both hilarious! Of course I can talk, me being the really pie(ous) (sorry) one in the family.

    • HAHAHA! We have a lot in common bro. I am comforted by the fact that even if we don’t see each other a lot now, we will be spending eternity together. We’ll miss Noreen. Let’s keep after her to pack a bag with lots of sunscreen and bottled water because it is going to be HOT where she is going.

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