Troubleshooting the infinite pie slice

Clockwise from top left: Weight Watchers key lime pie, my low-fat carrot cake, Ellen's low-sugar blueberry pie, Chelsea's sugar cream pie, Darcy's "Mason cake."

We would've needed a panorama camera to get a shot of the entire dessert bar. This was just a core sample...

I couldn’t wait to try another infinite pie slice experiment during Sunday’s  big family Easter get-together.  The dessert bar in Mom’s revamped kitchen was laden with a record number of yummy looking dishes, and I wanted to see how many I could conceivably fit inside the boundaries of a standard pie slice.

Somehow, though, this didn’t work out to be quite as fun or satisfying as my first two attempts over the holidays. Maybe there were too many distractions: the first meal served in Mom’s new dining room being one, and Uncle Dan driving up in his truck — after months in the hospital waiting on his new heart — being another.

But I think the primary problem was that I had a preconceived idea of how I was going to construct the slice, and it just didn’t pan out the way I’d hoped.

This time around, I was fixated on getting a semi-accurate points total. So I planned to incorporate a thin slice of Weight Watchers key lime pie along with a thin wedge of my low-fat carrot cake, knowing those were things I really liked that wouldn’t waste too many points. Then when Aunt Ellen told me her blueberry pie was made with half Splenda, half sugar, I figured I had to try a thin slice of that, too. Suddenly my infinite slice was nearly full, and I only had a minority of the desserts represented.

I made space for a bite-sized piece of my cousin Chelsea’s sugar cream pie and a similar portion of a decadent chocolate cake my sister-in-law Darcy has dubbed “Mason cake,” after the nephew who always requests it. But I never did get to my cousin Heather’s cheesecake, Darcy’s key lime tarts,  the lemon pie, the banana pudding, or the strawberry tapioca.

I had a vague feeling of dissatisfaction as I sat at the new dining room table and eyed my creation, but I didn’t feel like disassembling it and starting over at that point. (Also, this dessert works out better if you brag about it to at least one fellow diner, but since I wasn’t thrilled with this ensemble I felt more like an oddball than a genius right then, and that opportunity passed me by.)

The problem with an unsatisfactory infinite pie slice is that it loses its super powers. Afterward, instead of feeling smug and superior and supremely satisfied, I had this nagging feeling like I’d really like to go back for something else. So I had some of Darcy’s broccoli salad made with mangoes and mandarin oranges. (Note to self: Get recipe.)

It was good enough to be on the dessert bar, in my opinion, and that was what finally got me over the hump.

Uncle Dan and my mom during a recent stop at Ugalde's in Bluffton. It is so amazing to see Dan up and around again after all those months in the hospital.

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