“Rembrandt did most of the work,” I say, smiling at Rembrandt across the table. “He’s a true gourmet in the kitchen. I basically sat around and looked pretty.”
“That’s not true,” Rembrandt protests. “You made all the pie crusts, which is arguably the hardest part.”
“It was fun, especially as you’re such a patient mentor,” I reply, winking at Rembrandt. I notice that Viv is smirking at me, and I smirk back at her.
“Let me know what you want,” Jasmine says, holding up her spatula.
“Sweet taters!” Ing-wen says, holding out her plate.
“Pumpkin!” Michelle chimes in, holding up her plate as well.
“Blueberry!” Jason gives his opinion, and he’s quickly followed by Jenny.
“Grammy, pumpkin and blueberry, please.” She bats her eyelashes at Jasmine, who smiles at her in return. She turns to look at Jordan, who nods his head.
“Just a small piece of each, Ma,” Jordan says. “We don’t want her to get over-sugared.”
“I understand,” Jasmine says, nodding her head. She does exactly as Jordan requested and gives Jenny a sliver of each of the pumpkin and blueberry pies. She’s been giving each of the kids ice cream with their pie, too, which they all like.
“Pumpkin?” Jonathon asks it more like a question than a statement. Jasmine cuts him a piece and he thanks her gravely.
“Henry, what would you like?” Jasmine ask, turning to that man.
“I’d love a piece of the sweet potato pie,” Henry says. “And, is that real whipped cream? I’ll take a scoop of that as well.” Jasmine cuts him a generous portion of the sweet potato pie, much to my dismay. I was counting on having leftovers because the last time I brought one, I was the only person who ate a piece. That was four or five years ago, however, and it was before half of these people became a part of the family. Jamal also requests a piece of the sweet potato pie, and it’s down by half by the time Jasmine gets to me.
“Sweet potato and pumpkin with whipped cream for me,” I say, holding out my plate. Jasmine cuts small pieces of each and puts them on my plate. I don’t protest because I can always have more later if I have room for it. I take a bite of the sweet potato pie, and I almost regret asking for a piece of each. I take a bite of the pumpkin pie, however, and it’s just as good as the sweet potato pie. I close my eyes so I can fully appreciate the complex and delicate flavoring of the pies. I notice that conversation is at a minimum around me; I assume that everyone else is preoccupied with their pie as well.