Charlie’s shoulders slumped as he looked out of the window, a glum expression on his face. “It’s raining.” He sighed.
“I’m sure that the plants are happy,” Isaac said. He could hear them singing their rain songs that no one else could hear.
“But I wanted to work in the garden today, and it’s too muddy. Mom will say we can just wait until tomorrow, and I’m tired of being inside.”
“It is bad weather for gardening,” Isaac agreed. “It would be good weather for mud pies, though.”
Charlie sat up straighter and turned around, smiling. “With the chocolate pudding? I love mud pies! It’s been forever since Mom made one.”
“I wasn’t thinking of that kind of mud pies, but it’s a good idea. I think we need something sweet on a gloomy day.” Isaac turned to the pantry and started pulling out ingredients. “We may have to make the pudding from scratch, but I think we can manage that.”
“What other kind of mud pies are there?” Charlie stood on his tiptoes to get the glass pie plate from the cupboard.
“You know, the kind made of mud. We used to make them when I was your age.”
Charlie scrunched up his nose and looked disgusted. “You ate mud?”
“Not really. We just pretended. We used old pie tins and patted the mud inside. We decorated the pies with handfuls of grass and twigs and leaves. Sometimes we mixed in acorns or made designs with pine cones or pine needles. Whatever was available.”
“And then you pretended to eat it? That’s so weird.”
Isaac shrugged. “You like to make things out of playdough. It’s kind of the same.”
“Less messy and more colors, though.” Charlie pulled out the binder that served as a family recipe book. “Where is the pie recipe?”
“It’s near the front. It was one of the ones your mom added first because her mom used to make it when she was little.”
“Found it. I like Mom’s mud pies better than yours.”
Isaac laughed. “You notice that mine wasn’t ever added to the binder.”
“I guess we could add it, as long as we never actually cook it.” Charlie grinned.
“We could write it in under Mom’s as a variation. Then we could see if she ever notices.” Isaac preheated the oven.
Charlie got a pen from the junk drawer. “I’ll do it. How many cups of mud does it take to fill a pie tin?”
“We could go out and check later.”
“Or I could get some playdough to check it out now and stay dry. Where are the disposable pie tins?” Charlie checked the cupboard next to the oven. “There they are, in the back. They’re kind of bent out of shape. I can fix that.”
Charlie worked on perfecting his recipe, measuring playdough and handfuls of ripped up notebook paper. “I can use pipe cleaners for the sticks, but what will I use for the acorns? Marbles are too small…” Meanwhile, Isaac worked on the pie.
Marianne finished her online meeting and joined them in the kitchen. “What are you both up to?” she asked.
“We’re making mud pies,” Charlie said.
Marianne looked at Isaac’s pie, and then she looked at Charlie’s. “Only one of those looks like a mud pie to me.”
Charlie grinned. “This is dad’s recipe. I’m adding it to the recipe book. He uses real mud, but I’m substituting playdough because it’s less messy.”
“Yeah, and grass and stick and acorns. He said that’s the kind of mud pie he made when he was little.”
“You’re adding it to the book?” Marianne looked over his shoulder.
“For memories. Not to eat.” Charlie admired his pie. “It looks good, though. Just not at all edible.”
Marianne scrunched up her nose. “True. Mine is better.”
Charlie nodded. “That’s what I said.”
Isaac finished the pie and put it in the fridge to cool. “I told you, we didn’t really eat them. It was just something to do. But I’m glad that Mom shared her mud pie recipe with me. I like it better, too.”
Charlie looked out the window and smiled. “You were right, you know.”
“It’s good weather for mud pies.”
Marianne stood next to Charlie and looked out the window too. “I agree. It’s just what today needed. Rainy days and mud pies do go well together.”