Upside-Down Cherry Pie

“Don’t forget today’s Wednesday,” said Jen, bouncing her ball against the side of the house.

“So it is,” said her mother tucking a few pansies into the soil of a flowerpot. “Thanks for reminding me.”  She brushed the dirt off her hands and stood back to have a look.

“You know what that means,” said Jen. “It’s Gran’s Scrumptious Delicious Delectable Dessert Day.”

Now Jen could eat fruit for dessert any day of the week. She could take an apple or a banana or a bunch of grapes from the large wooden bowl on the kitchen table any time she pleased. And if there were strawberries or blueberries or raspberries or melons in the refrigerator, she could help herself.

But if Jen didn’t feel like eating fruit, she could eat yogurt for dessert any day of the week: smooth yogurt, stirred yogurt, and fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt.

And Jen could even help herself to a cookie from the cookie jar.

But there was only one day of the week when her mother would use one of Gran’s Scrumptious Delicious Delectable Dessert recipes, and that was Wednesday. “That way,” her mother would say, “we’ll be celebrating and remembering the love Grandma had for each of us when she was alive.”

So now, when her mother said, “Oh, Jen, I’m sorry. I won’t have time to do it today,” Jen stopped bouncing her ball and sat sullenly on the front step.

“I know you’re disappointed, and so am I,” said her mother. “But the reason you and Tim are home from school this afternoon, is the same reason I have to be there. It’s important for me to meet your teachers. And I know you want me to see your class project.” She picked up a watering can. “My favourite dessert―when I was your age―was Upside-Down Cherry Pie. Gran used to serve it with a buttery, sweet hard sauce that would melt in your mouth.”

“Sounds yummy,” said Jen. But when she thought about it some more, she couldn’t imagine what it would look like. She hesitated. “Upside-Down Cherry Pie?  Did we bake that one before?”

“No,” said her mother. “But if you remind me, we’ll make it together next week.”

 After her mother left for school, Jen tried to forget about the Upside-Down Cherry Pie. But next Wednesday seemed far away. And the harder she tried to forget about the dessert, the more she thought about it.