Mrs. Tainer's Nut Pie
Before his final mission, Kissek Dorran had told several others in the Tierfon Yellow Aces squadron -- young Wes Janson included -- that if he died today, his only regret would be not being able to, once more, taste his wife's recipe for fruit pie, studded with nuts. He described the dessert lovingly and in great detail, making the others' mouths water. Unfortunately, his supposition about his death was prophetic. Wes was forced to shoot him down when Kissek broke formation and started a panicky run during a planned ambush of a supply convoy. They couldn't afford to blow their cover, even if it meant Kissek's death.
Wes met Kissek's son, Kell, many years later, and eventually asked about his mother's pie recipe. Kell informed him that it was probably different now from what his father had remembered. His mother changed the family name to Tainer and moved to Sluis Van, where work was easier to come by. She did everything she could to make ends meet, but was unwilling to stint on parts of her family's meals. It gave her great pleasure to present a rich dessert every night, even if dinner was nothing more than stale bread. On this factory planet, she adapted her pie recipe for economy's sake: Nuts dominated, since these were cheaper and more plentiful than fruit (being less perishable), and the other components were eliminated or substituted with cheaper ingredients. The Tainer family actually preferred this version over the original rich fruit pies they used to eat.
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