Would you like lime with that flash fiction

Would you like lime with that?

Carrot Ranch flash fiction challenge - key limes

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes a key lime pie. How can you use it in a story? Is it about the pie? Or about characters making, eating, or otherwise engaging with one? Go where the prompt leads!

Now, we don’t have key limes in Australia. From what I can tell, they were ‘invented’ in the US, in Florida, and are not available here. However, we do have our own native varieties of finger limes which have been enjoyed by Indigenous Australian peoples for thousands of years and are now becoming popular worldwide for their spherical pearls, tangy flavour and variety of colours. You can find out more about finger limes here.

While I have three finger lime plants in my garden, they are still young and haven’t yet produced fruit. I wasn’t sure if finger limes might be used in pies so I searched for recipes. I was surprised that the only finger lime pie recipe I found originated in California: Citriburst Finger Lime Pie, which just goes to prove the finger lime’s spreading popularity.

However, a recipe discovered while searching that excited me even more was a lemon myrtle pavlova with finger lime pearls as garnish.  Even without tasting, I just know it’s my new favourite dessert.

Lemon myrtle, which I first tasted only a few years ago, is my new favourite flavour, so why shouldn’t a lemon myrtle pavlova become my new favourite dessert? (My first taste was in a lemon myrtle self-saucing pudding served at the Sounds of Silence Dinner at Uluru. It’s a taste sensation I’ll never forget in what was an altogether truly memorable experience.)

It may appear I’m digressing from Charli’s prompt, but she does say to go where the prompt leads. Lime has never been one of my favourite flavours. I always considered lime cordial a little too close to a dead ant flavour for my taste. I’m sure the key lime pie is nothing like that, and finger limes certainly aren’t. In fact, I don’t think any fresh limes are. It must be something done to limes during the cordial-making process.

Anyway, without further deviation, here’s my response to the prompt.

The Pie Contest flash fiction

The Pie Contest

The instructions demanding no sampling until after judging challenged Jack as he proceeded along the tables. With hands clasped behind his back, he read the labels: key lime, desert cherry, lemon myrtle … He paused at his favourite — Christmas pie. A splinter of crust on the cloth spoiled the sumptuous display, he reasoned. Though using the utmost discretion, he was caught and banished to the corner. The harshest possible punishment already dispensed, he grabbed the pie and shoved it into his mouth. Once seated, he thumbed his nose at the other judges who succumbed and followed him into temptation.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

51 thoughts on “Would you like lime with that?

  1. roughwighting

    I’d rather be a taster than a judger any day, Norah, so good for your 99-word character! 🙂 My guy LOVES key lime pie and I always say ‘no, thanks.’ Now, if it was a Meyer Lemon pie, I’d be all over it. I never heard of the finger lime but I certainly would like to try it!

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  2. Christy B

    Haha and here I’d just published a post on emotional eating 😉 Sounds similar to your story! I am more a pumpkin pie fan than a lime pie fan but I’ll give my dad a few slices of the lime variety as he likes it 🙂

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  3. Hugh's Views and News

    I’m rather fond of lime cordial, but only a dash of it in a glass of lager, Norah. I do like Key-Lime pie, but not lime curd. I much rather lemon curd when it comes to what to spread on my toast.

    Your piece of fiction reminded me of the nursery-rhyme Little Jack Horner. Christmas pie sounds delicious. Is it a version of the mince pies we get in the UK?

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  4. calmkate

    lol I love limes but you are right, lime cordial is yuk!

    Those judges are so super serious, i would so love to see them break rank and actually enjoy their role like this … somehow doubt it will happen except in fiction 🙂

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            1. Norah Post author

              I’m pleased to hear that, Kate!
              I’ve had a wonderful holiday season with my daughter and her partner visiting. It’s wonderful to have so much time with family.
              I hope you had good times too. Best wishes for 2020.

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  5. Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

    Thanks for introducing us to finger limes, Norah, and I wouldn’t have thought of using myrtle as a flavouring either. I enjoyed your take on Little Jack Horner – I suppose Christmas pies could be mince pies, but they don’t contain plums these days, at least not here. Poetic license perhaps to rhyme with thumb?

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    1. Norah Post author

      I was thinking of Christmas pies as fruit mince pies. I love them, but I try to resist because of the pastry. I might treat myself to one six-pack to share over the season. Ours don’t have plums either. I’d never really thought of that before, so yes, probably poetic licence. Unless it was a big juicy plump raisin. 🙂

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  6. Charli Mills

    How fun to digress with you, Norah! I think your new favorite dessert could easily become mine, too! I love pavlova. My son’s fiance made a berry pavlova when we visited a few weeks ago. I would probably substitute finger limes for pomegranate seeds, my only other option would be to grow them and I don’t think I can wait that long or have the right climate. But I can get lemon myrtle powder online so I can’t wait to one day try that taste sensation. Love the nod to Jack Horner in the corner!

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    1. Norah Post author

      I’m pleased you didn’t mind a little digression, Charli. I think I would have been joining Jack with his Christmas Pud, if only he’d left some. 🙂
      I should have sent you some lemon myrtle powder. I’ve only just ordered some for myself. 🙂
      I’m pleased you realised it was Little Jack Horner who couldn’t wait to eat his pie.

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  7. cindy knoke

    Yummo! I am coming to yonder continent quite soon for only my second time. So looking forward to the birds, but so afraid of what the fires are doing to them, and everything else. I have been in fires. My prayers are with you all.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Cindy. The fires have been, and continue to devastate large tracks of land. The cost of our wildlife is immeasurable.
      I hope you enjoy your visit. Which part are you visiting?

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  8. Erica/Erika

    Hi Norah, I like lemons and limes. I was immediately drawn in by your scrumptious looking photo. A pavlova is always a good, lighter dessert. I guess it would depend on how large my slice of pie is. 🙂 A serious competition yet ultimately a humorous story. It is after all only a pie. Great description. I can (almost) taste the pie 🙂

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment, Erica. Pavlova is one of my family’s favourite desserts. I quite liking making them because they’re easy. I usually get the children to decorate them and someone else to serve as serving can be a bit tricky. I’m pleased you enjoyed the story. I thought if Jack Horner could have some Christmas pie, the other judges should be able to have some too. 🙂

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      1. Norah Post author

        They are amazing, aren’t they? I’m hoping my daughter will bring some from her plants when she comes to visit at Christmas. (I’m not even sure they are in season, and I guess I’d better tell her!)

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      1. D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Native foods becoming popular is a good thing, though it seems a might ironic. Or odd. Or late. On this continent there is a fine writer who has written some fine books, one Gary Paul Nabhan, who has written about indigenous foods and agriculture, among other topics. American Southwest. You might appreciate his Geography of Childhood. Bonding with place, with the Earth Matrix as Joseph Chilton Pearce would say. Anyway that, in addition to a chuckle, is where your story led me.

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        1. Norah Post author

          Thank you for your lovely response. Apologies for being so late in replying. I gave my daughter some bush food spices for Christmas and a cook book using bush foods. It is good to see them gaining recognition. Hopefully popularity will follow. We had lemon myrtle pavlova for Christmas dessert – delicious!

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