There is a bipartisan rule in the Deep South: You never question the authenticity a Southern woman’s homemade pecan pie. Ever.
You can debate the merits of cornbread dressing versus chestnut stuffing. You can argue over roasting the turkey instead of deep frying the turkey. You can even thumb your nose at Aunt Maylene’s prized ambrosia.
But it is considered ill-mannered and uncouth to suggest a Southern woman would sully the sanctity of the Thanksgiving Day table with a store-bought pecan pie.
And that brings me to one of the most absurd conspiracy theories to hit the Mainstream Media since Wednesday.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, a daughter of the great state of Arkansas, had been doing some baking – and she posted a picture of her culinary masterpiece on Twitter.
“I don’t cook much these days, but managed this Chocolate Pecan Pie for Thanksgiving at the family farm,” she wrote.
The delicious pie stirred the suspicions of CNN political analyst April Ryan who all but accused the White House press secretary of faking the pie.
“Show it to us on a table,” Ms. Ryan tweeted.
For the sake of full disclosure, Ms. Ryan blocked me on Twitter – so I’m relying on images of her Tweets from my Fox News colleagues.
“I am not trying to be funny but folks are already saying #piegate and #fakepie. Show it to us on the table with folks eating it and a pic of you cooking it. I am getting the biggest laugh out of this. I am thankful for this laugh on Black Friday,” Ryan tweeted.
Ms. Ryan has some nerve – questioning the authenticity of a Southern woman’s homemade pecan pie.
She may as well have accused Ms. Sanders of bringing a bucket of store-bought chicken to the Wednesday Night Church Fellowship Supper.
So, I reached out to Ms. Sanders to get to the bottom of the pie dish.
“Of course I made the pie,” Sanders told me. “I make it for every holiday family gathering and have for years.”
A source close to the Sanders and Huckabee families confirmed to me the authenticity and the tastiness of the pecan pies.
Ms. Sanders was using a recipe handed down to her by her mother and her grandmother.
“I also used to make them for my neighbors on my street at Christmas every year,” Sanders said.
In spite of Ms. Ryan’s injurious and slanderous accusations, Ms. Sanders offered to bake her a pie – accompanied by a #fakenews hashtag.
Ms. Ryan added insult to injury by telling Ms. Sanders she would decline a slice of the chocolate pecan pie.
“Okay I want to watch you bake it and put it on the table,” she tweeted. “But forgive I won’t eat it. Remember you guys don’t like the press.”
Perhaps Ms. Ryan was familiar with that infamous pie scene from “The Help” – and feared it might spark another viral hashtag: “Two-Slice Hilly.”