Kitchen gadgets and promises of pie


While looking at one of the new kitchen gadgets available this holiday season, my wife threw out the one line that often convinces me that this year’s must have item is worth the investment: “It would allow me to make more pies.”

 I fall for that line every time.  In thirty-plus years of marriage, our kitchen has become home to what seems to be thirty-plus “can’t-live-without” aids ranging from food processors to popcorn poppers, from bread machines to salad spinners, not to mention the latest in a long succession of frying pans with surfaces that promise no more sticking.

 And you may ask, how many pies do I see emerge from the Newvine kitchen on an annual basis.  My best guess is two:  Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

 Now for full disclosure.  I’m sure there have been more than two pies a year.  It just feels like only two pies.  Thirty new kitchen helpers, many with the implied promise of more pies, and still our average production of pies remain pretty low.

 I know my wife takes very good care of me and has probably kept me from chronic obesity and likely diabetes. Deserts are hard to come by in our house. 

For a kid who grew up in a home where the daily question upon returning from school wasn’t “what’s for dinner” but rather “what’s for dessert”, the past thirty-plus years have been a transition time for me.

 I remember holiday dinners at my grandmother’s home in upstate New York when I was growing up in the 1960’s and 1970’s.  I have written an essay about those holiday dinners in my newest book Microphones, Moon Rocks, and Memories. 

Without giving anything away to those who might buy the book, let me just say that the “battle of the deserts” was a long standing memory I have from those years growing up with lots of family members close by.

 Having lived away from my hometown since graduating from college, I miss a lot of things about life with a close-knit family.  The holiday deserts, if you pardon the pun, were the icing on the cake of those memories.

 But thankfully, there’s Thanksgiving.  This year, we went to a relative’s home and united with other family members living in California.  There’s not many of us living out here. It was great getting together, the dinner was excellent, and the desserts were heavenly.

 Chocolate pie, apple pie, and pumpkin pie were the main attractions.  Someone made cupcakes.  While that appeared to be break with tradition, who can say no to cupcakes? 

The cupcakes were great.  What the heck!

 Now I am counting the days of this holiday season so that I may enjoy my next pie coming from the Newvine kitchen.

 Our newest gadget promises to revolutionize piecrusts.  It may enhance the already high quality of the crust I have been enjoying for years, but I don’t think it will bring up the numbers actually being baked in our home.  We’ll see. 

Steve Newvine lives in Merced.