We had a cherry pie maker when I was little. But…don’t quote me on that since I’m not exactly sure that, “cherry pie maker” was the correct name for the device. In fact, I know that it wasn’t; it was actually a Sunbeam sandwich maker. Although pillows of cherry “pie” are all that I can ever remember making in it. We’d slather slices of bread with Country Crock and dollop canned cherry pie filling in the center. After three minutes the two ingredients emerged as crunchy triangular pie puffs and were sprinkled with powdered sugar before serving. In my opinion store-bought Toaster Strudels easily trump these pieangles (pie triangles) but there was some family bonding involved with devising these makeshift confections and brushing the cobwebs off of our nearly useless kitchen device to make them was practically worthwhile. For 99.9% of the year our “cherry pie maker” was exiled to The Land of Hard-to-Reach Cupboard Space. During the other .1% it collected dust on the counter top until someone got tired of looking at it or the abnormally large can of pie filling was gone or had spoiled in the fridge.
When I first began
hoarding collecting things for my hope chest (or HCC as it was once lovingly referred to) I kept in mind that we had several special cooking appliances growing up but we were also fortunate to have ample storage space. So I took diligent care to select only the best, most practical, durable, and multipurpose kitchenware available. You remember me at a garage sales, “Oh! What a crisp snap from that secondhand Tupperware. I must call it my own.” Or my affinity for edgeless silicone spatulas (the kind that are a cinch to clean because they have no crevices to scrub around) that double as fly swatters. #Those aren’t chocolate chips. Just kidding.
Anticipating limited shelf space was certainly a factor in forgoing use-once-a-year cookery. Extra inches of cabinet space should be viewed as a blessing, not an emptiness that you feel challenged to fill. Forgoing the countless bargain panini presses, popcorn poppers, and Perfect Pancake skillets at stores and at garage sales was not an easy feat during my travels. These items can be so shiny and enticing, indeed. If I had a dollar for every household whom tried to sell me their Perfect Pancake skillet I’d be a rich little girl. The first few I was tempted to buy but after each run-in with the renowned Perfect Pancake, my notion was confirmed: things like Perfect Pancake skillets and 5-piece garlic graders aren’t worth the six square inches of cupboard space that they take up; let alone much bigger things like blenders and bread makers. Mostly because people don’t make foods that require these gadgets enough to keep them within reach. Saving three minutes during production normally ends up costing you ten after factoring in the time spent rummaging for missing parts beforehand or giving these novelties a sponge bath afterwards.
What’s your kitchen’s “cherry pie maker?” Do you get swept away by the promise of an awesome appliance or tool but end up only using it a few times?