Sunday, November 1, 2009

In Need

I just saw a TV commercial for the latest “I’ve gotta have it” product. This happens occasionally – a product is developed that is brand new, revolutionary, and solves a problem I didn’t know I had (or anyone else for that matter). Think of the iPhone, which solves the multiple modern-day perceived needs for constant access to communication channels, entertainment, music and spontaneous research in the palm of one’s hand. It’s brilliant. Seriously, with an iPhone, I could conduct research on the fly. No more waiting until I get all the way home or to work to look something up on the computer, by which time I have already forgotten what it is I wanted to know. On the other hand, I don’t feel worthy of such a technological marvel. Or the monthly service bill attached to such. Chalk it up to my genetically ingrained Yankee thrift. Credit my perpetually wavering self-esteem. Call it a miracle if I use as much as a full 60 minutes of billable call time per month on my current cell phone plan. Why take on more expenses?

I may covet useful gadgets, but the less of a legitimate necessity an item is, the more likely it will appear on my Christmas list. I’m thinking of The Bedazzler, a handy crafts tool that was heavily advertised during the holiday gift season for a spell of several years, and which allows showgirls, stylish street-corner prostitutes, and elderly grandmas in plain velour running suits the opportunity to address the problem of insufficient metal studs and rhinestones in the wardrobe. This was a functional luxury item I coveted for years. It made a regular appearance on my Christmas wish list because as much as I harbored a burning desire to bedazzle everything in sight, I was too cheap – I mean fiscally conservative – to buy it for myself. I never did get The Bedazzler. Evidently, Santa Claus and my family all have more sense than I do. But I’m over it now. At least, I think I am.

This Christmas, the non-essential item that is a clear contender for the top spot on my “Dear Santa, I want a…” list might just be The Perfect Brownie Pan! No matter that it is entirely possible I have not baked a pan of brownies since the heady days of my cooking-with-the-power-of-a-lightbulb Easy Bake Oven. So what if I actually have the deftness of hand that allows me to handle a kitchen knife and cut brownies in a pan without the catastrophic results dramatically depicted on the commercial for this marvel of technology. I saw this engineering marvel on TV last night and I want it. I think.

The Perfect Brownie Pan is a clearly a kitchen miracle, an amazing culinary creation. Billed as “The World’s First Bake, Slice and Serve Brownie Maker,” this is a patent pending, non-stick pan with a grid to insert in the pan after the brownie batter is poured in. When the brownies are done, the grid is removed, and the world is presented with 18 (count ‘em!) perfectly shaped, equally sized brownies. No more debates over who got a larger brownie. And no more fighting over the four precious corners! Each delectable product of The Perfect Brownie pan features a rich gooey center PLUS the chewy edges generally reserved only for the perimeter of a primitive low-technology pan. Even more exciting, when the pan is set on a pedestal, the edges of this wonderous pan drop down and the bottom of the pan becomes a platter. Like magic. But wait… there is more. It comes with a recipe book. And stencils! Yes, pastry decorating stencils. This is quite possibly the best deal to be had for $19.95 plus postage and handling anywhere on the planet.

I’m pretty sure I need this. The Perfect Brownie Pan could provide me the perfect opportunity to take my rightful place of honor alongside the legendary brownie queens – Grandma. Betty Crocker. June Cleaver.

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