Lydia’s first look at the pie kitchen inside the Piled High Diner shocked the air out of her lungs so fast she felt her lips backfire. A kitchen with a blur of unsuitable utensils begged her to make sense of irregularly sized pie pans, aluminum foil tins – unworthy stock in any kitchen – broken spatulas, and plastic bowls – none of which fit the outdated mixers. Sure, there were pie tins to choose from if she didn’t mind erratic diameters and heights. Staring through a stash of bake-ware, not one brand name stepped forward.
Turning toward the pantry she swung open the doors to an afterlife of generic foods, the 2 for $5 peanut butters not even smooth but crunchy, slabs of lard definitely not dairy, chocolate nibs missing their cacao, and key lime from a bottle. Struggling for air, she felt her chest fill with concrete. How could she bake 100 pies with substandard tools and ingredients? How could she keep her promise to Maggie?