Point of View: Morte de Torte

Ah, it’s Thanksgiving, time to give thanks for Kitty’s torte

Well, I’ve stared at Montaigne long enough. It’s time to begin. 

But what to say? Ah, it’s Thanksgiving, time to give thanks for Kitty’s torte, which I swear will be the death of me. The ingredients are not arcane, store-bought devil’s food cake mix, a box of Nilla wafers, two bags of walnuts, light brown sugar, butter, plenty of that, and whipped cream, yielding a crunchiness, creami­ness, sweetness, and softness that taken all together are nonpareil.

The torte isn’t Kitty’s only Thanks­giving dessert. She makes pumpkin pie, apple pie, and pecan pie as well. At the first Thanksgiving we ever shared together years ago, they all (Mary, Kitty, Georgie, and their mother, who soon was to be my mother-in-law) placed bets as to which dessert the gentleman caller would come back with from the kitchen. They all lost. I came back with every one of them. 

With age, I’ve had to cut back. So it is just the torte now, and maybe half the pecan pie.

The turkey, the mashed potatoes, the gravy, the green bean casserole, glazed carrots, and heady wine are all very fine, but the canted dark brown and white miniature monument to delight is pretty much all I think of as we hold hands at the dining room (not that we have a dining room) table, humbly grateful for our blessings and for our persistent optimism in the face of all the countervailing evidence. 

I know. I should be wishing for world peace, or at least for domestic peace, or, at the very least, for some peace of mind, but invariably I am torte-ured on this day devoted to communal sharing by self-serving thoughts.

If it were just one piece — and I always swear I will limit myself to one piece — that would be all well and good. But it’s never one piece. At the end of the evening, I plead for someone to take what’s left — and there’s usually quite a bit, for not everyone is as addicted as I — but no one ever does.

When will the younger generation step up? But no, they “eat healthy‚” these days. Why, son, did you know I once ate a five-course meal, which I chased with an entire gateau Basque? You never know what’s enough until you’ve had more than enough. Blake said that, I think, but enough. Would you get me one more small piece while you’re up?