Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.
Anyone that knows me well understands my adoration for dessert. Not a day goes by when I do not plan for or have on hand something that is delightfully sweet. In fact, there have only been a few times in my life that I have gone without it. Childbirth and the stomach flu come to mind.
My love for what I call my “fourth meal” of the day is rooted in my childhood. My father’s father was a baker during the Depression and he would regularly provide to his large brood the day old cakes, etc that did not sell. So, upon marrying my dad, my mom provided him with various confections as well. The treats were not necessarily fancy either. I think it was just the idea that we could have dessert if we cleaned our plates that may have gotten my brother and I hooked.
When I think of dessert from that era, the following foods come to mind:
Chocolate pudding (stirred on the stove)
Jello 1-2-3 ( I would eat the bottom first because the top was my favorite part)
Jello with Cool Whip (now I hate the stuff!)
Pistachio Cake ( made from boxed yellow cake mix with Jello pistachio pudding mix- it was green!)
Wowie Cake ( THE birthday cake in our house-chocolate sheet cake made without eggs or milk)
Gingerbread Cake ( warm with whip cream on a cold winter’s night)
My mom’s apple pie (the best)
The first memory that I have from my childhood actually involves dessert. I was four years old when the Blackout of 1965 happened. I clearly remember watching the Art Linkletter Show (holding my ubiquitous yellow blanket) when suddenly everything went dark. I ran into the kitchen sans blanket, to find my mother. She had just made butterscotch pudding. Of course, I was very frightened, and in my haste, I left the blanket by the television. Then I became more distraught of course. Well, mom got a flashlight and candles and we quickly retrieved my blanket. Something about losing the power that night had the three of us ( my dad was away on a business trip and knew nothing of the situation) understand that we would be without electricity for long time. So, to make it fun, my mom set up the kitchen table with candles and dessert for us. Well,being the Nervous Nellie that I was, I could not eat it ( Oh, I guess this is another rare time that I missed out! ). My brother, who appeared to take the whole thing in stride, quickly scoffed my share down. I really don’t eat butterscotch pudding anymore either…
My desire for dessert can sometimes be extreme. I recall a time when my then husband, 14 month old son and I were staying in a hotel. We had arrived late in the evening; in time to put our toddler to sleep. In order to accomplish the task, we dimmed the lights and took up temporary residence in the bathroom with a plan to emerge when he was asleep. Well, of course, I still needed dessert so I sent my husband on a mission to come back with something sweet. It was a success! I have a warm memory of the two of us sitting on the edge of the bathroom sink enjoying Drake’s Coffee Cakes!
There were many years that my only dessert was ice cream-regardless of the season. I love the coldness and smooth texture of this delight- but I am picky about brands ( I will not name the two that I refuse to eat). Believe it or not, I used to always use the excuse that it was a good source of calcium! Although I still enjoy it, I have significantly less of it nowadays. But then again, tonight I will be having Newman’s Ginger-O’s with a bit of french vanilla-the best flavor accompaniment.
My dessert list today is very different from that of my young life. Here’s a list of favorites:
Chocolate ( no surprise)
Key Lime Pie ( the real deal only)
Chocolate Cream Pie (also must be authentic)
Brownies (sometimes with ice cream but never with nuts)
Cupcakes (Trader Joe’s french vanilla with homemade frosting-yum!)
Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies (they never last long!)
The only rule that I have regarding dessert is that it must be eaten after supper. Dessert is my reward after I have put in a long hard-working day, done my exercising and eaten very well. There is also something sacred about ending the day on a sweet note.
So I say this to you: Carpe Diem! Grab a cookie or two -one in each hand for balance- exhale, smile and enjoy!