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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Way Back When Wednesday: The Lesson Of Dessert


When I was much younger, lots and lots of our extended family get-togethers (like most people's) involved sharing food. The aunts would bring casseroles and Jello salads and pies and cakes and vegetable dishes that made filling a plate a Logistics Nightmare. Very rarely was there a clunker on the table; besides, my grandfather would eat anything, and plenty of it.

One of my aunts, Aunt Eileen, married into the family, played golf, drank booze, and was fiercely loving.  She also made terrific desserts.  She once brought a towering bowl of butterscotch pudding topped with billowy whipped cream to a family gathering. I kept my eye on that bowl for the entire meal, but by the time I got to dessert, it was gone. My heart is still not healed from that, but it taught me a valuable lesson that I put into practice at a subsequent event.

The family was having a big eat-for-all at my grandparent's cabin, so we went down for the day to visit with the relatives, swim in the lake, and eat a lot. We met first at Grandma's, and my Aunt Eileen dropped my cousin Tim off there to go down with us since they weren't coming. Tim arrived with his bathing suit, towel, and one of Aunt Eileen's double chocolate cakes.

I don't remember how we managed to do it, but Tim and I hid that whole cake from Grandma, my mother, and everyone.  We hid it at Grandma's, and we hid it in the car on the way to the cabin, too.  We probably draped his swim towel over it, but more likely no one paid much attention to us. We sneaked that magnificent cake up into the loft in the cabin, hid it under a bed, and later, when no one was going to notice, we grabbed two forks that we had sneaked up there too and ate gorgeous, chocolatey cake at our leisure and by ourselves.

With absolutely zero regret, shame, or guilt.

And it was delicious.

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19 comments:

  1. I have never in my life understood Jello salad or Jello molds. Jello is a descent snack for a kid who doesn't know any better. And fruit is great. But I see no reason to mix them, or to add cottage cheese. Bleh.

    Also, when my stepsisters had moved out but were still in the neighborhood, they'd come over a few times a week and raid the cupboard. I very quickly became an expert at hiding food.

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  2. Mikey--I loved a cranberry walnut jello mold that showed up every Tgiving. Other than that, not much Jello held magic for me.

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    1. My cousin made a cranberry/walnut/pineapple jello thing for today & I loved it! I brought extra home with me. Teaches me to say I don't "do" cranberries...

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    2. Bug--I wonder if it's the same one. But the pineapple doesn't ring a bell.

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  3. God, I wish I had a piece of that cake right now! A lovely story and I want to know if you ever confessed what you and Tim did.

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    1. Jean--My memory is a bit dim on that, but I think someone discovered the pan up there with some cake still in it. Pretty sure the adults laughed about it and that was it. I know if I ask my mother, she'll claim she knew about it the whole time or saw us up there eating it or something. She loves to gild the lily in memories these days.

      I have an especial fondness for chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, but I don't make it. Rick isn't fond of it, so it would go to waste here after I eat my one piece. But if it's offered anywhere, I grab it. Too good to miss!

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    2. Chocolate cake freezes, just sayin'. I love your expression of "gild the lily in memories." That's what good storytellers always do.

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  4. I understand Mar a Lago has good chocolate cake ;)

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    1. Sillyak--Oh, you mean the Beautiful Chocolate Cake? ;->

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  5. This story is perfect! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. :-)

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    1. Bridget--It had a happy ending. Happy Tgiving to you, too.

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  6. I love this story! Did you get a big ole stomach ache from all that cake?

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    1. Meredith--No, we really didn't. We didn't eat the whole thing, believe it or not. Just enough to be full of cake. ;->

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  7. My best Thanksgiving dessert story came from my aunt. She made a sumptuous Thanksgiving dinner but when she called her husband and sons, their football game was too exciting to leave, just to eat. Trish was bummed out so she sat down and ate the whole of the pumpkin pie she had lovingly made for dessert. And yes, 'and so' would be better.
    Good for you, I say. The more cake that vanishes here, the better I like it.

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    1. Mary G--Revenge is a dish best served with whipped cream! I love your Aunt Trish's story! That'll teach someone a lesson in Priorities.

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  8. That is a fabulous story, and I could totally see me doing that (except I was a pretty rigid Rule Follower as a child - I'm not sure I would have had the nerve).

    My sister-in-law and niece made one of my favorite cakes for today - it's a Swiss chocolate cake with cream cheese icing plus chopped up Hershey bars in it. My mom made it for the "Groom's Cake" for our wedding - it holds a special place in my heart. Plus, it's fabulous!

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  9. Bug--I am pretty surprised that I did that, too. I was a Major Rule Follower most of my life. But Tim was a rebel, and I broke lots and lots of rules with him. Not to foist blame upon him--I was fully responsible for my own actions--but he did bring out a little daring in me. I'm grateful for that. I needed it desperately then.

    I still love Hershey bars. It's a good go-to chocolate.

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  10. I'm a little horrified to think of you not getting any of the pudding! Good for you with the cake, though. That never would have occurred to me, but if someone instigated, I would be up for stealing a cake.

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    1. J@jj--I love how you're always in Little Nance's corner.

      I'm still more than a little astonished at my leading role in that caper, too. But, after missing out on a previous Aunt Eileen dessert, and knowing it was a chocolate-chocolate cake in that cake carrier, I guess it feels like "Who wouldn't try and pull that off?"

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