Miles run today: 4.5
Presents left to wrap: 1
Cookies still needing to be baked: 89 (I made that up.)
First of all, let me say that I am devastated about what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary. I wish that I had power and clout so that I could change so many, many things about our laws and the way the world works. I wish I could abolish evil. But mostly, I wish I could take away the pain that those families will carry with them always.
My grandmother is synonymous with cake. Each time we visited, at least seven desserts greeted us when we opened her glass door and were enfolded in a soft hug. She smells of coffee and baked goods.
(The very reason my husband decided to start dating me was because my grandmother sent him two slices of pound cake with chocolate frosting wrapped in aluminum foil. If he had any thoughts of escaping my evil clutches, they were annihilated in a few bites of soft, yellow, cakey goodness.)
My sister and I used to spend a week each summer with my grandparents. My grandmother would take us out to Taco Bell or Chick Fil-A for lunch if we went shopping, but on special days, she would take us to a fancy-schmancy lunch at the City Club.
One time, her friend went with us, and we all ate our chicken salad sandwiches and made polite conversation. At the end, my grandmother, lover of all things sweet, asked my sister and me if we wanted dessert.
“Yes, yes!” we chanted. As if there were any question of skipping dessert.
My grandmother turned to her friend and said, “I think I’ll just have coffee.”
I’m sorry. What?
First of all, my grandmother loves dessert like she loves to give loud, musical toys to tiny children. Second of all, I decided then and there that I was not interested in growing up if dessert was off the table.
We ordered huge slabs of chocolate chocolate cake with fudgey chocolate frosting. And we loved it.
But now I am grown up. And my body is all far off the ground and unable to properly execute a cartwheel because of all the limbs and extraneous bones and stuff.
If I were out to lunch at the City Club today, I would order coffee. But not for the reasons I imagined back then.
I would order coffee because I wouldn’t be tempted, not even a little bit.
I know that if I want a real dessert, one that tastes rich and homemade and uses real, honest-to-goodness ingredients, I can make it myself. Or my baking neighbor down the street will send down some real, Italian tiramisu… and if you are able to turn that down, then I’m afraid I can’t be your friend. Why would I want to trouble my taste buds with Crisco icing or dry, crumbly cake?
I made chocolate chip cookies today, my signal each year that the real
eating baking of the holidays has begun. Two sticks of butter, baby! We have almond butter blossoms to make and chocolate pretzel chip thingies and whatever else we can find to create for the holidays.
I’m not touting dessert as a main course lifestyle choice, but when I smell the real butter, real brown sugar and real (processed) chocolate chips all melting in together, it makes me glad to be a grownup… one who can whip up a little homemade dessert when the need strikes.
What about you? Do you have a favorite holiday treat? Do you let yourself enjoy desserts over the holidays, or are you one of those super-human machines who refuse extra calories 365 days a year?