10 Oct

“Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the ‘Titanic’ who waved off the dessert cart.”
― Erma Bombeck

We have all been around those folks.  You know the ones.  When it is dessert time, they say “Oh I never eat dessert”.  I usually only dine with those folks once.  No dessert?  That is crazy talk!

Dessert need not be a huge part of the meal, but dessert we must!  Dessert began as a luxury, for sure.  It still is considered so by many.  Dessert was first enjoyed in ancient times in the form of fruit or nuts with a little honey.  A precursor to the modern day candy bar perhaps.  Dessert has been around for many centuries.  Many believe that the word and custom hail from the french word “desservier”, meaning to clear the plates.  So at the end of the meal when this occurred, dessert was served!

Meals can be brought forth in courses.  In different cultures and countries, the “order” of the courses can vary.  Salad first or last depends on the country you are in and the culture reflected.  Sometimes, as with fine dining, a palate cleanser is served between courses.  This is usually something cold, with a delicate fruit overtone.  Such as a lemon sorbet.  This is a beautiful palate refresher so the next course is met with a fresh mouth.  But dessert, in cultures that welcome it, is always served last.  It leaves the palate with a sweet ending.

Modern desserts can range from a cookie to a piece of fruit pie to a dish of ice cream.  And when we think of dessert, we usually think of it as an after supper treat in the evening.  A sweet nibble is nice during the afternoon, but dessert does not usually follow breakfast or lunch.  Only our big evening meal.  I happen to love desserts.  I have to admit, though, I like it a little after my meal.  My children and dinner companions take part in after dinner clean up, but lets face it.  The brunt of the work falls onto my shoulders.  So after my dishes are done, the table wiped down, leftovers put away and lunches for the next day made, I like to plop onto my bootay for a bit.  Put my feet up.   And that is when I most enjoy dessert on a busy weeknight!

It need not be fancy.  A bowl of ice cream is creamy, refreshing, and not too sweet.  A cookie provides just the right crunch.  A little piece of cake is delish!  When out at a restaurant, however, I like to have a dessert that I would never make on my own.  That is when I go big.  A richly flavored custard, perhaps, or a mile high piece of decadent pie.  And these desserts I usually prefer to share with a dining companion.  Just a couple of bites can satisfy when it is a big dessert out.  But at home it is a little more simple.  And every bit at comforting!  YUM!

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