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10:42 a.m. - 2011-08-04
Pie in the sky.

I'm not a dessert person. A dessert directly after dinner kind of person, I mean. Sweets are definitely way up on the list of things that make life worth living, but dumping a gooey confection on top of a bellyful of savory food…ugh. The O'Gaelics, on the other hand, dutifully chew through dinner just to get to dessert. No slight intended to my hardworking MIL, but the bill o' fare at their house was…um…utilitarian at best. And the desserts were apt to be much tastier than anything else, so sure dessert was the high point of the meal. I'd probably want something to kill the memory of Hamburger Helper and pureed peas too.

Whereas at my table the entrée is the superstar and I find it a little insulting after presenting an artful and damn fine meal that the real attraction is a couple of lousy store-brand Oreos afterward. I think, "Really? I spent 3 hours making the best osso buco this side of Milan and you're panting for a piece Entenmann's coffee cake? Thanks a lot."

Perhaps it's dopey but that's how it feels.

Mick has learned to delay his dessert until well after the dinner's eaten and cleaned up and I've returned here to the Sage cave to brood over whether I'd added too much rosemary to the bouquet garni and am making mental notes to try a little tarragon next time. That's when Mick rustles around in the kitchen getting something sweet and satisfies his dessert jones with gross-o Pop Tarts or Devil Dogs.

I'm not completely indifferent to Mick's love of dessert though and try to whomp up a nice apple crisp or some Nutella crepes every once in a while, a love token for my sweet-toothed guy. And am always a good sport if he wants to take us to the ice cream stand. It's a game. After dinner he says in his chortling indulgent daddy way, "C'mon, Baby, you worked so hard on dinner, let me buy you an ice cream cone." And I say, "Great! Let me put my shoes on." Then off we go to the ice cream stand where Mick and Wolf get their gloppy sundaes and milkshakes and I sit and people watch. He knows I probably won't order anything and I know it's Mick who wants ice cream but we play it like he's treating me to a goodie. I do enjoy getting out and he's always good about finding different routes and pointing out cool stuff he'd spotted during his bike rides, so it really is a treat for me. The ice cream part is moot.

One of his favorite sweets is key lime pie. Not being much of a baker I never bothered to find out how to make it until recently. Dur! Totally easy to make. Big plus, key lime pie doesn't do a thing for me. I could start a key lime pie factory and not gain an ounce from eating my own product. Mick would be the QC, I'd be strictly production. Even better, Mick doesn't care for meringue so throwing a key lime pie together is even simpler. No egg whites to whip and fuss over. Good deal. Knowing me I'll probably get torqued about learning to make a super fantastic uber-wonderful graham cracker crust instead of just using ready-made ones, but this improving things to light years past any store-bought version is my own quirky obsession and nothing Mick would need to pay for by being that much more appreciative. "*sniff* You didn't say anything about the crust! *sniff*" I'm a validation junkie when it comes to cooking but I do have a sense of fair play about it.

I also know this will likely spark a custard pie frenzy and there I'll be in my kitchen at 2:00am shelling pecans and yelling at the chess pie to thicken up already because the sweet potato pie needs to go into the oven and dammit! Where is the lemon curd? I'll be buying corn syrup by the gallon and spazzing out over the texture of my citrus zest and…jeeze. But my goofy sprees harm nothing but my peace of mind and Mick's waistline. Eventually I'll feel good about mastering another culinary thing and Mick can always do more bike riding so we'll be fine.

And what I am right now is behind time to be getting my butt over to MIL's. I have broken foot duty today and there's plenty I need to be doing for her over there so should shut my yap and go already.

Tootles! ~LA

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