Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Lesson of the Dinner Party Dessert

This evening, we were out to dinner at a couple friends house for easter. They made a lovely ham and full course meal. I offered to bring a dessert. Probably not the best idea. While I am perfectly capable of hosting my own dinner party, offering to bring only one course has its issues. For one, you want it to be show stopping, since it's the only thing you're providing. Two, it should be relatively easy to prepare, because you doubtlessly have underestimated the amount of time you have to make it before going out the door. Three, you should follow a recipe. It's not the time to wing it.

Well, I betrayed all three of those rules. I had decided to make a pear cheesecake. This relatively simple plan was immediately derailed by the fact that there were no grocery stores open in the vicinity. Mike had independent plans to barbeque some leftover meats from yesterday, so he didn't want to go too far afield. I was stuck with the meagre offerings of our local Hasty Market. With (spreadable) cream cheese, gelatin, condensed (unsweetened) milk, pear flavouring, and a (chocolate) graham cracker crust, I tried to make magic. It didn't happen. For some reason the whole time I was paralysed with fear that the spreadable cream cheese would have the wrong consistency for a proper cheesecake, which lead me to add not one, but four packages of knox gelatin to the mix. The result was a very strange, very dense, indescribeable gelatin cheese cake. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't good, either.

At the last minute, I made Mike go out for his third trip to the Hasty Market to buy filo dough and canned peaches and made a last minute ricotta peach struesel. Which was not show stopping. It was eclipsed by the wierd cake that I also brought, that everyone spent the whole time politely eating, trying to describe what it reminded them of. I downed three glasses of white wine in an attempt to drown out the embarassment. It was returned to me along with the cake pan on my way out. Always a bad sign. Mike, on the other hand, ate it with relish. He was and is very glad it returned home with us.

This is all to say that despite the miracles I make in the kitchen, tell me it's my only chance to impress, and I will guaranteedly fail.

Thankfully, my child is very cute and distracting. Even when I've convinced myself that both Mike and I are the most socially awkward and unpleasant people in the world, our sunny, chubby baby redeems us as dinner company. He has begun pulling up on everything, scooching his little butt across the rug to get to his mommy or daddy, and babbling constantly. His words so far are 'mama' 'dada' and 'ubb' which we're pretty sure means 'up' since he always says it with his arms flailing in the air, sitting at our feet.

As usual, I am amazed.

I would like to take him to the doctor soon, though. I am worried at how lean he is in the torso. While I could chalk it up to mother's guilt, I'm worried that he's not eating enough, and he's still holding fast at the weight he was at nine months. This scares me. I would hate for his development to be halted because I was supposed to be supplementing with formula, or force feeding him, or something. He is so reticent to eat, that it shakes my seemingly unshakable belief that mother knows best, and babies lead themselves to healthful habits without intervention from medical authorities.

Well that is all for now, dear reader. More soon.

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