Friday, February 15, 2008

My name is Jeanne and...

I love dessert.

There. I said it. I love dessert.

Yeah, I can hear you out there: “Big DUH. . . a middle-aged fat woman who loves dessert. Big surprise.”

In that case you probably:

  1. Are so young the effects of overeating haven’t shown up on your body – yet.
  2. Have been denying yourself of dessert for so long that you’ve actually convinced yourself that you “don’t like sweets very much. Oh, they’re much too rich for my delicate system.”
  3. Actually believe you’ll get into heaven quicker through denial
  4. Are a man -- because men could care less when they see pie.

If you are any of the above you probably don’t appreciate how huge it is that a woman can come out and admit for all to hear that she likes dessert. In fact, I will bet most of you, upon connecting my love of dessert to my figure, thought, “Well, sweetie, that’s probably where your weight problem comes from.” And you may even say that condescendingly to me, as though I’m at some AA meeting and have just confessed my addiction.

I have no plans to stop eating dessert. I did not get fat eating dessert. And I hate to break this to …well, just about everyone, one of the secrets to finding the right weight for you is to eat the damn dessert.

Naturally the problem becomes when you eat too much of the dessert, in which case it is not the dessert that is the problem, it’s why you are eating when you are full and your taste buds by now have been satiated. No amount of calorie counting, point totaling, trans-fat awareness or hour on the treadmill will address that issue.

Anyway, I feel the need to explain this because making dessert is truly an act of domestic derring-do for which I get a lot of flack. You can buy pretty good desserts, even if it’s just ice cream slapped in a bowl. As with anything, though, you do sacrifice quality for convenience and it’s something we’ve forgotten in this ready-to-eat world.

It think this is because marketers try to determine what quality in a food we love the most and try to put as much of that aspect in as possible. But a dessert is a balance of flavors and textures and that balance is lost when you crank up one thing – especially using chemicals. And then there is the whole issue of the use of corn syrup (which, incidentally, used to be sold as an appetite stimulator, which explains why a single serving of a homemade dessert suffices, but an entire bag of Oreos is required.).

I’m not talking elaborate concoctions here. In fact, I find the simpler, the more satisfying. And, at risk of speaking treason, try backing up on the chocolate. While I love chocolate, I find its flavor can be more fully enjoyed when it is not overwhelming.

This weekend’s featured dessert was bread pudding, a particularly efficient dessert that also make me feel justified in that it uses bits and pieces of breads that would otherwise be relegated to the compost.

In my freezer is my bread pudding bag and it’s where I throw all the ends of all the sweet breads I make like the cinnamon swirl and the oatmeal bread. (Our every day whole wheat becomes bread crumbs). A little milk, sugar and eggs, a splash of vanilla baked in a hot water bath…oh, and sultanas, which aren’t a necessity but are my personal indulgence and so much more tender than regular raisins…and there you are. Dessert.

Dirtman likes this with whipped cream (made with my hand beater, Mama K…). I like it with warmed heavy cream and no guilt.


Gwynne said...

Mmmm...bread pudding...I'll take mine with heavily creamed bourbon please. ;-)

I have no problem confessing my love for dessert.

Jane G. said...

As you know I am all about the homemade dessert (cheesecake, for instance) but I cannot abide bread pudding.

I agree on the chocolate. There is such a thing as too much, which really can muddy the flavor.

Meg said...

Hey, wait, did you read my mind (or did I read yours)? We had a bread-pudding-without-the-egg type of dish on Monday. I kept thinking "bread pudding" all weekend, but we're short on eggs, so I made that instead (I posted photos too). It was made with apples and nutmeg. Good stuff. Home made dessert is, indeed, the best.

Did I mention that my roommate cooks professionally for a Jewish cafeteria and is always bringing home the leftover Kosher desserts she made? Talk about YUM!

Sisiggy said...

gwynne: I'm not a bourbon fan -- but Dirtman would join you. I'd opt for a Marsala...if I could find a decent Marsala around here.

jane: Bread pudding is one of those things that people either hate or love. I never tasted it until I was married because my mother viewed bread pudding as a "bowl of wet bread."

meg: Is there a way to find out if the amount of people making bread pudding increased last weekend? I mean it may be a government experiment on mind control.

I'm afraid I'd have to practice some restraint in the presence of dessert available everyday!

Meg said...

Well, not quite every day.... "all the time" is Megspeak for "quite often, i.e., 2 or 3 times a week".

Nicole says maybe it was a government mind control experiment, because she felt compelled to make bread pudding at work on Tuesday for the dessert that day. I wish she'd brought some of that home. Bread pudding made with challah bread is fabulous.

Why *bread pudding* for the mind control experiment? Then again, Bush is still president, and you never know about him. Maybe he's a closet bread pudding fan and was trying to increase the odds of scoring some leftover bread pudding.