Did you know that today is National Dessert Day? Yep, it’s the day on which you can indulge in a decadent concoction with the knowledge that you are just doing your part to celebrate the happiness that can be found in a bowl of fudge ripple or a slice of blueberry lemon cake. It’s your chance to bake something sweet or order dessert or…
Take the family to the ice cream parlor. Because, while there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a perfectly torched plate of Bananas Foster, I’d like to suggest that it isn’t the dessert itself that we love and take pleasure in. It’s the people we share it with and the occasion on which we share.
I don’t know about you, but dessert is a rare thing in our house. When I’m baking a pie or putting together an ice cream cake, you can probably bet that we’re having company. My pumpkin squares make an appearance on very special occasions. My Best in Show blueberry pie is typically served to beloved guests. Molten lava cake, Bailey’s mousse, and creme brûlée have all been served at our annual mother-daughter Christmas dinner but not on a regular old Tuesday night. Whenever I know there’s going to be an extra person at dinner or a special holiday or celebration, you can bet I’m whipping out my grandmother’s apron and starting up the KitchenAid.
Why do we have cake at a wedding? There are many legends that have been handed down throughout time around the world. In Ancient Rome, a groom breaking bread over the head of the bride symbolized fertility. In Medieval England, the bride and groom kissed over a tower of spiced buns. If they succeeded in kissing without knocking over the tower, they would share a lifetime of love and prosperity. Sometimes rings were hidden inside a cake or pie to be found by guests, indicating whom would be the next to be married. Another tradition holds that the more guests who eat the cake, the more children the couple will have. Not one of these legends or superstitions has to do with the dessert itself. It’s all about who eats it!
I baked like crazy over the past month. I made lemon bread for my luncheon with my best girlfriends when they arrived for Rebecca’s wedding. I made cookies for the bridal party to munch on while having hair and makeup done. I made pies and pumpkin squares for our morning after brunch. However, my focus wasn’t on the baked goods; it was on those for whom I was baking them. I baked not only because I love those recipes but because I love those people.
This past weekend, I was blessed to be able to spend the weekend with my ladies. Twice, we indulged on desserts while we were out, but I don’t think it was as much the sweets we were desiring as the extra time spent at the table. Think about a nice dinner out with friends as compared to dinner at home. How often do you and your spouse sit around the table after dinner drinking coffee and eating pie while continuing a scintillating conversation? It’s something we do when we’re out with friends and don’t want the evening to end. Perhaps we should be doing more of that with our families instead of rushing through dinner and heading out to whatever evening activity is on the schedule for that night – maybe not the dessert and coffee but the lingering conversation.
Because that’s what it’s about – the conversation, the time spent with those we love, the love we put into preparing foods for the people we care about. Think about that the next time you order a dessert or bake a cake. Is it really the dessert itself that you’re craving? I’m willing to bet, more times than not, the answer is no.
Here’s an adult dessert drink you can enjoy after dinner or, like my girlfriends and I did, at an after church brunch!
1 1/2 oz Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey
6 oz hot chocolate
Fill cup with hot chocolate, add Skrewball Whiskey, and garnish top with fresh whipped cream.
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Amy Schisler is an award-winning author of both children’s books and sweet, faith-filled romance novels for readers of all ages. She lives with her husband and three daughters on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her books, Picture Me, Whispering Vines, and Island of Miracles are all recipients of Illumination Awards, placing them among the top inspirational fiction books of 2015, 2016, and 2017. Whispering Vines was awarded the 2017 LYRA Award for the best romance of 2016. Island of Miracles has outsold all of Amy’s other books worldwide and ranked as high as 600 on Amazon. Her follow up, Island of Promise is a reader favorite. Amy’s children’s book is The Greatest Gift. The suspense novel, Summer’s Squall, and all of Amy’s books, can be found online and in stores. Her latest novel, Island of Promise, was recently awarded First Prize by the Oklahoma Romance Writer’s Association as the best Inspirational Romance of 2018 and was awarded a Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2019 for Inspirational Fiction. It is the 2019 winner for Best Inspirational Fiction in the RWA Golden Quill Contest, Best Romance in the American Book Awards, and a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award of Fiction. Amy’s 2019 work, The Devil’s Fortune, a finalist in the Writer’s Digest Self-Publishing Awards and winner of an Illumination Award, is based, in part, on Amy’s family history. The third book of Amy’s Chincoteague Island Trilogy, Island of Hope, was released in August of 2019.
Amy’s books: Crabbing With Granddad (2013), A Place to Call Home (2014), Picture Me (2015), Whispering Vines (2016), Island of Miracles (2017), Stations of the Cross Meditations for Moms (2017), The Greatest Gift (2017), Summer’s Squall (2017), Island of Promise (2018), The Devil’s Fortune (2019), Island of Hope (2019).