Devious Desserting

My in-laws are having one of my husband’s childhood friends over for dinner tonight, and we were invited to come too. Then it was discovered that the friend’s parents would be in town, so that warranted another call to our house…just an FYI. Then it was discovered that the mother of the friend is celebrating her 60th birthday. So another call came through to tell us that my in-laws would be using the dinner as sort of a birthday party. I asked if I could bring dessert.

And not only to be polite. My mother-in-law doesn’t really do dessert. She’ll admit that herself. She doesn’t really get this I don’t think, but the problem is that she’s all over the substitute. She never follows the recipe exactly, and sweets, particularly baked goods, are hard to tweak without prior experimentation. She believes olive oil and vegetable oil are interchangable in a cookie/cake recipe–they’re not. She uses wheat flour in cookies, which is perfectly fine if you’re going for a nutritious cookie, but I’m not–never am. When I was first dating my husband (in high school), we were hanging out at his house and decided to make chocolate chip cookies. So I read the package and got out the ingredients, including the 16 cup canister of sugar. Mixed everything up and just happened to lick the spoon. HORRIDLY DISGUSTING! That huge canister? Salt. The sugar was in a miniscule box tucked way back in the pantry. So as you can see, sweets are not a priority. But I digress…

I’d thought, when I volunteered, that I’d be bringing cake or cupcakes from a mix with homemade frosting–something simple. But instead, I was thanked for the offer and faxed a suggestion dessert: White Chocolate Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce. Uh-huh. So here I am thinking it’s going to take me a whole morning to prepare this, and even then I won’t be sure how it’ll turn out, when my husband suggests that I just buy a cheesecake. At first that sounds like a cop-out–I mean, I did volunteer to make a dessert. But then I get to thinking…I’ll just buy a nice looking cheesecake, top it with the white chocolate glaze, and mix up the raspberry sauce on the side. So that’s the plan. The naked cheesecake is in the fridge, and this morning I’m making the sauces.

My husband, who doesn’t like cheesecake or raspberries, is getting a single, pre-packaged slice of key lime pie from the frozen food section, courtesy of his mother. I’ll let you know if I get any compliments or if the whole thing blows up in my face.

Some Publishers Weekly news from last week’s fabulous interviewee…
Tasha Alexander’s TEARS OF PEARL, taking continuing heroine Lady Emily to Ottoman Constantinople where her visit is interrupted by the slaying of one of the sultan’s harem girls, plunging her investigation into an alien world of luxury and deadly intrigue, to Andrew Martin and Charles Spicer at Minotaur, in a pre-empt, for two books, by Anne Hawkins at John Hawkins & Associates (world).

Posted in Uncategorized on 10/03/2007 01:23 pm


  1. Christine d'Abo

    Buy that cheesecake and don’t feel bad about it! I think it’s a perfectly acceptable thing to do given the circumstances.

    I’d do it myself.

    In fact, I want cheesecake now!!

  2. Omigosh…she faxed you a suggestion??? That’s bold! If you ever want to bring yummy dessert to the Boston area, we’re not nearly that picky!!!

  3. Whenever I’m supposed to bring dessert I think of Murphy Brown episode where Murphy is trying to scrape the Oreo symbol off of cookies so she can take them to a bake sale. At least I think that happened, or I just miss Murphy Brown.

  4. Don’t you dare feel bad about it! There’s some woman on TV making big bucks preaching about Semi-Homemade and this qualifies! Sorry I haven’t been around, good to visit you again – have a great evening – L

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