Growing up in a family of six people, my mother worked hard to stretch the food budget. She majored in home economics and always made sure our meals were wholesome. But she was also a big proponent of having dessert with the evening meal. And wanting all her children to learn to cook and bake, she’d occasionally assign one of her four children the task of making dessert for dinner.
I had two occasions that proved I’d never own a bakery. Two infamous cakes.
The first one was a Chocolate Mocha cake. I baked a delicious three layer cake and decided to frost it with chocolate frosting. On second thought I thought I’d up the flavor intensity and make the frosting coffee and chocolate which makes mocha.
Imagine my humiliation when, after dinner my parents and siblings took a bite of cake and spit it out on their plate. My dad had to explain the obvious─ people don’t’ enjoy picking coffee grounds out of their teeth when eating.
My second colossal failure came during a time when we had a Mexican exchange student in our home. Our family took turns sending each sibling down to live with a family and then one of the Mexican kids would live with us for six months.
One afternoon my mother’s sweet tooth was acting up and I said I’d be happy to make a goody. I thought I’d really be creative with my cake this time. The cake came out of the oven and I got to work experimenting on different frostings.
Hmm, how about a bright pink color. It seemed the perfect shade for a summer cake. I looked over my mother’s collection of bottled flavorings and decided wintergreen might be a nice change. Smoothing the frosting onto the cake I set it in the middle of the dinner table.
My family admired the cake. My mother sliced the first piece and presented it to our exchange student, Checo. He took one bite and put down his fork. “Peeepto Beeesmo cake,” he decreed.
Suddenly family members excused themselves from the table in mass, remembering they urgently needed to do something somewhere else. I sat there, alone looking at my gorgeous culinary work of art, now reduced to a stomach medicine
And that’s when I knew I’d better plan another career for my life. If I invite you over for dinner, please bring dessert!