The Day I Learned I was a Good Cook

It happened on a Sunday. I was about twelve years old and was regularly helping mom with the cooking. I'd make the salad or peel the potatoes. I'd mixed up batches of cookies and I'd even helped with canning fruits and vegetables.

On this day, I made "Dessert." That's what we called it. I've since heard it called "Better than Robert Redford" and "Better than Sex," but we just called it "Dessert," a more appropriate name for a family with a whole bunch of little kids.

It was heavenly--a buttery, nutty crust, a layer of sweetened cream cheese, another layer of chocolate pudding goodness, all topped with whipped cream and shaved chocolate curls. I'd carefully made each layer and then chilled it well, to keep the layers distinct and pretty. I'd curled the chocolate with a vegetable peeler into long, curly pieces. It was a lovely dessert.

And it tasted incredible. I wanted Grandpa and Grandma Higginson to try it, so mom helped me cut two perfect pieces and put them on a plate.

After dinner, I walked the two blocks to Grandpa and Grandma's house, proudly carrying my culinary masterpiece. I walked through their gate and headed to the side door. Just a few feet from my destination, my foot caught on the grass surrounding one of their stepping stones and I lost my balance. I caught myself, but the jolt sent the plate of dessert flying. My tasty accomplishment was upside down on the grass in a messy blob.

I didn't knock on the door. I just picked up the empty plate, turned around and walked home. I may have cried a little. I was only about twelve, after all.

Back home I told mom of my tragedy. I had wanted them to have some. I knew they'd have been impressed. "Let's see if there's any more," Mom suggested. There was a little left but it was messy and all the layers were muddled together. It wasn't pretty. I wasn't sure. "It still tastes good. They'll like it," Mom said.

Together we dished up the rest and I carefully walked back to Grandpa and Grandma's. Mom was right. They thought it was delicious and ate every bite. Then I told them what had happened and how sad I was that they didn't get to see the beautiful pieces.

"Where did you drop it?" Grandma asked.

"In your yard. Right by the door," I said.

Grandma opened the door and saw the pile of dessert on the lawn. She walked into the house, got a spoon and a plate and headed back out. I followed her and watched her scoop it up and then pick off the grass that clung to the whipped cream. Back in the house, she divided the dessert onto three pretty plates and we sat down at the table and ate it.

"This is just too delicious to waste," she said and Grandpa agreed.

I walked back home bursting with pride. I may have cried a little. I was only about twelve, after all.

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7 comments:

Alison said...

So sweet! This is why my mom and dad live a few blocks away. I love that my kids get to have them in their lives so much. It's moments like the one you shared that live in your heart forever.
Im glad you figured it out so early! You are an awesome cook! (not just good)
Love you!

Kristi said...

It's true, you can't waste a good dessert, even if it has landed in a pile on the grass.
That is a cute story.

Tawnie J said...

Very cute story and a great memory to have.
We call it Robert Redford and my favorite part has always been making the curls of chocolate on top too!!

Mindy said...

My husband's family calls that dessert "girdle buster". What a sweet story!! I loved reading it... it brought a big smile to my face. :)

missy said...

What cool grandparents!! By the way, we have a similar dessert where you put the cream cheese layer over baked brownies (instead of the crumbly layer) then the pudding and cool whip. Brownie Delight is easily our favorite!

mudderandfodder said...

You had wonderful grandparents. What a precious memory with them. LMH

John + Bethany said...

What a sweet story, it really touched me (I may have cried a little). Living all the way across the country now has really helped me appreciate how lucky I was to have so much of my family so close. I especially miss my grandparents as they are starting to have more health issues, I wish I could see them more often so I guess this story hit a soft spot for me. :-)