Well, things have been a little hectic of late. Did I mention I'd be posting daily, every other day? Good, I hope not. As my days blend into shoveling kids on buses, traveling from Queens to Suffolk County to Manhattan...I'm a little on the side of bleary in the eye. My family of origin - crazy lot that we are, have intermittent family emails going. They run hot - 20 to 30 a day back and forth then...cold - silence. Then back and forth. Out of one such bombardment, it was decided that all would turn up at my sister Susan's home for Thanksgiving (at her invitation of course). You see, it seems she has sold her house as her husband cooked dinner one evening (I digress) and this would be their last Thanksgiving at their lovely home that has hosted many a fun filled family gathering. My niece Caitlin emailed her plans for dessert below which I then just asked if she would make her offer to bring dessert into a post for this here blog. How sweet! Yeah, read on.
Without further adieu, let's give a nice warm Simply Said welcome to my niece Caitlin! Make it warm, I'm trying to talk her into starting her own blog!
CAITLIN AND SHANNON BRING THE DESSERT
My name is Caitlin Rush and my big sister's name is Shannon. Shannon is a senior at Amherst College where the bohemian environment serves to encourage her attraction to organic food and interesting recipes. I am a deferring Smith student, a fact which could be used to prove my tendency to delay or avoid even the most necessary of decisions.
Shannon and I commit to the simplest of ideas only after enduring the same amount of mental strain that most people reserve for buying a new car. We have to "test drive" every idea and possibility that pops into our head. A phrase that comes up too often when we are trying to accomplish something, "Well what if we...instead?"
Imagine that Shannon and I have offered to bake dessert for the Thanksgiving family dinner?
Shannon and I decide to bake a cake. As we flip through my Moosewood cookbook looking for a good cake, we decide to make something more interesting, like a trifle. However, one of us mentions that a trifle may look a bit ambitious. After discussing the various pros and cons of a trifle, we decide that the family would be happier with something more traditional, like a pie.
We'll then go to the grocery store for pie ingredients and walk back and forth in between the frozen food aisle and the baking aisle over and over again, trying to decide whether to buy a frozen crust or to make one from scratch. We'll call my mom, who will tell us to buy a frozen one.
We'll get off the phone and decide to do neither, screw the pie, and flip vigorously through the pages in my cookbook in the middle of the grocery store trying to find something else to bake. We'll decide on cookies. Shannon will want to make some interesting fusion of peanut butter cookies and macaroons, using Splenda and unbleached flour, and in listing the potential ingredients for these splend-nut-aroons, we'll call my mom to ask if we should pick up some baking powder. Mom will be exasperated with the two of us and say that if we're making cookies, we should make chocolate chip cookies. We'll get off the phone with mom and deliberate for a while the possibility of reviving the pie idea, until we remember the crust issue. We'll leave the grocery store empty handed, at 10:00 o'clock as the grocery store is closing, the day before we're supposed to leave, knowing that mom always keeps a 5 lb bag of chocolate chips at home... just in case.
Around midnight, covered in flour and amidst a destroyed kitchen, we'll throw our burnt cookies away and overpack our bags with three outfits and a wide selection of pajamas for the next day and go to sleep.
We'll stop by the grocery store again in the morning (ignoring the points and stares form the store clerks who angrily waited for our departure the night before so they could close up), and head straight to the frozen food aisle where we'll plan to buy three cheesecakes, pondering for half an hour whether to buy three plain, three different flavors, or two plain and a variety box. At this point Shannon will tell me to call dad for some input. He'll tell us to buy whatever, the Rushes love cheesecake, but to hurry up.
We'll end up choosing three plain, a variety pack and a strawberry, another thirty minutes later, ten of which Shannon and I will have spent in front of the pie crust section of the frozen food aisle where we fretfully discuss the possibility of buying the frozen crust and pie ingredients and baking the whole pie at Aunt Sue Sue's. At the checkout lane, Shannon will realize that she left her discount card in the car so she'll run to the car to get it, leaving me behind with one of the disgruntled cashiers. We'll finally pay and leave and arrive at aunt sue sue's two hours late (not to the surprise of any of our relatives, some of whom will have been waiting to see which cheesecakes, if any, we will arrive with, having been informed of our dilemma hours earlier by my dad, and some of whom will arrive after Shannon and I, having encountered various dilemmas of their own on their way to aunt sue sues), with hot cheesecakes, because we will undoubtedly either forget to buy ice, or decide we don't need it.
POSTSCRIPT BY AUNT G:
You mean you two don't make the cheesecakes yourselves?!