Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Christmas Cooking/Baking (not recipes) (10/16/08)
- TITLE: Half-Baked Christmas Dessert
By Judith Gayle Smith
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I was very inexperienced with food processors and much too impatient to read all the instructions. As a result, my zucchini very quickly resembled green pea soup, much too thin even to be designated a puree. Just dandy - green sludge.
A change of plan was quickly devised - zucchini cake! I am not the best baker in the world, but I could qualify for being the most creative at times. Not allowing for the liquidity of the zucchini slurp, I added eggs, lemon cake mix (why not?) and a lemon pudding mix. Tart sure sounded good after all the sweet yums of the Holiday Season.
And now the oven refuses to heat. Overworked? That makes two of us. Aha! The microwave awaits! Piling the whole green mess into a microwave Bundt pan that barely fit the small microwave, I nuked it until it started smelling way too good. A sure sign of overcooking. Pulling it out, letting it cool - waiting impatiently! When cooled to my satisfaction, I upended it onto my finest cake plate, and left a good sized over-moist chunk in the Bundt pan. Plucking it out with my fingers, I slap-patched the hole with the now mashed potato textured batter. It held its shape, surprisingly! Who likes dry cake anyway?
It did look rather garishly green. How to decorate it? Got it! Powdered sugar! A pretty paper doily and a sifter - and I stood ready to create! The doily stuck to the cake. The powdered sugar soaked into the cake. What a mess! Now what? Too disgruntled to even try concocting a cranberry jam, I reached for raspberry preserves. Big mistake. What didn't get absorbed by the cake was left smeared on top - making the whole mess look like a moldy meatloaf with ketchup.
My sense of creativity, nay humor - failed me at that point. Dumping the whole disaster into a large plastic bowl, I shoved it behind everything I could in the refrigerator. Out of sight - but definitely not out of my tortured thoughts.
My company arrived - hungry! And feed them I did. They pronounced the stuffed cabbage and potato pancakes the perfect break from the traditional leftovers - and then clamoured for dessert. I said there would be no dessert. I suggested coffee in the living room.
Later, as only family can, someone snooped in the refrigerator to seek for a sweet snack. A forgotten sliver of leftover pumpkin or pecan pie? Nay - but a most delightful discovery! What appeared to be a moldy meatloaf yielded to a forefinger thrust through the mess, and dessert was announced!
I remained sulking in the living room as the mess was pulled out and dished into dessert bowls. Dolllops of whipped cream adorned each red/green filled bowl and was passed around to all who were brave enough to try it. I refused to lay claim to it. Until they brought a bowl to me. I stuck my spoon in - and greedily devoured it. Best pudding cake I ever tasted, if I do say so myself.
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