I started mixing up “dessert” when I was about six, blending powdered laundry detergent with interesting liquids in little pink melamine bowls. Yummy.
Many food jobs — and lots of good instruction — later, I am writing a cookbook of our family’s dessert recipes.
When I graduated from college, my grandmother asked me what I wanted. “Your recipes,” I said. Once she got over thinking I was kidding, she went to work, gathering and sorting through a life’s worth of handwritten recipes, clippings and margin annotations. She had a woman down the hall type what she’d selected onto a stack of onion-skin paper. I still have the crinkly sheaf.
It took me years to realize that most of the recipes were for desserts. Of course, that would have been the only cooking for which Grammy really needed a recipe, to get the chemistry right. And when I think about what has linked my family through the generations, it is a sweet tooth — a strong belief that dinner is an excuse for dessert.
So now I am updating, and annotating, and testing those recipes again. I’m adding in my own dessert recipes, and a handful of my father’s (he was a link in the sweet-tooth chain). This is the spot where I’ll be musing about family foods, desserts, ingredients, recipes and cookbook-writing. I hope you’ll read along, and think about collecting your own family desserts. That is, if you like dessert.