Very occasionally, a kind soul will come over toting a homemade dessert made from some combination of apples, brown sugar, brownie batter, chocolate-chips, marshmallows, sprinkles and oatmeal. They set their heavy glass dish down on your kitchen counter and peal back the plastic bag to reveal an earth-toned rainbow of deliciosity. We gaze at its sweet, sweet beauty for a moment, but then turn our eyes and look at the rest of the smorgasbord of vittles: cold pigs in a blanket, an enormous veggie tray, bowls full of potato chips and bulk-pack macaroni salad are laying on the counter just waiting to be devoured.
We walk away knowing that we’ll get to that dessert later, just as soon as we fill our stomachs with all of the cheap stuff everyone else picked up from the clearance rack at the grocery store.
And eventually, it does happen–the end of the meal arrives and the hero dessert is paraded to the table with pomp, fanfare, forks and a stack of tiny plates. By now, everyone is stuffed to the brim, so while people dip into this rectangle of tastiness, they just don’t have room to send it back empty. It inevitably gets saran-wrapped up and put in the fridge for leftovers, hasty promises made to return the dish another time.
And that’s when it gets interesting, my friends.
I’m a pretty big fan of dessert.
I’m a HUGE fan of dessert.
In fact, if I could eat only dessert for the rest of my life, I would.
I like dessert’s style. I think it’s cool.
Which is why I eat it as soon as possible. I have a piece here, I have a piece there. it replaces the bread the next morning at breakfast, starch the next night at dinner. I really get on that dessert. I chip away at it until eventually, there is only one, sad and lonely piece left. And it is the consumption of that last piece, that final, beautiful square of leftover homemade pie/cake/brownie that is always the sweetest.
See, by this point it’s an old friend. I know it’s taste well, having succumbed to its vice-like grip over me for a few days since the party. I may actually be sick of it, but I would never, ever admit it. All I know if that there’s a few mere minutes of enjoying its company left forever. It is a very happy yet very sad time.
Bittersweet, if you will (pun intended).
There are some ways that eating the last remaining piece of dessert can be made sweeter though:
1. First up, eating it cold. When that dessert is only a couple of feet away from your mouth, there really is no time allowed for heating (+1 points).
2. Next, eating it straight from the serving dish/container. This is tricky because if you’re watching TV, you need to awkwardly lift a three-pound glass dish with one hand so that you can shovel it into your mouth with the other. Be careful for wobbling (+2 points).
3. Methodically scrapping every last crumb, ring of dried icing and molecule of congealed syrup out of the dish, even getting up and finding a spatula if you have to. Licking is optional here, but may be necessary. (+3 points)
4. The big one: thinking about the dessert just before you’re about to fall asleep or when you wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Thinking about it and not being able to get it out of your head until you walk to the kitchen, your feet freezing on the cold linoleum, touch-grabbing your way through the black maze of your apartment, until you pop open that refrigerator door, its bright light beaming at you like the gates of heaven opening. You grab that saran-wrapped slice of greatness and eat it right then and there with no abandon. (+10 points)