My mother is a fantastic cook. Every Sunday she prepares lunch for our entire family. It began as a tradition between the six of us — my parents, my three sisters, and I — and it has expanded over the years, after four weddings and six births, to a meal shared with a family of sixteen.
It’s quite an undertaking for my mom each Sunday to prepare a meal of Thanksgiving proportions, but she never complains and always cooks enough for everyone to take home left overs. I try and help her in the kitchen as best I can by chopping vegetables or buttering rolls, but the truth is the culinary skill in the family skipped a generation.
Still, I feel guilty showing up every week with empty hands and a growling stomach, so my sisters and I have begun taking turns bringing something sweet for the family to enjoy after the dishes have been cleared away.
This past weekend it was my turn and the pressure was on as we had additional extended family visiting from out of town. This was not the time to try my hand at baking and opting for pre-packaged cookies didn’t feel right for a special occasion.
I needed to bring a dessert that was simple, but also thoughtful and delicious. I racked my brain for an hour before it finally dawned on me that I already had two of three ingredients in my refrigerator required for the best dessert ever and, bonus, it can be prepared in under 2 minutes.
I grabbed the bucket of strawberries I had picked up at a local farmers’ market the day before, the COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, and made a quick stop by the grocery store for individual sized angel food cakes on the way to my mother’s house.
I felt a little sneaky because, aside from cutting up the berries, there was no preparation on my part. I just set out a bowl of strawberries, unwrapped the cakes, put a spoon in the COOL WHIP, and let them build their own dessert. I’m not going to say that my dessert was a bigger hit than my mother’s painstakingly prepared meal, but everyone enjoyed seconds.
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