Cake and conversation

Susanne and I attended a potluck for members of her department at the College. We were tasked with providing the desserts, which indicated a few things, namely:

1. They must have known subconsciously to give this course to us, the cake-makers. We had not yet provided any confections to them.

2. They thought something like dessert was the easiest course to pass off, because most people just put oil and eggs into a bowl with mass market cake mix. Thus, they were trying to go easy on us.

3. They figured we’d all be too drunk after drinking Walla Walla wine to care if the dessert was passable or not.

Truthfully, Susanne volunteered us for dessert. But in her defense, she waited to see what others picked first, so somehow the desserts portion of the meal hung around during the selection process. Who would have expected that Dessert would be like the fat kid who doesn’t get called for kickball and is left standing there at the end pushing up his glasses looking miserable? But enough about me.

We showed up with an apple caramel cheesecake and a chocolate budino. I did not get a picture of the chocolate budino, unfortunately. I did, however, capture the cheesecake.


Caramel apple cheesecake

Caramel apple cheesecake

The potluck was nice, consisting of a cold quinoa salad, mixed greens, the standard but perennial favorite of cheese and crackers. There was also a vegetable enchilada casserole, Greek stew, shrimp pad thai, and a “hot dish,” which is verbiage for a Minnesotan casserole, which officially made it A Potluck from Around the World. They did indeed enjoy our offerings, and I think we achieved our goal of cementing a reputation for well cooked and baked delicacies. I know there’s a lot of “cementing” in front of us, but we’ve only just begun — we’re only 6 weeks into living here. There are a lot of good meals ahead of us.

Today Susanne and I went to our new favorite Colville Street Patisserie, and there we met two older ladies from town who struck up an interesting conversation about Social Security and disability. There’s something about a smaller town, perhaps, that lends itself to more intimate talk, for it is such that we discovered one of them receives an SSA disability check. Her friend said she’d remember my name because she lives in Everett, Washington. I suppose I have to get over there at some point and take a hokey picture next to the sign. When the woman from town said she got her first check three weeks after filing an application, I knew she must have a terminal condition. She was smiling, she was enjoying an eclair, and she said she was going to be happy for every day she has left. She’s taken in 37 foster children over the last 20 years, and we got into quite the discussion about how our country handles social services. It was an interesting mix of old-style conservatism (read: pull yourself up by your bootstraps) and an affection for children and their interests that smacked of veteran social worker. She clearly still wanted to make a difference, life by life. She certainly left an effect on me.

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One Comment on “Cake and conversation”

  1. Ami
    October 8, 2008 at 11:36 am #

    37 foster children! That’s incredible. So, you’re making that cheesecake for me when? Friday perhaps? YUM

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