Thoughts on Labor Day Dessert

Labor Day weekend is a mere day away (or, if you’re lucky, you’re taking today off from work or school and are already enjoying your vacation!) which means one thing for me: figure out what to bring to my friend’s barbecue.

My friends know me for my desserts. The interesting thing is that I’ve always preferred cooking over baking. The reasons?

  • With cooking you can adjust as you go along. This is perfect for screw-ups those like me who do trial-and-error more often than not. If you add too much cayenne pepper to chili, just add sugar. But if you add too much cinnamon in your oatmeal cookies, you have to scrap it and start from scratch.
  • You eat more savory things than sweet things on a daily basis… or at least you should…!
  • So much waiting is involved when baking! You have about 10 minutes of excitement when mixing everything together… then you just wait… and wait… and wait. Then you take it out of the oven and wait, wait, wait for it to cool. No fun!
  • People are more willing to eat and comfortable in indulging in an extra helping of stir-fry over an extra slice of cake. The former makes you seem like you’re hungry, while the latter makes you look a bit gluttonous!

Cooking is more of an art while baking is more of a science. But, science is fun! I soon learned that despite the fact that I’ve failed at baking more than anything else, I have fun with it because I want to fix the errors and learn from them. (You will continue to see how I can make anything dorky.) I decided to learn some new baking recipes to get involved in the kitchen in a new way.

Now I love baking! I still hate waiting the 15, 30, 60 minutes for things to bake and then wait [again!] for things to cool before I can frost them. I still hate when I have to scrap an entire batch of cookie dough because I grabbed mint extract instead of vanilla extract. But, there are so many good things about baking!

  • People love sweet stuff. Period.
  • Some desserts are used to celebrate things like birthdays, births, anniversaries, housewarmings, St. Patty’s Day, or my favorite “holiday” — Just Because!
  • Desserts generally look prettier and can be decorated in ways savory meals can’t. (I mean, you could make some mashed potato roses to top your meat loaf, I guess!) Tell me that looking at these cookies I made last summer doesn’t make you excited and happy…

Well, not only is this weekend Labor Day weekend, but I recently discovered tomorrow is also a friend’s birthday. What was originally going to be a simple dessert will now be transformed into a delicious and awesome-looking (I hope!) birthday treat for the man of the day.

Anytime I make desserts, I usually make two: one that is somewhat decadent, and one that won’t give you a heart attack or diabetes. This weekend, I think I’m going to take a stab at this (for the latter):

Broken Glass Jell-o

I’ve never made this in my life, nor have I even eaten it! I’m excited to give it a go because if it comes out right, it’ll look absolutely awesome and probably confuse the hell out of my friends.

For the decadent treat, I definitely want to make something I know the birthday boy will like. Originally I wanted to make cheesecake because it is a cool desert perfect for a hot day (it’s supposed to be around 97 degrees the day of the bbq!) but I don’t know if the birthday boy likes cheesecake! He’s not much of an eater in general… in fact, I wish I had his appetite! Hopefully his fiance will text me back and let me know what desserts he actually enjoys.

If he likes cheesecake, I’ll go with my original idea of making a strawberry-lime cheesecake… possibly making mini-cheesecakes so we don’t have to cut them or even use forks, for that matter!

Be prepared for posts about what the final decisions were! Any suggestions are welcome, too, of course!

Have a safe long weekend my US and Canadian friends!