Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Anyone for Dessert?

PomPom asked what's for dessert after reading yesterday's post. Rather than answer her in 'comments' I thought I'd answer here.

There is actually a good reason why I never post what we're having for dessert. It's because I don't make it. I grew up in a home where we always had dessert. For me it was the reward for having struggled through a meal I, most often, didn't enjoy. Food was not something I was terribly interested in, in the era where vegies were boiled to mush and meat was grilled to a crisp. Dessert back then was tinned fruit or jelly or custard or fruit salad...usually served with ice cream. As you can see, it was pretty simple fare and not something that took large amounts of time or effort. Coming from that background, you'd think I'd be all gung-ho about having dessert!

In my own home we have dessert when we have visitors. It depends on how I feel and who the people are, as to whether I declare the visitors at the table friends or family. We don't do dessert for family and we have some friends that could fall into either category thanks to a distant family marriage! When my parents come to stay, it's usually when we're busy out and about or doing something so they often fall out of 'visitor' status too. Poor things!

On a day to day basis, I don't do desserts for a few quite significant reasons:
  1. It's time consuming. Usually I'm in the middle of a couple of different things and conversations in the midst of dinner preparations and I just wilt at the thought of adding to that busyness at that time of the day.
  2. It's not so healthy. Desserts are filled with sugar. Better to fill them up with vegies I think, than a bowl full of things we're only meant to eat 'sometimes'.
  3. It's expensive. Really, it just adds to the cost of the meal and when you're on a fairly tight food budget it is better not to add to that burden either.
Before Dh was self employed the children used to have a small serve of yoghurt for their dessert. A 1kg tub lasted two days ~ a cost of $5-$6 every two days was worth dispensing with when all we were earning toilet paper and laundry detergent! The Food Nazi within also decided that spending money on foods that added nothing positive nutritionally was not what I wanted to do for my family.

By now you're wondering what we do if people are still hungry after dinner and all the food is gone. Dh often has a couple of sandwiches. The kids are welcome to eat fresh fruit. IF we have something home baked in the cupboard they might be allowed to have a portion of whatever is there. If they haven't already overdone it through the day, that is.


Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Yoghurt is not without nutrition. But probably you don't mean unsweetened yoghurt.

I have never made desserts either. I do sometimes make strawberry shortcake(which is not shortcake at all, but Hungarian sponge cake which has fewer carbs) for birthdays........

Jodie said...

We don't do dessert either, for all the same reasons as you, but I'm afraid the biggest reason is that I can't be bothered!! I do like to do it for visitors though.
Mine have cereal if they are really starving at night or toast, they often complain about eating breakfast again at night!!
PS I was almost going to invite myself over to your house tonight to watch All Saints. My lot stole the TV to watch the Legends footy game. All Saints is my favourite show!! In the end, my Mum taped it for us...maybe one day though!!

Tracy said...

Kristi, the kids used to have yoghurt because it is a good thing to eat. I wouldn't make that a regular thing now though. What we could afford to add as desserts wouldn't be that healthy.

Jodie, you should've come. Dh was out last night and I was enjoying a double episode of All Saints on my own!!!!! And even when he's home you're always welcome to pop in.

Flowergirl said...

I'm with you on this one Tracy. Dessert most nights for us is a fruit plate - I chop up a couple of whatever fruit we have in the bowl. It's a good way to get extra fruit in the family's diet and for them to try things that arent' lunchbox-friendly (ie squishy!)

I really enjoy making desserts for special family dinners or visitors.

Thanks for the post, it's really interesting to think about other families' little routines around food.


Chookie said...

My kids have 'light' fruit yoghurt (skim milk, sugar, but no artificial sweeteners). I do make desserts on some Friday nights, and when we have visitors. Fruit is also a Good Thing.

And it was ice-cream when I was a child, sometimes with topping. My Grandma (the chief cook) also made custards and puddings from time to time.