Mike Cope's blog

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

I'm on a dessert binge. This is a place where I think I could blame my father, one of the world's great dessert eaters, or my mother and paternal grandmother, two of the world's great dessert makers. Of course, I'm not a blamer. I just think it should be mentioned. I'm not a respecter of desserts. I pretty much love them all. Yes, yes, chocolate, of course. But it goes way beyond that. I like blueberry pies (my all-time fav), blackberry pies, apple pies (and my wife makes the world's best), rhubarb pies (it's been a while), anything with the word "cobbler" in it, strawberry shortcake, lemon meringue pies, coconut cream pies, chocolate meringue pies, cake (our philosophy: why bake cakes when McKay's does it so well?), chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, butterscotch cookies, peanut butter cookies, and a various assortment of candy bars. I'm not a big ice cream person unless it's homemade. That takes me back to childhood of taking my turn at cranking the ice cream maker. (Now you just plug them in!) The key here isn't abstinence. I gave up desserts one year for Lent--seriously. I wound up resenting Lent and being glad for my Church of Christ roots. The movie "Chocolat" comes to mind here. Moderation is such a great word, isn't it? There's always a temptation to present options of binging or abstaining. Some Christians get carried away with lust, so we decide all dancing is wrong. Some people have drinking problems, so we decide a glass of wine is taboo. It's time for breakfast. My daily assortment of "Good Friends" and "Fiber One" cereal with a sprinkling of almonds and blueberrys. (Sometimes a side of salmon, but I figured you wouldn't want to know that. Not everyone is a breakfast salmon person.) The dessert itch doesn't begin until mid-afternoon. Now -- how about you? What's in your Dessert Hall of Fame?


  • My mom made a chocolate meringue pie to die for. She also made this dessert out of those round, thin black cookies (not sure they make them anymore) over which she scooped whipped cream and sprinkled the top with chopped nuts and cherries. I haven't had that delicacy since childhood. An old girlfriend made this chocolate pie from Hershey bars (her name was Sally so my wife called it "Sally Sue Pie." Thankfully, my wife got the recipe before Sally and I stopped speaking, and now my wife makes the pie, and we call it simply Hershey Bar Pie.)

    By Blogger MarkS, at 11/09/2004 05:21:00 AM  

  • Great post, Mike. I'm a seasonal eater of sorts, so I'll give you some of my favorite desserts according to the weather outside.

    Winter: chess pie, homemade fudge, Tu Tu's coconut cake with boiled custard
    Spring/Summer: strawberry shortcake, banana pudding (all-time favorite dessert)
    Fall: my mother-in-law's pecan pie, carrot cake

    Honorable mentions: creme brulee (sp?), peach cobbler, German chocolate cake, homemade apple pie, Blue Bell cookies and cream

    By Blogger Josh, at 11/09/2004 05:22:00 AM  

  • The single most delectable dessert I can think of is Kathy Kiser's cherry pie. Oh man, it melts in your mouth. We love them so much we once paid $200 for one in the Mexico Mission trip auction just so we could take it home with us and eat the whole entire thing at one sitting. What a divine afternoon that was. Now if I could only get her to give me the recipe or better yet get her to bake us one and bring it on over. Oh great. Now I'll be craving that all day. Thank alot Mike!

    By Blogger Candy, at 11/09/2004 05:25:00 AM  

  • #1) White cake with butter-creme frosting from Wal-Mart.

    #2) Melktert (it's a South African delicacy- basically translated it means "Milk Pie." It's what we will eat after dinner every night in Heaven.)

    #3) My wife's pumpkin pie...I grew up hating the idea of pumpkin pie, so I never tried any. Once I got married, and Sara made one for our first Thanksgiving, I fell in love. If I'm not mistaken, I had her make four that year, and I'm pretty sure I ate three of them by myself.

    #4) Plain old vanilla ice cream with Smucker's Chocolate shell on top. Why can't more things involve chocolate shell?

    P.S.: Anyone else weirded out by the "breakfast salmon" thing???

    By Blogger Greg Kendall-Ball, at 11/09/2004 05:52:00 AM  

  • The Boston Cream Pie concoction from Cold Stone Creamery. My Mom's chocolate cake. Chocolate Cream Pie. And a good, moist brownie -- without nuts (why would you put nuts in brownies? They just take up valuable space).


    By Blogger Jeff Slater, at 11/09/2004 06:04:00 AM  

  • Gregg, I'm in Mike's corner with the Salmon breakfast. When I fix fish for dinner, there HAS to be enough left over for breakfast the next morning, as well as left-over, cold veggies, especially broccoli. One of my favorite breakfast menus is an omelette w/slices of cold tomatoes.

    As far as desserts are concerned, I'm a dessert-a-holic, ergo in an attempt to drop the excessive poundage the move to Abilene put on me, all desserts must come in one serving, no left over portions. :( But favorite? Anything with chocolate, [after all I AM a woman ya' know] - pumpkin pie and rhubarb/strawberry pie are tied. Cookies are not among my downfall, but ice cream is, especially chocolate mint, but none for breakfast, except maybe a slice of COLD pumpkin pie the day after Thanksgiving. ;)

    By Blogger Kathy, at 11/09/2004 06:12:00 AM  

  • My mom-in-law's coconut cream pie. She prepares one every month for Golden Years, a get-together for our older folks and their younger sponsors. (I ain't telling you which I am, but I just got my first letter from AARP.)

    Honestly, if you're more than 20 people back in a line of about 120, you will not get a slice of Harriette's pie. There are rumors that it is half-gone by the time the line forms, due to the folks that set up the tables.

    Two weeks ago, I was behind an elderly sister in line who literally scraped out the crumbs and globs that were left in the bottom of Harriette's pie dish.

    It's my new metaphor for the church and heaven. Our fellowship is like the crumbs that give you just the tiniest hint of a taste of what heaven's like.

    -- But I don't want to start a "pie in the sky by and by" vs. "pie here" debate.

    By Blogger Keith Brenton, at 11/09/2004 06:24:00 AM  

  • I was once asked to decide on my favorite flavor of Blue Bell Ice Cream. Since that was a question that I'd never considered before and that concerned such a serious subject with possibility of repercussions (you never know when someone will be trying to decide what kind of ice cream to buy me...), I gave it some serious thought. And here was the answer I came up with:

    My favorite flavor of Blue Bell is - Whichever flavor I most recently or am currently eating...

    That stuff is amazing...some of their best flavors are Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Banana Pudding, Cookies and Cream, Banana Split, Birthday Cake, Key Lime Pie, Buttered Pecan, Pralines and Cream, Homemade Vanilla (with Hershey's Syrup) and Rocky Road...

    Otherwise, my grandmother makes a Black and White layer Cake (Called, creatively, a black and white cake...) with chocolate icing that includes in its ingredients Brewed Coffee. The first time my mom tried to make that recipe for my dad, she didn't realize the coffee was to be brewed and used an equal measure of coffee grounds...I'm told that made for a pretty dry icing.

    Anyone know how to recommend flavors to Blue Bell? I'm wondering about the Salmon idea...

    By Blogger B-Rock, at 11/09/2004 06:33:00 AM  

  • You're speaking my language, friends. My list was certainly not exhaustive. I feel the need to add: "Kay's brownies," pecan pie, cherry pie, pumpkin pie, and an occasional chunk of Hershey's chocolate out of the jar in the children's ministry office.

    By Blogger Mike, at 11/09/2004 06:42:00 AM  

  • My grandmother makes a great coconut cream pie -- actually, it has a meringue topping, but if grandma says it's cream, who am I to argue? She also makes the best chocolate chip cookies in the world, but I don't think of them as dessert, as much as a snack to grab when my wife isn't looking, or when she isn't grabbing a couple herself!

    And I never met a piece of cheesecake I didn't like!

    By Blogger Tim Castle, at 11/09/2004 06:56:00 AM  

  • Okay, a year of Lent would also make me happy for my c of C roots. I just like the 47 days is enough for me. I gave up TV one year and it was probably the best thing I ever gave up in my life.

    Bosenberry Pie from either Marie Calendars or Polly's Pie, heated, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream usually after sunday evening service (Is it true that when churches of Christ quit meeting on Sunday night that Furr's Pie Houses had to shut down?) in beautiful Southern California.

    By Blogger happytheman, at 11/09/2004 07:22:00 AM  

  • My all time favorite is banana pudding. NOt the cold stuff with whip cream. (Not that there is anything wrong with that)I am talking about hot from the oven with merrange (sp).

    I believe dessert making should be as fun as the eating as well. Here is a link to a cake my wife and I made for one thanksgiving meal. It is a turkey cake with "white & dark meat". It was fun to make and good to eat. http://familyfun.go.com/recipes/family/feature/famf0802cake/

    By Blogger Steve Duer, at 11/09/2004 07:24:00 AM  

  • My favorites tend to be salty fried foods; given the choice I'd take an ice cold DP and a bag of Doritos over a sweet dessert any day. Although ... now that B-Rock brings it up, a nice bowl of Blue Bell can certainly hit the spot. (Now I get to be sad about being so far away from the land of Blue Bell...)

    Oh, and leftovers for breakfast? Definitely yes.

    By Blogger reJoyce, at 11/09/2004 07:30:00 AM  

  • as a person who lived 14 years of my life in Texas, it was funny to move to Searcy a few years back (the home of Yarnell's Ice Cream, which is pretty good) and see a big billboard on my way into town that Said "Yarnells--it beats the heck out of anything from Texas!" I don't think it does, but they sure know who their competition is--the little creamery in Brenham.

    let's go eat.

    By Blogger don, at 11/09/2004 07:40:00 AM  

  • I'm right there with you. I'm seasonal, too, and fall is pie time. First it was the apple pies during the apple picking season a few weeks ago. Now we've moved into pumpkin pie season. Nothing like coming in out of 30º-40º fall weather and being greeted with a piece of pumpkin pie and hot coffee......I gotta go. There's one piece left. :-)

    By Blogger James, at 11/09/2004 07:50:00 AM  

  • by the way, Greg's most recent blog is worth seeing, and ties in with this subject quite nicely. take a look at http://kendallball.blogspot.com/

    By Blogger don, at 11/09/2004 07:52:00 AM  

  • The cheesecake from Queens, NYC deserves a Dessert Hall Of Fame award! Creamy and heavy! Hopefully to bring home several cheesecakes after the 2005 NYC Marathon!

    I also can't resist the chocolate chip cookies my 3 year old daughter bakes. Daddy, look what I made for you! Got to have a tall glass of milk to dunk the cookies.

    The dessert itch starts after a healthy meal :)

    By Blogger Dennis Cesone, at 11/09/2004 07:53:00 AM  

  • Well my favorite desserts are cheesecake and I also like the pecan pie. That it's very good with a cup of coffee. mmmmm!


    By Blogger Gama, at 11/09/2004 08:16:00 AM  

  • By far--my mom's coconut cake or her cold over pound cake. I also have to throw in my mother-in-law's pecan pie.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/09/2004 08:58:00 AM  

  • By far--my mom's coconut cake or her cold over pound cake. I also have to throw in my mother-in-law's pecan pie. wanted to be sure and re-post with my name--That's JUDY THOMAS'S cake!!

    By Blogger Brandon Scott, at 11/09/2004 08:58:00 AM  

  • Like Mike, I am no respecter of desserts. I may even be less discriminating than he is. Twizzlers, Junior Mints or Reese's Peanut Butter Cups rank right up there with homemade chocolate chip cookies, apple or cherry pie, or a Cheesecake Factory cheesecake in my book. With the exception of anything with nuts in it, I will happily eat nearly any sweet treat!

    By Blogger Wendy, at 11/09/2004 09:05:00 AM  

  • I just realized I unthinkingly left out the dessert of desserts -- authentic, cooked-over-a-campfire, ooey-gooey s'mores!

    By Blogger Wendy, at 11/09/2004 09:29:00 AM  

  • Well, my birthday dessert is always creme brulee. A wonderful invention. I along those lines like chess pie and my mother's buttermilk pie. My wife makes a great hershey bar cake (think chocolate cake layered a foot high with filling between the layers that is like twinkie filling and then melted hershey bars on top. I too LOVE bananna pudding. Rice pudding is pretty good. My grandmother used to make these apple pies, they were in two varieties. One was fried pies (some of you may not know these southern wonders) and the other was a very flat, unassuming pie (would make a good church of christer proud) you know looks really plain but good on the inside. She made these from apples in her yard that she cut and dried on paper bags and then made into a sause. They were great. My great aunt who just turned 95 still makes them. She tried to write down the recepit for me, but lost it. I think she's holding out...going to take that with her to her grave, or maybe I will get it in her will. The best dessert story is from a guy I used to work with, his grandmother was asked how she got her merange to be so consistant. She said well you make the pie and put plastic wrap on it and put in the fridge over night, then put it in the oven. "well, doesn't the plastic wrap mess it up when you pull it off?" he asked. "Oh, I don't take it off, you just put it in the oven and it goes away". YIKES.

    By Blogger TCS, at 11/09/2004 10:01:00 AM  

  • You don't have to be hungry to eat butter pecan ice cream or donuts or Mamaw's coconut cake or plain cheesecake or pecan pie...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/09/2004 10:18:00 AM  

  • Hands down ~ chess pie from my Gran. It MUST be present at each and every family gethering, or the gathering doesn't count. I can also make a mean eclair pie ~ it's even a no bake deal! My little brother makes THE BEST chocolate oatmeal cookies on the face of the earth (I'm not allowed to attempt them b/c ounce when I was in middle school, we didn't have the 2 or however many cups of sugar, but DID have that many cups of sweet 'n low, not being aware that it wasn't an all out conversion... result, horrible choc-oat cookies that didn't harden after sitting out for 3 days ~ oops!) Mmmm, now I'm hungry... and having a Pavlovian response to just thinking about all this coming up at Thanksgiving... gulttony abounds this time of year, I'm afraid!

    By Blogger Mae, at 11/09/2004 10:27:00 AM  

  • Oh, I miss McKay's. I used to take Julia there for lunch on Saturdays. She was too young to throw fits or ask for a ton of stuff, but old enough for me to really enjoy that time with her. She was about a year old. It was such a fun mommy/daughter thing to do.

    My dessert is anything chocolate. Pour chocolate on an earthworm and I'd probably eat it. Or at least lick the chocolate off.

    By Blogger Deana Nall, at 11/09/2004 10:48:00 AM  

  • Then there are the cannolis, hand stuffed and sold in a little Italian pastry shop about 10 yards off the Freedom Trail in Boston. UMMMMM!

    (Have you noticed the blogs that have generated the most interest lately? Women's role issue, favorite movies and favorite desserts. What does that tell you about the condition of the church today?)

    By Blogger MarkS, at 11/09/2004 11:02:00 AM  

  • Oh man.. being from a beach town has an interesting effect on your dessert tastes. For sure my all time fave desserts include: Sno Cones dripping w/ strawberry kiwi flavors, Italian Sodas from the coffee shop down the street (whichever street.. doesnt matter), and Moose Tracks, or Mackinaw Island Fudge Ice Cream in a big fat soggy waffle cone.. especially if it is coupled with a walk to the pier and sunset over Lake Michigan.. ahh.. I miss home a little now.

    By Blogger Phyllistene, at 11/09/2004 11:52:00 AM  

  • Sugar Cookies from Jefferson Street (either baked or as dough swiped directly from the flour-coated, waxpaper wrapper in the freezer). When in town at the right time, Sugar Cookies from Estella Drive rates a close second.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/09/2004 12:20:00 PM  

  • Carrot cake... if in Tennessee, J. Alexander's is the best (I just black out my wife saying between each bite "how do they make it so moist...how do they make it so moist"). Trader Joes also has an incredible, humbly packaged carrot cake: the best dessert you can find for 3 bucks.

    In St. Louis, Ted Drewes frozen custard is a must.

    My grandmother-in-law makes a german chocolate cake that is worth driving across the country for; my wife is a disciple of her kitchen prowess, which I gladly support.

    And when I was rich with student loan money, the melting pot's "yin & yang" (white and dark chocolate with strawberries, bananas, poundcake, etc). Now that we are repaying the loans, the home version is worth the mess.

    By Blogger Kevin, at 11/09/2004 01:47:00 PM  

  • Peach or cherry 'dump' cake. It's very simple. Take a can of pie filling, 'dump' a box of yellow cake mix on the top, and 'dump' a stick of butter or margarine on top of that. Bake until a touch brown and you have the easiest cobbler ever made. It's best when heated and a scoop of ice cream is put on top.

    By Blogger Ron Barbee, at 11/09/2004 04:15:00 PM  

  • Mmmmm, desserts I love:

    poppyseed angelfood cake my mom makes for my birthday with mint icing and real whipped cream,

    basically real whipped cream in general,

    Cheesecake Factory's tuxedo cheesecake,


    Rosalinda Walker's amazing homemade chocolate syrup with her brownies and homemade ice cream,

    Man i'm so hungry right now...

    By Blogger TKP, at 11/09/2004 04:41:00 PM  

  • I may not be accused of being fancy - but they are my favorites nonetheless:
    ~ Homemade Vanilla ice cream
    ~ New York style Cheesecake

    By Blogger Blake, at 11/09/2004 05:25:00 PM  

  • Have a heart, guys! I've gained five pounds just reading this thread. :>)

    By Blogger Kathy, at 11/09/2004 06:43:00 PM  

  • Cheesecake Factory's Carrot Cake cheesecake......mmmmmm......it's almost work the plane ticket to Texas!

    By Blogger James, at 11/10/2004 04:50:00 AM  

  • i thought it was very wrong for someone to mention blue bell ice cream when some of us one-time texans can no longer get our hands on it (and it doesn't mail well). my favorites include strawberry shortcake (from mama dips in chapel hill, nc) and french silk pie (baker's square). great stuff.

    and my mom makes a chocolate cinnamon cake that is out of this world.

    By Blogger chrismith, at 11/10/2004 06:39:00 AM  

  • Did you notice that your dessert blog brought about more conversation than any of your recent blogs? I think you've found a new connecting point. Try it in your next sermon.

    My favorite? strawberries and/or bananas dipped in chocolate.


    By Blogger Sara, at 11/10/2004 12:02:00 PM  

  • Can I just echo your sentiments and say that there are too few people in the world who have had the opportunity to partake in Chocolate covered bananas. I mean really!

    A few weeks ago I made them for the quasi healthy study break snack, and I was ridiculed by all observing.

    Although I would always prefer the ever eloquent chocoloate covered strawberry, the banana is just as satisfying and remotely health conscious!

    By Blogger Phyllistene, at 11/10/2004 03:29:00 PM  

  • Would you mind devoting a series of blogs to desserts? When you talk about guacalome and dessert I can sense your passion. :) Any thoughts about desserts that incorporate avocados?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/10/2004 03:42:00 PM  

  • Ah, desserts have the ability to draw out comments from everyone! Why so much passion about dessert? Because it has to do with grandmothers and moms and special family recipes and kicking back with friends -- to say nothing of the joy of something sweet. Thanks!

    By Blogger Mike, at 11/10/2004 04:28:00 PM  

  • About frozen bananas...

    I used to get those at Dairy Queen when I was a kid. Haven't seen them there in years, though. I also had a babysitter -- an elderly woman -- who kept homemade ones in her freezer.

    By Blogger Deana Nall, at 11/11/2004 04:11:00 AM  

  • Dark chocolate, but seriously, it's for the antioxidants.

    By Blogger Fajita, at 11/11/2004 07:11:00 PM  

  • My dad used to make my sister and me split a 5-cent Dairy Queen cone on our way home from Wed. night church. Talk about cheap!

    By Blogger MarkS, at 11/12/2004 07:16:00 AM  

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