Very occasionally, a kind soul will come over toting a homemade dessert made from some combination of apples, brown sugar, brownie batter, Skor bits, marshmallows, cherries, and oatmeal. They set their heavy glass dish down on our kitchen counter, and peel back the plastic bag to reveal an earth-toned rainbow of deliciosity. We gaze at its sweet beauty for a moment, but then look at the pile of cold weenies and bulk-pack of yellow macaroni salad laying on the counter, and walk away, knowing that we’ll get to that dessert later, just as soon as we fill our stomachs with all the cheap stuff everyone else picked up from the clearance rack.
And eventually it does happen — the end of the meal arrives and the hero dessert is paraded to the table with pomp, fanfare, forks, and a stack of plates. By now everyone is stuffed, and so while people dip into this rectangle of tastiness, they just don’t have room to send it back empty. It inevitably gets Saran-wrapped up and put in the fridge for leftovers, hasty promises made to return the dish another time.
And that’s when it gets interesting. I’m a pretty big fan of dessert. I like its style. I think it’s cool. And so I eat it as soon as possible. I have a piece here, I have a piece there. It replaces bread the next morning at breakfast, starch the next evening at dinner. I really get on that dessert. I chip away at it until eventually there is only one piece left. And it is the consumption of that last piece, that final, beautiful square of leftover homemade dessert that is always the sweetest.
See, by this point it’s an old friend. I know it’s taste well, having succumbed to its vice-like grip over me for a few days since the party. I may actually be sick of it, but I would never admit it. All I know is that there’s a few mere minutes of enjoying its company left forever. It is a very happy yet very sad time.
There are some ways that eating the last remaining piece of dessert can be made sweeter, though:
- First up, eating it cold. When that dessert is only a couple feet away from your mouth, there really is no time allowed for heating. (+1 point)
- Next, eating it straight from the big serving dish. This is tricky, because if you’re watching TV you need to awkwardly lift a three-pound glass dish with one hand so you can shovel it into your mouth with the other. Be careful for wobbling. (+2 points)
- Methodically scraping every last crumb, ring of dried icing, and molecule of congealed syrup out of the dish, even getting up and getting a spatula if you have to. Licking is optional here, but may be necessary. (+3 points)
- The big one: thinking about the dessert just before you’re about to fall asleep or when you wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Thinking about it and not being able to get it out of your head until you walk to the kitchen, your feet freezing on the cold linoleum, touch-grabbing your way through the black maze of your apartment, until you pop open that refrigerator door, its bright light beaming out at you like the gates of heaven opening, and you just grab that saran-wrapped slice of greatness and eat it right on up. (+10 points)