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Life is short: making the case for dessert

As a guy now deep into middle-age and all of the inevitable health issues that accompany it, I try to maintain a healthy diet to help my body keep up with my brain’s desire to stay active for as long as possible.

But that said, life is short and we have to find the moments of joy in it. For me, dessert — reasonably-sized — is one of those joys. Maybe it’s a reward for an accomplishment, or for just making it to the end of a long and exhausting day. Perhaps it’s to raise my spirits when the world is getting me down.

Part of the allure of dessert is that we KNOW it’s unhealthy; it’s a personal act of defiance against all the pressure to conform to what’s best for us. Paradoxically, sometimes what’s bad for the body is good for the soul.

I think the best desserts are the shared ones. We are banding together to create a communal, though fleeting, moment of joy amidst the daily grind of life and work.

Which brings us to rice krispie treats. On the pyramid of unhealthy desserts, this one is near the top: marshmallows, over-processed breakfast cereal, with a bit of butter thrown in for good measure. The flavor is simple: a ton of sugary sweetness against the savory backdrop of slightly-toasted rice. In cube form. It reminds us of when we were kids; or if you’re serving them to your kids, it reminds them that they ARE still kids.

I can spend three hours in the kitchen cranking out a batch of macarons, or ten minutes making rice krispie treats. While they are certainly not interchangeable, there is room in my kitchen for both. Joy takes many forms.

Peace, love, and biscuits,

Kevin

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