climactic cocoanut creme
17 September, 2000

Dear Friend,

. . . We're having a house warming next Sunday afternoon, Sept. 24, at 3:00 p.m. and you're invited.
. . . The proper way of doing such things in the Village of Arden is to make it a potluck and that's just what we're doing. Bring something scrumptious and we'll provide the basics as well as penny tours of our new home which, by the way, is at 2110 Orleans Road, Arden, DE 19810, at the light on Harvey Road.
. . . Many people know this as "the Kleban house" though the Klebans moved three years ago to another house in Arden. This place is also known as "the Fels house" after the original owner, a soap manufacturer who helped found this utopian community and others.
. . . Perhaps you can reach us at (302) 475-0998. Then again, our phone hasn't been working properly since lightning bolts shook up the place during a dark and stormy night last week.
. . . Don't you believe me? Few people, I find, take me seriously. That's just as well when talking politics or religion. As Billy Wilder said, "If you're going to tell people the truth, make it funny or they'll kill you."
. . . Not being taken seriously is a definite liability when talking about truly significant matters such as food and parties. So, for the record, we are having a house-warming potluck. You really are invited. Honest.
. . . Last week I sung the praises of my wife's squash cobbler and people thought I was pulling their legs. One person suggested "squash cobbler" was an oxymoron. I'll admit, as I ate one piece after another, it was hard to believe this was a zucchini-based dessert. But, really, it was mmm-mmm-good. Honest.
. . . Only one person asked for the recipe. Is it that few people make desserts and no one eats them? Is that why I wasn't deluged with inquiries? Good health, after all, has become our society's version of virtue. Desserts are, after all, regularly described as "sinful."
. . . All the same, cookbooks are best sellers. People may not make desserts or eat them but they love to read about what could be made and eaten. They look and imagine.
. . . People love to look and imagine. Girlie magazines aren't the only soft-core publications to be found in the racks at bookstores. You'll find, in great numbers, lurid magazines about cooking, gardening, and homemaking. Provocative periodicals like "Southern Living" and "This Old House Magazine" tantalize their readers with sumptuous color images and suggestive prose. Some even have fold-outs. The photography is superb, as is the retouching.
. . . The latest cover of "Garden Design," for example, seduces readers into its pages talking about LUSH lawns, BOLD bulbs, and PURE shapes. Inside, readers are encouraged to fantasize about SEXY blossoms, dancers PUSHING mowers, and plant SWAPPING at a French chateau.
. . . If you want a job on one of these publications, you better have "Playboy" on your resume. Or, perhaps the opposite is true. For all I know, "Playboy" hires all its best people from that triple-X rated magazine, "Naughty Desserts."
. . . Humor is not in demand for such publications, which is odd. "Playboy" used to have cartoons. I wonder if they still do. I'll have to buy a copy to find out, do a little research.
. . . Having made these reflections, it seems obvious that people will not ask for dessert recipes which are presented humorously instead of lasciviously.
. . . So let me tell you about the delicious cocoanut-creme pie my wife cooked for my birthday.
. . . The lightly-toasted glossy meringue suggested smooth, satisfying delights inside. While it was still warm, we each slipped one bite after another past our eager lips, our tongues ecstatically exploring every aspect of this fresh, sensuous concoction. Afterwards, we lay exhausted, the intensity of the experience spinning in our memories as we drifted into deep, contented sleep.
. . . Want the recipe? Interested in a little dessert swapping?

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Text and photos copyright 2000 Danny Nelson Schweers