Let them eat kuchen

Dessert has its own day.
I’m not kidding. It was last Friday.
I heard about it on the radio on my way to the college and was surprised at how much time I spent thinking about it. Funny the things that capture one’s imagination.
Don’t know about you but I did not grow up in a dessert household. Oh, Mom was always baking a cake or whipping up rice pudding or something, but we rarely ate it right after a meal. A layer cake was often Sunday evening supper. We’d eat a large meal at midday and just cake later on.
With both of my parents coming from German descent, I wonder now if perhaps our Sunday routine was a remnant of a marvelous tradition I discovered at the home of my friends John and Inge Markarian. Inge, who grew up in Germany, introduced me to “kaffe und kuchen,” or “coffee and cake.”
It’s sort of the German version of the British “high tea.”
In the European style, the Markarians eat their larger meal around noon and consume light fare in the evening, say 7 pm. In between, about 4, they observe kaffee und kuchen, especially if friends stop by. And as a friend, I frequently stop by.
We’ll linger over John’s cappuccino and enjoy some sort of sweet, frequently this incredible fruit tart which is Inge’s speciality, or perhaps an item I picked up at the bakery on my way there. But what we’ll really gorge ourselves on is rich conversation.
Save pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, I can do without dessert. But kaffee und kuchen? I’d recommend that late afternoon respite to everyone.

Ed Ackerman