By Trina Machacek

It was brought to my attention not too long ago that as an adult I am allowed to have dessert first. To which I replied without skipping a beat, if I have dessert first I’m pretty sure that I will then have the feeling I should skip the main meal. You know like in a restaurant when the waiter comes by and askes if anyone left room for dessert? Usually everyone moans a little and shakes their heads no. Just think if we started with dessert. Would we then shake heads no to the main dish of steak, chicken, liver? Well I must admit it will always be “no” about liver for me.

For a couple of days I had dessert before a nutritious meal. It really is all it is cracked up to be. So much so that the meal was skipped altogether for the two of the three times I did this little Trina experiment. Dessert is supposed to be a treat. A wahoo to your taste buds. I will say that if you have ice cream or pie before a plate of tacos, the tacos loose their taco appeal. Dang it. So sometimes even though cake can be fun and it really is food, it isn’t always something that is enjoyed as much before a meal as it is afterwards. Yes even if it is chocolate cake. Like a Hostess Cupcake. Even the squiggly across the top isn’t as much fun.

While here let me ask this. Why isn’t there dessert after breakfast? Not whipped cream covered waffles or blueberry muffins smeared with fruited cream cheese. Those actually could be stand alone desserts. But breakfast desserts after a bowl of Rice Chex or a big ole heavy splat of rib sticking oatmeal. Shouldn’t we have the option to be asked if we saved room for dessert after a plate of bacon and eggs? Sure we should. Just so we could moan and groan a little saying, “Oh no, no. Thanks but no room left.” Besides what would be the offering of dessert after breakfast?  Interesting thought right?

When you go to a birthday party and have cake you usually haven’t just had a meal so the cake is good and fits happily in your pie hole and skips down to your tummy. So really to think of cake as a meal isn’t that far afield. It has eggs and flour and oil and spices. If you top it off with an ice cold glass of milk? Well now you have dairy, protein, grains and in the thick frosting and all those flowers and such, you have sugar. Oh and fat. For goodness sakes don’t forget the fat. See all the food groups in one teeny tiny slice of cake. So yes, yes cake is good for you food.

Homemade desserts of what some would call yesteryear can sometimes be confused with a meal. My mom would take left over rice from one meal and make rice pudding for the next day. A friend would take left over mashed potatoes from one night and make scones the next day topping them with a grand syrupy fruit compote made with left over peaches. My tummy just growled! I even have a recipe from a woman who could turn fruit cocktail into a spicy cake. A lot of the old time cooks used they whatever was left over to make cake.  Maybe cake really is supposed to be a main event instead of an after meal addition. So is cake a leftover too? Hummm.

Maybe dessert shouldn’t include cake. Dessert could just be all the foo-foo things pastry chefs try to come up with. Like thrice spun cherry essence created with a side of filigree of fried corn puree’! Maybe stuff on pretty little plates that are scooted by on the dessert cart. The ones that everyone in the restaurant has breathed on and coughed and sneezed at! HAHA But! Yes a frosting covered “but.” No matter what is offered for dessert, or when it is offered I vote we always say yes. Have a bite or gobble up the entire thing. It’s—well yes I am going to say it. It’s how we will all get our “just desserts.” In a good way.

There is a flippant saying, “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we DIET.” I’m announcing, “EAT THE CAKE.” In all things great and possible? It’s just cake. Enjoy every happy mouthful. Gluten free, sugar free or sugar laden, covered with cherries, lined with whipped cream and white chocolate chips, or covered with nuts hiding carrots and raisins under cream cheese frosting. Cake is good food.

Trina lives in Eureka. Her book They Call Me Weener is available on or email her at for a signed copy.