The last Sunday in June is my annual family reunion on my Mom's side. They're a big family of Italian ancestry. My great-grandma immigrated from Italy shortly after the turn of the 20th century. Eight of her children lived to adulthood which makes for a big, sprawling extended family today. Plus I had great-great aunts and uncles that came from the Motherland also having large families upon arrival, so, generations later our family reunions feature lots of pasta and an occasional Italian flag. My great-grandpa used to play his accordion and still speak some Italian, but that first generation connection to Italy has faded. Still, the reunions are fun.
My nieces are always challenging me to good-natured competitions and this year they wanted to have a "bake off". They wanted to pick a recipe and I'd pick a recipe. We'd prepare it at home, bring it to the picnic and let my grandma (their great grandma) decide which dessert she liked best. Time wasn't on my side so I wanted to go with something simple and classic Amish (if I'm going to bake something might as well kill two birds with one stone and get some material for this site). I decided on an Amish "rolled oats cake" with a peanut butter twist. Click here to see my recipe.
My nieces, Isabelle and Lorelei, showed up at the reunion with their dessert, a strawberry millefeuille. Where do a 10 and 12-year-old get a recipe for strawberry millefeuille?? Am I uncultured to say I've never heard of a millefeuille before? SIGH....tough, elegant competition. If you're wondering where they got the recipe, the internet of course.
Click here for the recipe and below is a photo of their dessert. We both tasted each other's creations and both admitted the other's was "pretty good." But it would be up to grandma to do the blind taste test.
When the moment came for Grandma to pick it was high drama and suspense.
She took a bite of their dessert.
"I like it, very good...very tasty," she mumbled as she tried to talk through bites.
Then it was time for mine.
"Oh, this is good...I like this one, I like a moist cake, I think I like this."
I was elated, Grandma was going to choose mine!
Then she did an inexplicable about-face:
"No, I think I like this one best," she declared, pointed to my nieces dessert. SIGH, as near as a tie one could get, but my nieces edged me out by a strawberry.
I vowed a rematch next year. Time to start sifting through some recipes!