Two weeks ago, both of my daughters set off for university, my youngest for the first time. It felt like a poignant end to their childhood. I found myself reflecting about the past and wondering about the future. How often would we see them, and what would our new family time be like?
But it wasn’t long until I heard from my young freshman. She was having a great time, her classes were going well, and university was great. Also, could she come home for the weekend?
I remembered my oldest took comfort from an early visit home in her first year, and with both their schools a short distance away, it’s easily done.
“Yes,” I texted, “of course you can come home. Anything special you’d like me to make?”
In response came a plaintive, one-word text: “Cake.”
Cake isn’t really my thing. I generally just make cake for birthdays (and sometimes even those are celebrated with fruit desserts). But for her first visit home, I decided not only would I make her cake, I’d make it in her favourite flavour – mint chocolate.
And when my oldest daughter found out her sister was home for the weekend, she made time in her schedule for a Friday night dinner with us. Which is how we found ourselves sitting in the back yard on a warm evening, hearing stories about school, and eating a dessert that everyone (especially the guest of honour) described as fantastic.
Perhaps you really can have your cake and eat it too.
Mint Chocolate Cake
(adapted from The Food Network)