There are certain benefits to having a mom with a baby in her belly. One of which turns out to be that you get an ice cream cake for your 3 3/4 “birthday,” the only stipulation being that you are not allowed to think about dessert the whole time during dinner. And preschoolers – like a lot of my former law-talking colleagues – have clever ways of interpreting other people’s stipulations to fit within their own boundaries. “No, Mommy. You mean we can’t talk about dessert the whole time. Of course we can think about it.” (For the record, I really do think that she believed I had misspoken – certain rules are inconceivably harsh; and constitutionally, the girl is right. Of course we can’t legislate thoughts.)
Anyway, the procurement of the cake turned out to be quite a bit less embarrassing that I’d expected. Turns out Dairy Queen has a whole cake category called “Just Because” – you know, “Just Because you don’t properly value a low triglyceride count” and “Just Because you’ve accumulated enough of the trappings of adulthood that society now deems you free to drive to the DQ and make your own terrible decisions.” So we had a “Just Because you’re turning 3 3/4″ cake, which, if I do say so, is positively responsible by comparison.
And before that, for dinner, we had what can only be thought of as “Just Because” kale (but was also called Brown-Butter Creamed Winter Greens by Gourmet Magazine in January), with beautiful pieces of grilled wild Gloucester cod perched on top. If you’ve been on a quest for the most comfort-foody (adjective, from the American south for “least healthy”) kale preparation imaginable, look no further. It’s quite delicious in responsible quantities, especially with a healthy serving of grilled omega-3s on top; and let’s face it, we’re all bound to have a few Just Becauses during kale season. I made it with about 1/3 of the butter and 1/2 of the cream (make the bechamel according to the recipe, but saute the onions and kale in a tablespoon of olive oil instead of the extra 1/2 stick of butter), and it was still intensely rich.