It’s polite to ask if you can contribute something when you’ve been invited over for a meal. If they decline your offer, you might still want to bring a little hostess gift: flowers, chocolate, etc. A few weeks ago, we were invited to lunch so that we could see photos from a recent trip to Argentina and Chile. The hostess had suggested that I bring the dessert. However, there wasn’t much time between when I received the email and when we would go to their house (we had plans for Friday night). For some reason, I decided it would be interesting to throw together a “dirt cake”.
Saturday morning, I headed out to the grocery store to look for the ingredients. Although Exito was a longer walk, I thought in the end it would be faster to go to a big store where I would be able to find everything, rather than checking the little tiendas closer to home. As it turns out, the only two ingredients I found there were the cookies and cream cheese. I almost gave up when the store across the street from our apartment seemed to only have gelatin in stock. Finally, on the bottom shelf, toward the back, I found two boxes of pudding mix: one arequipe and the other caramel…not the vanilla or chocolate flavors I was looking for, but…
I rushed back to our apartment so that the pudding would have time to firm up. I even set one of the bowls in the freezer, hoping to speed things up. After I had blended up the sandwich cookies, the puddings still were in the liquid stage. Patience, patience. I beat together the cream cheese and butter and whatever other ingredients were in the recipe online. I took a quick shower before checking the pudding again: no luck. I decided it was no use. I’d just have to buy a pretty dessert from a panaderia and save my ingredients for another day.
When we got back early that evening, I had a thought. I pulled the pudding box from the trash. Yup. Pudding here isn’t instant. I was supposed to cook the mix before refrigerating it-what’s the point of buying a box mix if it isn’t instant? Might as well make it from scratch. Oh, well.
If my “dirt cake” had turned out, I might have done well to have used a beach bucket and rake for decoration, rather than a garden trowel, fake flower and gummy worms: the colors were more on the sandy side of things.