Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Just Deserts

Dear Helen Hartman,
            We’re planning to go to a place this summer where we can go to a nude beach. I don’t know if I have the nerve. Maybe I should just try going topless at first? The human body is beautiful, right?
         Love to know, have you ever bared it all  in public?

Dear Loved One,
          Bare? What we here in the South call 'nekkid'? Outside the sanctity of one's own darkened closet? Just reading about the prospect makes Helen reach for her thermos. To actually contemplate it would take a wee bit more persuasion – Gallon’O’Gin anyone?
The jug was a flea find years ago that I bring out every summer for looks - not usable. Billy Beer was canned here in Louisville, Ky and I got the can from a local 'eccentric' junk collector you might have seen featured on American Pickers! Helen knows everybody! (actually Helen simply is drawn to junk and this man's home is make of junk, amazing, spectacular junk, so we stopped and made a friend).
 For goodness sakes, now that I have found the recipe book from Cool Whip 
Well Dressed Deserts... hmmm, guess what they are clothed in? (I only had grocery brand, it was on sale, I dress my food as I do my body - with bargains!
warning me of this: (it was, in the end, the reference to that 'zingy' scarf that shamed me into action - I want to trot out my deserts in a smashing outfit, as should any well brought up person!)
I finally understand that why no one cheers my leftover pound cake - wait people have LEFTOVER pound cake? I thought the reason to HAVE pound cake was to eat the whole pound! (Helen is not alone in this - still longing to frequent a nude beach?)
I don’t even dare let my desert be seen without topping.

In fact, all this has Helen so rattled she is actually attempting to replicate something from the booklet.
The instructions are pretty basic – make a cake mix, frost with Cool Whip, buy gumdrops and roll them as thin and flat as you can, using sugar to keep the stickiness at bay – yes, sugar to make things LESS sticky. If you are like Helen (not that you’d aspire to that, being like Helen is just something that happens to people who keep thinking ‘tomorrow I will attend to the garden of my soul’ then spend the current day shopping, eating poorly, reading PEOPLE and napping) but if you are like me you are asking yourself, how can sweet, sticky sugar make things less sticky.  It can’t.
 In the booklet they suggest rolling the gumdrops into almost paper thin proportions. Maybe gumdrops have changed since then… I mashed mine, I rolled, I beat them into submission. 
 The small ones were too hard, the larger ones too squishy – they kept reforming to their old shape. Which makes me wonder – what is happening to these things in the human stomach?
Goodbye Food Pyramid, Hello Cool Whip Cloud of Artificial Color - have you had your serving of red dye today?
I did manage to come up with some sort of flowers. They are far too heavy to trail up a cake. In fact, I am thinking of letting them dry and using them as a doorstop.
Of course there is so much more to explore:
When I hear Brazilian I do not think delicious. Thank you TMI television. 
What the @*#&^$*!! is in these Kicky Kupcakes that makes them grow arms and legs and actually KICK up their heels? Or is it just something that makes the consumer THINK their Kupcake has sprung to life? Better check that additive chart again!
Helen has to rest now – these images will haunt my dreams – as I suspect will the images you, Loved One, will bring home should you actually go to a nude beach. As Fran Lebowitz famously said: All God's children are not beautiful. 
Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


  1. Reminds me just how much Peter Max took over back then. Funny, he was everywhere, then suddenly - nowhere.

  2. Hello Helen:
    We are firmly on your side over the need for people to 'cover up' in order that others will not be put off their puddings [as we English would call a dessert]. Although whether anyone in their right mind would be prepared to actually eat any of the concoctions which you show here we should very much doubt.

    We know of a garden open to the public in England where the owners garden naked [weather permitting]. Not only do we consider this positively dangerous, just think of all those prickly shrubs, but it would certainly not entice us to think of scones, jam and cream for afternoon tea!

  3. You actually beat those gumdrops into some pretty good looking flowers!!!

  4. The mental image of you in the kitchen, rolling and pounding and squishing those gumdrops into submission, will have me smiling the rest of the day...along with the memory of my spending an equal amount of time at age 19 painting Peter Max flowers on the windows of a rickety old garage apartment that was my first home as a newlywed.

  5. Hey, I've tried that with gum drops... I feel your pain! Love the apron:@)

  6. Psychedelic party food? Now you're talking. Those illustrations are frame-worthy and right up my alley.
    Naked sunbathing? That's another thing I love. x

  7. Wow! Those illustrations are amazing! And you are amazing! So happy to have found you. I can tell we are going to have a lot of fun! Your new fan, Samantha

  8. Oh, you always make me laugh!!! Tell her to go to Australia, where topless beach-going is the norm. And I want to try to make and eat some of those gumdrop flowers, so that I can make myself even more unpresentable than I already am. :-)

  9. God's child here, just cheering you along. Down with topless, up with your energetic wit.

  10. That jug is the coolest thing ever! Junky friends? With a house of Junk?? You are so lucky, and I am completely jealous.

  11. I'll eat those flowers if you don't mind. They look ever so yummy!! I SO love that first pic you have. I would get that enlarged and framed girl. Just beautiful. Your post cracked me up...

    What the @*#&^$*!! is in these Kicky Kupcakes that makes them grow arms and legs and actually KICK up their heels? Or is it just something that makes the consumer THINK their Kupcake has sprung to life? Better check that additive chart again!


  12. Y'all make me laugh - glad you liked the post.
    The Peter Max effect was so lost on a booklet that referred to the 'young with it crowd', wasn't it?
    So happy to know someone else fell for the let's make flowers out of gumdrops ploy! Thought I'd found a cure for fiddling with fondant!

  13. Hey! I had a whole 6-pack of Billy Beer once! But that was two houses ago. Don't know what happened to it. My kids probably drank it. I also had an outfit (jumpsuit?) much like that gal in the picture up there.
    Thanks for the memories. Oh, and I'd never go topless on a beach. My stomach would NEVER get a tan!

  14. You brought a smile to my face today - thank you!

    Pomona x

  15. Lynn - LOL on that tan. Topless? My stomach would tan but the stomachs of others would turn.

    Welcome Pomona - your blog is lovely.

  16. You're so funny! No, I would not and never have gone to a nude beach. I wouldn't want to frighten anyone when they're trying to enjoy themselves!
    Happy REDnesday,

  17. LOL! Fun post Helen! And I love your vintage jug! Nekkid in public? By choice? Oh yeah, count me in..........not!

  18. glad you stopped by so i could experience your blog. loving. trippy in all the best ways. but i'm likely to have nightmares considering that kicky cupcake image. i'll be back! following!


  19. ;-)) Your posts always make me smile. I am loving the look of that book wow its Psychedelic heaven ;-)) And i think your flowers look great and such gorgeous colours. I have to say i go topless in my garden but i would never go naked and defiantly not in public but each to their own and all that ;-)) dee x

  20. Thanks Michele and Diann! Dee - but you're such a cutie pie - whilst I am a humble pie ;) - so topless in the garden is not such a bad idea for you.

  21. i think you should have a give away for those gum drop flowers ... i sure could use a door stop! you won't catch me nekkid on the beach, either ... the older i get the less i want to undress at all ... i'm thinking of making the doctor put a blind fold on the next time i need a physical ...

    (i love that red thermos jug!)

  22. Good Golly Miss Molly!! What's up with those gumdrops???!! We will keep in mind that those deserts that are flops...we need only to add cool whip and it will be the most delicious thing ever!!! Do tell....will it also cover up a burnt taste???? We are wondering.....

  23. LOLing at the blindfolded doc - scary in a whole new way! Yes, Cool Whip covers a multitude of sins but not much to do for burnt taste, I should know it's the flavor I am most famous for!

  24. I am loving these desserts, yes can they be a give away amor.


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