Saturday, December 09, 2006

Caterers Who Don't Like Desserts

Recently, my husband and I have both been to a banquet, separately. On both occasions, the dinner was fine. I think my turkey dinner was a little better than his, but overall, the meal was appetizing & tasty.

However, on neither occasion was the dessert appetizing, tasty or even appealing. In fact, it was somewhat appalling. At the banquet I was at, it was obvious that they tried hard and I would give them "A" for effort. But a small piece of chocolate cake, covered with some custard/pudding stuff, and topped with either bright pink or bright green whipping cream (piped at least) and sprinkles didn't only look unappetizing but didn't taste great either.

At my husband's banquet, there didn't even seem to be much effort. I think it was probably called "Strawberry Shortcake" but it was a small piece of white cake with a couple of strawberries and a smear of whipped cream.

These are only two examples of numerous events we have been to where the meal was great but the dessert left something to be desired.

Now I will admit right up front that I like desserts. I like to eat them and I like to make them. I'm somewhat frugal so I tend to search out recipes that look and taste great but don't take a lot of unusual and/or expensive ingredients. So maybe someone could say that I'm being picky. That may be so.

But I ask, how hard is it to make a wonderfully tasting dessert? The KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) definitely applies. Wouldn't you rather have a simple apple or rhubarb crisp topped with a dollop of real whipped cream rather than an awful tasting fancy dessert? I know I would. Or what about a real chocolate cake or pineapple upside down cake? Or trifle? Or a simple whipped cheesecake with a simple fruit topping?

There are so many choices for desserts out there. I wonder why caterers feel they can foist these awful tasting desserts on their clients and why their clients let them! Why do we put up with it? Why don't we tell them that all of the meal needs to taste good, not just the main course?

And do caterers not realize how it impacts their business? We have been having our ladies' banquet at the same place for several years. I think next year, we'll be looking for another place to host it.

My brother got married several years ago. They chose the caterer that had the best reputation. Part of her reputation? Fantastic cheesecakes! They were truly wonderful. And you know what? Even I, the frugal one, would be willing to pay more to be guaranteed a wonderful meal.

It's not really that expensive either. Like I said, there are ways to be frugal but it's still possible to use real food as the ingredients. That goes a long way to making each part of the meal very yummy.

Someday, I think I will go into business and make my name on having the best desserts around!

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