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When did whipped cream become the default topping on pie or bread pudding or pancakes with strawberries?

Sometimes when I eat out, I forget to opt out. So my pancakes or desert comes slathered with the ubiquitous topping. Don’t want it, don’t need it, won’t eat it!

As with so many things in my life, it all goes back to Mom, and my Mom did not do whipped cream. It wasn’t out of concern for calories or fat grams because when I was growing up, people knew nothing of such things. Mothers, including mine, were forever baking up batches of chocolate-chip cookies and sumptuous deserts.

Deserts were my mother’s forte. Her pies with their flaky, melt-in-your-mouth crusts, her cherry coffee cake with tart cherries from trees in our back yard, and her lemon meringue pie with exactly the right blend of tartness and sweetness and a meringue topping gently browned in the oven—all were perfection.

And like any person who does something to perfection, my Mom was a purist. Not one to guild the lily, she served her pie plain. No whipped cream on top, no ice cream on the side, nothing!

Things are different now. I watch my diet carefully, I scrutinize nutritional labels, and I use 1% milk on my seven-grain cereal. But from time to time, I make an apple pie, and it’s every bit(e) as good as Mom’s!

I know that the crust is loaded with fat grams. After all, the only ingredients are flour, salt, water, and fat of some kind. I eat it slowly, savoring every bite. I share it, and I save some for the next day. What could be better with a hot cup of coffee in the morning than a warm piece of apple pie, plain apple pie? Nothing could be better!

Photo by slawek-wojcik

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