This weekend just past was 20’s weekend at Camp Omagh, between Milton and Oakville.  Amy and I have served as cooks for the last few years for this annual event.

In years past there has been a big themed dinner on Saturday night.  This has included a down-home country dinner and a tropical-themed dinner.  This year was much simpler.  We had lasagne (two kinds, chicken/spinach in Alfredo sauce and a more traditional beef/tomato sauce offering).  It is a long-standing Omagh tradition that dessert be provided at both lunch and supper.  The lunch dessert was carrot cake (I made the icing. There is something strangely satisfying about blending together half a kilogram of cream cheese and a whole kilogram of icing sugar.  I’m not sure words can fully express it.).  For dinner, we had originally planned trifle but plans tend to change.

Dessert was planned for 9:00 (it doubled as evening snack).  At about 7:30, I couldn’t find Amy (who is the head cook whenever we are both cooking somewhere.  For reasons why, please see these previous four articles) and I decided to take matters into my own hands because I didn’t know where she was and if she’d be back in time to orchestrate the culmination of her nebulous plans.  Amy had made mention of a layered dessert and had baked a very large, flat, cookie-sheet sized brownie to form part of it.  I knew she had planned to use Dream Whip and chocolate pudding in the concoction, so that’s where I began.

When cooking at a camp, one immediately becomes familiar with institutional sizes of ingredients.  The pudding powder came in a kilogram bag, the whole of which would require four litres of milk to mix up.  This is more than one of your US gallons.  I decided we didn’t need quite that much so made a half package.  It seemed gritty when I tasted it but I decided to press on.  Dream Whip is much quicker to produce and the packaging does not bear the same DO NOT OVER-BEAT warning that makes pudding preparation so hair-raising.  I mixed both and set aside.

I hewed the giant brownie in twain with a sizable knife and was immediately struck by a new problem:  How on earth to lift well over a square foot of brownie into a deeper pan without breaking it into tiny bits.  Camp is well equipped with very large spatulas and lifters and I cast my eyes thither.  Using the two largest lifters, I managed to get the half-brownie into a deep pan with a relatively minor amount of crumbling.  I spread this mighty cake product with half of my Dream Whip.  I knew this needed some colour and a flavour other than chocolate in order to be fully appreciated.

When trifle was the intent, we had asked for several cans of cherry pie filling and this became the middle portion of the finished product.  Watching cherry pie filling glorp onto a relatively pristinely white Dream Whip surface is not an event for the faint of heart.  I wielded my spoon with little mercy and soon the white was covered by a thick layer of really nasty looking (but very nice tasting) red.  The pudding (fortunately no longer gritty) went onto this which didn’t do much to improve the look of the thing.  It went from lumpy and red to lumpy and brown.

I hunted through the cupboards (being as it was the first weekend of camp, Mother Hubbard would have found them strangely homelike) and found some double-chocolate fudge sandwich cookies.  I crushed their hopes and dreams and also whole selves with an aluminum meat tenderizer (while whistling Maxwell’s Silver Hammer under my breath) and spread the shattered remains on top of the pudding.  The second level of brownie was called into service to act as a lid for this conglomeration and the remainder of the Dream Whip spread shroud-like over the top.  The last remnants of the crushed cookie formed the faintly crunchy topping to this unspeakable dessertarian mass.

People seemed to like it.

wishing to avoid an unpleasant scene