Kentville — Relatives who gathered for a family reunion in Kentville, N.S. this weekend were delighted to witness Aunt Barbara, 54, place what appeared to be a decadent chocolate cake on the table next to a potato salad and a macaroni casserole.
After distant cousins finally helped themselves to a third plateful of sweet-and-sour meatballs and scalloped potatoes, it became evident that the dessert course was next; before long someone would inevitably cut the cake that had been sitting tantalizingly smothered in what would appear to any reasonable person to be chocolate icing.
“I was giving Aunt Barb the benefit of the doubt, because the other desserts didn’t look very good,” said Tom Grant, nephew to Barbara. “She’s been known to bring some weird stuff to these things — like carrot cake that’s like 90 percent carrot with no icing, or a fruit tray with mostly honeydew melon — but I figured even she couldn’t screw up a basic chocolate cake. I was wrong.”
“Yeah… I bit into it and noticed right away that it had an unpleasant texture,” added Martina Grant, Barb’s teenaged niece. “It was watery and grainy and when I swallowed it, it left a bitter aftertaste in my mouth. And the icing tasted and felt like melted crayons. I asked her about it and she was like ‘I substituted the butter and sugar for pureed zucchini — it’s just as good as chocolate with less than a third of the calories.’ How is that just as good?!”
A Manatee reporter interviewed Barbara’s sister Karen McNeil to find out what Barb’s deal is with cake.
“Oh, it’s not just desserts she ruins in the name of health,” said McNeil. “On Thanksgiving last year she said she’d bring the turkey stuffing. It was literally just some old dried-out herbs she pulled from her garden mixed with some gluten-free bread crumbs from god-knows-where. Then there was the church fundraiser where she promised to bring the main course and it was a freakin’ vegetable tray she picked up at Superstore on the way over.”
Our reporter spoke with Aunt Barb for her version of events.
“I just go on Allrecipes.com and search for a favourite dish, then I take out the fatty or sweet ingredients and replace them with a watered-down puree of a vegetable no one can even spell. It saves money and fat, and people can’t tell the difference,” Barb said, placing almost the entire leftover “chocolate” cake in a Tupperware container. “Sometimes instead of using flour, I dry lentils and grind them into a powder. Or when I host a barbecue I just grill tofu and put it between buns. I think everyone appreciates my concern for their health.”
“I dunno… I think that if you promise dessert, you should bring dessert, not a dessert you’ve turned into a salad,” concluded Tom. “Aunt Barb’s been misleading everyone for years and the chocolate cake thing was the last straw. But don’t tell her I said that — knowing her she’ll probably start putting actual straw in her cakes. She doesn’t need any more bright ideas.”