Sometimes you heard tales told by friends about their friends, and although you don’t really know the people involved (and in some cases you’ve never met them), the stories become part of your own treasure trove of stories.
Our friend David’s friend John’s mother (who I have never met) was a Seventh Day Adventist and apparently kept to their food rules, including using whole-wheat flour and avoiding the use of sugar. Her cookies were sweetened with honey, rock hard and tasteless. Her son called them Granny’s Death Drops. My friends and I now use that as a name for something that should be delicious which has been altered to make it healthier, and in the process has become something that is no longer a treat.
It’s like when you decide to make chocolate chip cookies, but you worry about your kids eating too much sugar and chocolate, so you use whole wheat flour, carob chips, and honey instead of sugar. Instead of crisp, delicious cookies with melting chunks of chocolate, you get hard, dry cookies studded with angry nuggets of not-chocolate – Granny’s Death Drops.
Then there was a cinnamon roll I had recently. The baker had gone the whole whole-wheat flour route, so the goodie was super-dense. The glaze had half the amount of sugar it probably needed, and to offset that, double the amount of cinnamon. It was very like a cinnamon covered hockey puck – another excellent example of a Granny’s Death Drop. Somewhere I heard a Cinnabon sticky roll crying in sympathy.
If you want to cut fat and sugar out of your diet, go ahead and do it. Eat fruit for dessert, bake whole-wheat bread and slather honey on it for dessert. Just, for pity’s sake, STOP trying to recreate the desserts you really love without all the fat, white sugar, and white flour that make them so delicious in the first place. That way lies madness…and Granny’s Death Drops. And your friends will smile, thank you kindly, and take your mean little not-dessert and throw it over the railing of the Bay Bridge as they go home, just like John used to do with his Granny’s Death Drops!
It does make me think of how my Granddad used to think that Metrecal Weight Loss shakes weren’t half bad once you’d added some ice cream and chocolate syrup! He went the opposite way and made something kind of delicious out of something inherently tasteless.