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I'm not Miss Manners but there are some social graces that I hate to see fall out of fashion. Door holding is one, RSVPing another. (I can see when you've open my Paperless Post invitation—why not just respond?) I was brought up with the notion that you arrive on time, you dress for the occasion, and you always, always serve dessert to dinner guests.
Yes, dessert is a non-negotiable. Even at times when I can tell that people are stuffed, I offer dessert, because that is what a good host does. My mother knows this, and while she'll serve store-bought ice cream in a pinch, there's hardly a time when she can't at least fall back on the whipped cream-cake-and-fruit routine. The good old WCCF: learn it, live it, love it.
It's surprising how delicious this combination is: a cloud of light, milky, freshly whipped cream dolloped over sliced fruit (macerated in a little sugar if out of season) and a slice of cake. Doesn't cake take a long time to make? Not pound cake—it will take you about 15 minutes to throw together and you'll have breakfast for the next morning too.
As the first strawberries arrive, I like to make this version. It's delicious on its own thanks to the combination of the almost birthday cake-like vanilla crumb and the pockets of strawberries, but add some fresh fruit and some whipped cream on top and it rocks as a WCCF.
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