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Vol. Chocolate No. Chocolate

Organized chaos is just around the corner, leaving this Saturday for the OBX (The Outer Banks, N.C.) for our yearly family reunion with 40 relatives, maybe more this year since people keep insisting on procreating and so the list gets longer and longer and there's so much laughter and eating and ping pong and movies and yelling kids all you can do is go shopping. It's a drama-free week, no trying to drown your husband, no trying to poison your wife (too many witnesses) and everyone catches up with everyone else — this is both sides — all my husband's kith and my kin.

Did I mention the 13 birthdays we celebrate with the cake of choice for each recipient each night, so count 'em, thirteen desserts, singing and blowing out candles, and the cakes and pies and eclairs keep piling up so by the end of the week the 10-foot long bar is lined up with bedraggled dessert debris, but here's the good news, our baker Tom at Tullio's, claims it's a well-known fact in the bakers' community that the longer the desserts last, the calories dematerialize, so by the final bite of the strawberry short cake, which, I might add, looks pretty repellent all mixed together with the other desserts because the same knife was used so it's like eating maybe three different goodies in one bite, and I ask you, who wants to mix peanut butter cookie pieces with key lime pie, with a touch of old strawberry on top? But hey — no calories, at least with the old strawberry. (It's a pity not all birthday dessert requests are chocolate, you could mix them all together and who cares?) And to be honest here, kids will eat ANYTHING, no matter its presentation or lack thereof.

Elastic waist pants all around. No buttons, just chaos and calories.

Below are photos of some of Tom the Baker's birthday cakes. Look away if your thighs start pulsing.

Happy Father's Day and First Day of Summer —