Several weeks ago I made a Prune and Armagnac Gingerbread that was greatly enjoyed by all. I made it for a reunion with some friends I hadn't seen in years. Friends from my sordid conservative evangelical past, to tell you the truth, and I wasn't sure what had changed over the years with them, or what hadn't changed. As for myself, I have veered decidedly leftwards.
It such situations, it always helps to make a fabulous dessert. Especially in this case, since a fissure had developed late in the main course. We were eating by candlelight at my friend Annie's house, and were just finishing up some grilled salmon. Maryanne and Keith are the ones, out of everyone at the table, to have held onto a lot of their convictions, it turns out, not that anyone had been grilling them. Whenever John and I have to explain that we're Mennonite we have to go into a long set piece about how Mennonites don't all drive buggies, and so forth. Now that we go to a Mennonite church that was rejected from the local Mennonite conference for sanctioning gay/lesbian partnerships, we have even more explaining to do. In this case it was met with a truly surprised and baffled "Oh."
And then about 2.5 seconds of silence until Annie, ever the diplomat, suddenly expressed her delight that the candles weren't dripping. Onward and upward with the meal, and the spicy, sensuous dark gingerbread seemed to restore our good cheer. And perhaps the prunes will do some good yet.