Tessamae, You Saved My Day

If it weren’t for Tessamae’s Creamy Ranch Dip, I would be as off the Whole30 wagon right now as my husband.

Seriously. Dr. Awesome Inhaler of Cake and Pizza didn’t last five minutes around the party food. I’m not sure what did it: the fact that he could see those cheesy, tempting pizzas, that fact that he could smell them, or the fact that he’d paid for them. (He didn’t want more of his money to end up in the trash.)

When you host a party for predominantly five-year-olds, you waste a lot of food. A preschooler may tell you he wants cake and both kinds of ice cream, or a kid-sized slice of cheese and another of pepperoni, but most preschoolers have eyes bigger than their stomachs. Even if you think you are cutting them minuscule slices and scooping their ice cream with a teaspoon, half of all that food, on those adorable themed paper plates, ends up in the trash.

Normally none of our preschoolers’ leftovers end up in the trash, and that’s one reason why we have resorted to a Whole30.

I mentioned the first trouble I had on Day 1, realizing I could not lick my fingers. But when you’re cutting a cake, icing gets everywhere. Cutting it for the guests wasn’t such a problem, because no one wants to see you lick icing from your hands and then use those hands to cut the cake. But later, transferring the leftovers, was rough. I never felt so much like a sugar junkie in all my life. My hands were literally shaking with the effort it took not to put that icing in my mouth.

I have a bit of what the Whole30 book calls a “Sugar Dragon.”

If I had one taste, I would quickly devour a huge piece of cake, and then any of my kids’ leftovers. And then, since the party was at my house and I couldn’t escape the leftover cake, half the rest of that, too. If you think I am exaggerating, congratulations! You clearly don’t have a sugar problem.

But some of you might know exactly what I’m talking about.

Anyway, normally I am not one to buy $5 condiments. But as I was sailing through Harris Teeter on Monday morning to pick up the world’s biggest cake….


(OK, I now know a half sheet is excessive, but originally I had 32 RSVPs. This was our first grocery-store cake, because Pete wanted “a huge airplane cake.” And although it was cute, it apparently failed the taste test. He says he wants a homemade cake next year.)

…and a few carrot sticks and apple slices to round out lunch for the kids, I passed by the cold salad dressings. The bottle of Tessamae’s (Whole30 compliant) Creamy Ranch caught my eye. Despite the fact that spending $4.99 for a bottle of ranch raises the hairs on the back of my cheap neck, I bought it. It was a whim, or perhaps that good angel on my shoulder was gearing up to fight off my Sugar Demon Dragon.

Then I picked up my boy and a friend from preschool and drove home. Fifteen hungry, overexcited four-and-five-year-olds descended upon Awesome Airport for Pete’s 5th Birthday Party.

My blood pressure started its ascent.

But, my resolve prepared for take-off! We knuckled down and started entertaining those kids. We danced to Laurie Berkner’s “The Airplane Song.” We made adorable candy airplanes. We played rounds of airplane-airplane-jet (duck-duck-goose). We served the pizza… Whew! We were rolling! Then I realized that had only taken 45 minutes and we still had over an hour of party left. I immediately needed an oxygen mask.


(Smarties, life-savers, gum, rubber band.)

I mean, we burst out the pinata and threw them outside in the yard to play.

If it weren’t for carrot sticks and ranch dip, and then a Chomps stick around 2 o’clock, I would have crash-landed as heavily into that pizza and cake as my co-pilot. (I took a picture of him stuffing his face, but somehow, it got deleted. I wonder.)

But I didn’t crash, and I feel simultaneously elated and exhausted. I don’t know how preschool teachers do it. I managed to get rid of the rest of the pizza by feeding it to the kids for dinner and giving some away. There was so much cake left over…


…and that was after I gave chunks of it away. So we put it in opaque containers in the back of the freezer. I may come to regret that later, but I don’t think so. It can make a debut at Easter.

In the meantime, as a friend told me last night– Huzzah! I’m 10% done with my Whole30 already!

Actually, I do feel really good. So far I’m still flying on the wings of personal victory. Can this carry me over to the alleged “Tiger Blood” phase? Time will tell. Meanwhile, Day 4 has also come and gone. It’s been busy and that has distracted me a bit, but my old Sugar Dragon has come a knockin’. I am trying to ignore him.





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