“Bring It and I’ll Fix It!”

Made some Hawaiian Pineapple Dessert the other night and it was not bad. Pineapple is right up there with lemons in the springtime for me. Not sure why but it may have something to do with its color. Yellow is fresh and new as any shade of green, and the sweetness of pineapple is a nice counter to the tart of lemons. Mr. S is partial to lemons — I think pineapple doesn’t necessarily agree with him, if you know what I’m sayin’ — so I took the dessert to my book group and they ate it up. While I was out, Mr. S set about replacing the toilet in the guest bathroom. It wasn’t broken, but it was old and leaking a bit and the wax ring had gotten all messed up and the toilet seemed about to give up the ghost, and that’s when Mr. S got out his tools.

I used to kind of tease him about his tools. He has so many of them in the garage and his work room downstairs. Thing is, even with two storage places, he seems to leave tools in every room of the house, whether repairs are being made or not. This once seemed somehow counterintuitive to me, but he did point out my affinity for kitchen utensils and how I decorate with bowls and spoons and how there is always something sitting out on the counter, and he is right. It isn’t fair that I can scatter my favorite things about without him being able to do the same.

So the toilet installation has been a three day event, and throughout all of it he came out to report progress in a language I don’t quite understand. But I try. “Well, that didn’t work,” he said yesterday. “I got a 5/8 instead of a ½ but I made the old one fit just fine. That wax seal was really messed up but I got ‘er. I sure got ‘er. I am gonna turn off the water for a while and we’ll see about getting it all in place.” Which he did. And, bless his heart, he invited me to be the first to use the toilet. I politely declined. “The honor ought to be yours,” I told him. He asked if we had any champagne, and we didn’t, so – there in the bathroom – we raised glasses of wine and toasted the new toilet. And he informed me late last evening that the new toilet does, indeed, work, and that he feels really good about it. I told him I was glad and I thanked him.

Today, when I was putting together a grocery list of things to pick up before the impending snow storm, I hollered out his name and there was no answer. I went lookin’, and sure enough, there he was admiring the new toilet, polishing it with a brand new flour sack towel. “Ain’t it a beauty,” he said. “Now I’m thinkin’ that tile needs some attention,” as he gestured toward the tub. “How ‘bout I rip that out and we put in something nice and new?” I smiled. New tile would be nice. Might even be worth a couple weeks of tools scattered about. Then he kissed my forehead. “I feel like a MAN!” he exclaimed. “Bring it and I’ll FIX IT!” Well, that right there is about the most hepped up Mr. S gets, and I confess I rather like it. It’s good to feel good about domestic accomplishments. It’s good to feel productive. And so our springtime goes, and one more winter storm to go and I’m thinkin’ we’re over the hump.

Here’s a sure thing for a spring time day. Pineapple, cream cheese, pudding and whipped cream, and a bit of toasted coconut to top it off.

Hawaiian Pineapple Dessert

1 yellow cake mix (regular size)
3 packages (3.4 ounces each) instant vanilla pudding mix
4 cups cold milk
1-1/2 tsp coconut extract
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1 20 oz can crushed pineapple, well drained
2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped and sweetened
2+ cups flaked coconut, toasted

Mix cake batter according to package directions. Pour into two
greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pans. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes
or until the cakes test done. Cool.

In a large bowl, combine pudding mixes, milk and coconut extract;
beat for 2 minutes. Add the cream cheese and beat well. Stir in
pineapple. Spread over the cooled cakes. Top with whipped cream; sprinkle with
coconut. Chill for at least 2 hours.

This recipe makes 24 servings, and can be frozen.



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