With the pandemic and all, it’s been quite some time since the Dashing Dialog Diner has made an appearance, either at an eatery or in the Dialog.
So we decided the annual creampuff gorge fest by way of the Oblate Sisters of St. Francis de Sales and their many, invaluable helpers at Mount Aviat Academy was as good a time as any to dive back into the random food reviews, especially with Fish Fry season about to kick in.
For those who may not recall, DDD has made random appearances throughout the diocese weighing in on food offerings from crispy fish to creamy potato salad to massive creampuffs and more. The food-review effort was hindered by the pandemic and resulting shutdown and ongoing restrictions aimed at limiting the spread of coronavirus.
Today, creampuffs made us forget about all that.
Word from our creampuff insiders is the merry band of pastry bakers made a record 7,000 of the crusty, creamy gems, all in the name of fundraising.
The method is tried-and-true. The midnight crew makes the shells and once they have cooled they can start filling the puffs with homemade pudding.
The event draws school families and community members, but some people come as far as Virginia for a delicious creampuff. All orders are taken in advance for this once-a-year event due to the number of cream puffs that need to be made.
It is the 27th year the school has had a day devoted to the confectionary treat, but Oblate Sister Joseph Margaret, who has been in charge of all of them, said the sisters began making them for the school bazaar some 55 years ago. The bazaar is now in its 60th year and still has cream puffs.
“Cream Puff Day” – as it is officially known — is a fundraiser for the Oblate Sisters of St. Francis de Sales, who have owned and staffed Mount Aviat Academy since it opened as a kindergarten in 1954. There was a high school from 1960-72, and in 1969, a first grade was added to the kindergarten. The school added a grade each year until 1977.
The funds go to wherever the greatest need exists, Sister Joseph Margaret said, a decision made by the sisters.
Anyway, back to the Dashing Diner, who began the day with a surprise dozen supplied by colleague Amanda Cathcart, who trucked over to Childs, Md., to make the pickup at the school. No sooner had the Dashing Diner wiped the powdered sugar from his chin that the phone rang from the first floor of the chancery building. It seems one of the sisters had made a special delivery for Bishop Koenig and Bishop Emeritus Malooly, and also included a half-dozen for the Dialog staff as a measure of thanks for a preview story that helped boost their advance sales (for the record, the Dashing Diner discourages bribery, but these are cream puffs!).
As for the review, these treats did not disappoint. The crispy shells are baked to perfection and the vanilla pudding is plentiful. An ongoing debate exists about whether creampuffs should consist of whipped cream or pudding filling, but we’re too stuffed to debate about anything.