Getting to church on time seems to be a problem for the Sarks, and even Ani and I ran out of time trying to get there a bit earlier for our nephew's first communion so we could stash the dr bob kitchen team produced industrial size tiramisu in the church basement refrigerator and still get an isle seat for the dr bob photo service action. So bob decided to leave it at home and return afterwards to get it. A fateful chance decision that put bob back in the car just in time to catch a major chunk of This American Life talking about our heartless INS Immigration and Naturalization Service bureaucrats who are waging a war against noncitizen widows whose American citizen husbands died before the 2 year waiting period for citizenship ended. This story is pretty incredible, since any reasonable person and several federal judges who ruled on this would think it makes no sense to strip these wives of their status as spouses of US citizens. One woman had a baby, born in the US as the daughter of an American citizen, and could not believe what was happening to her. The INS said the baby could stay, but the mom had to go. Insane. Here I was surrounded by immigrants back at the church, and listening to this tale about fascist aspects of the people empowered by our democracy to do the right thing. And they are not doing it in a big way. Why do people who get some power over others and achieve some degree of shielding from any just oversight, why do they seem to just love to abuse helpless people who get caught in their web?
So the first-communionee barkev's mom (bob's sister-in-law) Nora loves tiramisu and asked bob to make some for the after-communion reception for family and friends at the Armenian Catholic Church on the Main Line. With a feeding target of around 40, a double batch was required and a big disposable rectangular aluminum foil pan to hold it. The troublesome question of which liqueur to use was answered by a half and half mixture of the last remnants of our supply of chocolate chip cookie cream liqueur (discontinued by the manufacturer?) and tiramisu liqueur (not easily procured either).
Meanwhile an inquiry went out via email to the youngest daughter of the Italian mom Maria whose daughter introduced bob to tiramisu around 1980: how did tiramisu enter her mom's kitchen? The answer came back. She had seen it in a cookbook and tried it. Of course try it once and you are hooked. The origins of the dessert are in dispute, but the first published recipes date back to around that time, so bob was lucky to get in at the beginning of what has become the most popular Italian dessert in the world in a relatively short time.