The rest of the custard is packed up to take to my 97-year-old grandmother's house. That's what started this whole thing. Several years ago, after suffering a series of health issues, my grandmother lost her appetite, and my family began scheming ways to get her to eat more. My mom—knowing that my grandmother liked custard—was the one who first suggested crème brûlée, and dug out a recipe from a trusted cookbook. Sometime after her first batch, my dad took over, turning the task of hospice into a personal obsession. I think my grandmother was a bit perplexed by her grown son delivering delicate desserts to her on a weekly basis, but she ate them dutifully, and the family shared a collective sigh of relief. My mom can't help but remind us that it was all her idea. My sister and I laugh every time a good-natured fight breaks out over whose crème brûlée it truly is. I have taken to siding with my mom; I know that her smart remarks are about more than a familial rivalry. With every insistence that my dad has outdone himself in the kitchen, we miss the thousands of times she outdid herself quietly, under the much less glamorous pressures of daily life.