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Sunday, November 16, 2008

11/16/08 Why I won’t be asked to bring dessert this Thanksgiving

I can’t cook…sure I can follow a recipe, when I want to…but I’m WAY too creative for that (my gift is art). I have delusions that I’m a “foodie”…but only if you’re describing someone who loves good food. The problem is I’ve never taken the time to really learn and now I just don’t want to (you’ll see why). I’ll blame this primarily on my mother (I've learned as my kids have gotten older that you can always trace your faults back to your mom). She had 5 kids, 4 girls and she never taught us how to cook…didn’t want us in the kitchen actually (who can really blame her with 5 kids and a household to manage). Ohhhh my mom’s a great cook…wonderful meals every night, appetizers even, on Sunday nights. Sure we made fun of her serving us cow’s tongue with raisin sauce once (what did you think kids would say about a giant curved tongue with raisins stuck all over it…I still swear it had taste buds…we were ROTFL)…I think we made her cry. She would only break her form on the rare occasion she and Dad went out…frozen potpie night.

When I got to high school I had taken home ec. so I was allowed to try. I decided baking suited me well and I was good at it; even tackled filled éclairs once. So I branched out…I started adding my own spin to recipes…big mistake…my first memorable one was Jell-O with raisin bran cereal in it…let’s just say the raisins did fine…it was the flakes that were memorable. I got married and continued the adventure. Once I was given the task of bringing the cake to a holiday. I had a box of candy canes. Candy canes…buttercream icing…what could be better together I ask you? I crushed them into chips and added them to the icing. Let me inform you…candy cane chips in icing turn into mainly gross wet slimy goo with sticky centers that get stuck in your teeth (kinda like the Jell-O flakes). By now I was developing a reputation in the family.

Another holiday I was tasked again with a baked good. I decided on apple pie...I was going to show them all this time! I researched recipes and found the best homemade crust and apple filling recipe I could find. I bought my apples from the local orchard even. Now, how to dress it up…I found a photo in a cook book of a BEAUTIFUL looking apple pie! It had a lattice top with fluted edges…I’m and art ed. Major…I can sculpt like nobody’s business! There was even a tiny apple with leaves all made out of crust sitting in the middle…oooo. I was going to need to make a lot of crust for all that! The photo of the pie was a beautiful golden brown and it was shiny! I researched that glaze. I made my pie…I had so much crust my woven lattice (pinked edges- my addition) top crust was almost solid…I couldn’t even see the apples down in there, but I knew it would be delicious…it was glazed so many times it shined and the tiny apple in the center looked almost real.

I entered my parents house to ooos and ahhhs…I beamed. We finished the holiday meal and now it was time for the pie. My mom brought it to the table to serve and I couldn’t wait. She started to slice into it…what’s this…it’s too hard (maybe this is like pottery I’ve made…too much glaze?)? No worries, Mom smiles nothing phases her, and she goes to the kitchen for a big serrated knife. After a great deal of sawing she finally breaks through…I’m now hearing sniggers all around me. She lifts the first piece and I see it…the filling is sitting nicely on the bottom crust, but as she turns it sideways there’s a giant space between the filling and the top crust, which is so thick with all my lattice that it’s still hanging in the air like a triangular diving board! Full laughter now. Let’s just say I went home with almost all the pie (my mom had a backup dessert…she’s learning).

Now here’s the worst part…I threw the beloved pie into the trash can behind our apartment, wanting to forget it forever. Trash day came and went, almost a week went by and DH came home one night beckoning me to come out back. Just a few feet beyond where the trashcans are is the drive by which many in the apartments use to park. What was that in the drive?…damn those trash men for spilling…yep, there it was…my beloved top crust still looking perfect, still so shiny…didn’t it rain yesterday? I left it there.Since then my DH, has embellished the story (and to think I married him for his sense or humor). The story now goes, and he swears it's true, the next day it had tire tracks going over it that didn’t even break the tiny apple with leaves on top. Of course I have to hear about every failed recipe each holiday (I’ve only shared three here, but they have much more ammo). I’ve offered to bring something for Thanksgiving this year…I’m still waiting for the call back.

...I'm starting to collect post op recipes now.

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