Dear Friends and Family, I Apologize For My Crap Cooking

1795567_724115684753_1794814265_nYou guys remember last week I was whining and bitching about how hardly anyone ate my appetizers, which I stated on more than one occasion I would be making and bringing to put in my homemade football stadium appetizer tray that all the kiddies (and my husband) had requested? And after Christmas I was heartbroken because I baked cupcakes and only two of them were eaten, the rest sent with the grandparents to BINGO later in the week to give away to strangers?

…and you remember that time we had everyone over to our house to celebrate my daughter’s birthday and no one touched any of my pasta dishes I had spent about nine hours preparing by hand?

Or what about the time that my mom’s family had me prepare this big Mother’s Day meal for everyone, only for my cousins to bring in their own fucking food? Of course I use the phrase “their own fucking food” pretty loosely. They brought in Spaghetti-O’s and donuts.

Well, we’ve had another incident. I didn’t think there was going to be one, I mean I didn’t realize – after all of that – that the people hated my cooking so much. I mean to say that I didn’t accept it. Anyone else would have caught on a long time ago, but you know I’m a Stay At Home Mom. We don’t have much intelligence to work with (or so these people that don’t eat my cooking often tell me, or imply).

To the incident. In just about a month we’re going on a mandatory three-week vacation to Texas (mandatory because it’s to take my daughter to visit her biological father), so I’m trying to start weeding out some of the food items in the house. It’s also getting close to spring cleaning time, so when I saw I had a couple boxes of lasagna noodles, a gaggle of miscellaneous cheese, and a shit-ton of vegetables, I figured: why not, I’ll ask my mother-in-law to make some sauce and I’ll make everyone a nice, vegetarian lasagna.

Seemed nice enough, right?

We got there yesterday and I prepared the lasagna. It took about two hours to get together. Chopping, mixing, layering… Then I put it in the refrigerator and watched the rest of the Bulls game with my husband, while everyone took the dogs for a walk.

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Flash forward quite a few hours – pass over the dinner, which I thought was tasty; and the watching of figure skating on the Olympics – and we were getting in the car to head home. The minute the car door shut, my ten year old blurted out: “oh my gosh, Mommy… I want to tell you something, but I know it’s going to hurt your feelings. But I am supposed to not keep secrets, so here goes: while we were walking the dogs, Nick’s dad” [… that is my husband’s father she is referring to, my father-in-law …] “asked if you were using their sauce, then he said ‘well, at least that part will be good.'”

My husband looked like a deer in the headlights. I felt like I had been socked in the gut. That was a pretty mean thing to say, especially in front of little ears. Especially after I stood in their kitchen for two hours putting that crap lasagna together. And to say that the timing is bad is an understatement: this food-related insecurity, and “I can never do anything right by anyone,” has been building and building for some time, now. Remember the examples I started off with? That’s a microcosm of the incidences in which it seems as though everyone in our lives disapproves or dislikes literally everything that I do.

As I felt extremely hurt through the evening, and this morning; and realized how much I try to do these kinds of things so that people will like me, I decided that it’s time to issue everyone a formal letter of apology. And a promise.

Oh, I’m issuing a promise.

Here goes…

Dear Friends and Family,

I apologize for my crap cooking.

That appetizer you asked me to bring, only for it to be thrown in the trash. That time you came over to my house for dinner and drinks, only later admitted that you ate before you came. The fact that you flagrantly say – in front of us, regularly – that Chicagoans can’t cook, that I make certain things wrong, that you just prefer me to bring nothing…

I get it. My cooking sucks. My baking is probably awful, I wouldn’t know – I rarely eat it, for fear I’ll gain too much weight and that’ll give you all another thing to judge me for.

Obviously the people I live with have been having to choke down their three, square meals a day with a smile; all-the-while lamenting their unfortunate positions of having to swallow such tripe in the first place.

Quite clearly I don’t have taste buds either, because of the things I make that I do eat, I’ve always thought it tasted perfectly fine.

But, like I said: I get it. Just as I cannot get the majority of you to read my writing, I can’t get you to eat my deviled eggs or my caprese salads. When I suggested starting a cottage bakery, under the California Cottage Goods law, I saw you all cringe. Every, single one of you. I heard the pause as you said “…yeeah…” like you did when I asked if you read my blog. Or the surprised look on your faces when you hear I’ve written and published three books.

I get it so much that from now on, when you ask me to bring something I just won’t. Nope, I won’t be bringing an appetizer, or even a bag of potato chips. Nor a dessert. None of you will be invited into my home for meals anymore, either. You may be invited, but meals will not be served.

You may be thinking we could just order take-out when you grace us with your sophisticated palettes (what with all of your own cooking, most of which is akin to injecting myself with a syringe full of saturated fats and a hefty dose of Ex-Lax); but then I’d have to shell out more money that I’m still trying to recoup from all the thrown-away dishes of get-togethers-past. Nope, not a single cookie, cupcake, trifle, or apple pie will enter your doorway. No BLT bites will be offered, and certainly no BBQ with my homemade Chicago Steak and Chop sauce.

Consider this my whole-hearted apology. I can’t even imagine how insufferable this situation has been for all of you up until this point. Rest assured, you will all never have to tolerate such agony again.

This cook is hanging up her hat. The kitchen is closed.

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Christmas Cuntkies

Hey Christmas: go fuck yourself. Go fuck yourself with your stupid lights and stupid expectations and your stupid overspending and your stupid cookies. Seriously. Just go away already.

Alright, I’m not really that much of a grinch. Yes I am, but I’m fine with Christmas sticking around if people give me stuff.

I’m really revealing how much of an asshole I am, aren’t I. Shall we start over?

So Christmas cookies are my current bane of existence. There is a fucking timeline of just how the 2012 bake-a-thon derailed from a quaint, seasonal activity, to cursing obscenities and renaming them Christmas Cuntkies. And I am sure you all will not be surprised that I finally just gave the fuck up. Screaming.

Screaming so loudly the neighbors thought I had either cut off a limb, or finally won my ride in the paddywagon.

Last Thursday

11 o’clock at night, or as I like to call it:

the razor-lined chastity belt hour

I was desperate to avoid doing it with my husband. Running out of excuses (headache had been cured by Tylenol, I clearly wasn’t tired because I was still up and keeping myself busy), I decided to sit down and start planning a Christmas activity. Something quaint. Something that required research and planning. This would surely keep him from trying to get some.

So I sat down and made the list of cookies that I was going to bake. Fortunately, it worked in fending off Poor Nick’s attempts to engage in the thirty most awkward seconds of my life.

Unfortunately, I had no idea what I was signing up for.

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Last Friday

10 in the morning (ish)

Grocery shopping.

This trip to the grocery store would have been normal had I the foggiest idea just what in the fuck I needed to make my ridiculously ambitious (unrealistic) list of cookies. Here is where I admit something pretty big. While I bake cakes like a boss and wield pies like a hooker in Vegas wields her hoo-ha, cookies are always a mixed bag for me. If it’s a cut-and-dry chocolate chip, I’m fine. Anything else and I don’t even know what’s in it.

I was there until almost noon. I was there for so long that I forgot where I parked.

Later that day…

I started making the cookie dough for the first three batches. Then I remembered that I had committed to go to my knitting group, which happened to start approximately 15 minutes after I began the dough. So I finished the dough for those batches and passed the project on to Pookies and my mom. I figured if my mom’s hands were busy, they were less likely to steal shit while she babysat anyway.

Later that night…

I got home from knitting to find that those motherfuckers baked about 12 cookies and left the dough sitting out to spoil. Some of it was even shaped on the cookie sheets and then just never put in the oven.

Not only that, but for some ungodly reason there was flour everywhere. Fucking everywhere. I didn’t leave any part of the dough preparation to them, so I don’t even know why the shit was taken out. But it was and so there was flour on the floor. Flour all over the trash can. Flour on the carpet.

Even flour in my underpants (although that’s another issue altogether).

Saturday

For three hours, I cleaned up the debacle of flour. I cried a little as I threw away all the spoiled dough. In the end, I cursed and pouted and told my husband when he got home that Christmas cookies were not for me.

Sunday

Christmas cookies were for me again! I was back on the horse and ready to bake on Monday. I also began to consider whether or not I might be suffering from bipolar disorder, with such drastic cookie-related ups and downs.

Monday

The whole fucking day was devoted to baking cookies. Then a ream of bullshit came streaming out of nowhere, from problems with my husband’s crashed car situation to dramatics with my mother to a stream of errands for the upcoming princess tea party birthday party we’re having this weekend. The pinata I had worked on making from scratch fell apart. Three more little girls got added to the roster of kids.

So in the end I only got one batch of cookies done on Monday. Here’s were things really started going downhill because it was no longer just other people acting stupid, it was me learning just how poor I am at baking cookies.

I made peanut butter kiss cookies. They are supposed to be round and compact and cute looking. They came out looking like flat tits.

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Tuesday

I started off the day baking sugar cookies with peppermint chips. They looked fucking rad when they went into the oven. I thought surely this meant my cookie-baking nightmares had come to an end. The remaining 18 dozen cookies I would bake would be magical. They would reaffirm the Christmas spirit in our household. I even thought about putting on some Frank Sinatra Christmas music and prancing around in a Santa hat and shit.

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They came out looking like dog vomit. Fucking dog vomit with parts that you could see through, there was just so much grease.

I wasn’t ready to be discouraged, though. I threw all of them into a tupperware container for my husband to eat (he’ll eat anything) and moved on to the pecan turtles I saw on Pinterest. I know what you are all thinking: that’s awfully ambitious of you, B(itch)! With not one success yet, you moved on to something that you have never made, that can be a little complicated.

Yep. That’s exactly what I did.

What can I say? Maybe I wanted to doom the whole thing. Those little turtles looked like piles of dog shit when they came out.

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So my track record at that point was: spoiled dough, flour in my ass, peanut butter titties, dog puke, dog poop. That was when I began screaming. I may or may not have thrown cookies on the floor yelling “these aren’t Christmas cookies! They’re Christmas CUNTKIES!!!”

I calmed myself by eating about three-quarters of a bag of marshmallows and decided I would consider trying one more batch later in the evening. But then shit went to hell again in the other realms of life – I learned that I didn’t have enough tape to finish wrapping the family Christmas gifts, so had to go out and run yet another seemingly endless errand. Then my mother showed up to stop by on her way home from a funeral. I thought I was going to have an opportunity to wield my sword of snark at her for letting the dough get spoiled on Friday, but she walked in and I noticed she had a huge tag hanging from her sweater.

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“Uh … mom, did you wear that sweater to the funeral?”

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“Yeah, why?”

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“Because the tags are still noticeably hanging from it.”

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“Well how else do you expect me to return it after I wore it today?!”

And with that, I was done. Today I had to resume the princess tea party bullshit preparations. I got back to the baking I can actually do successfully – cakes, scones … basically anything that requires little enough attention to allow me to drink copious amounts  of wine whilst I stir.

No more Christmas Cuntkies for me, faithful blog followers. I guess I’ll just have to buy them.

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