Monday, December 15, 2008

A snowy day

Every Sunday two members of our choir are supposed to bring treats for the choir, to give us strength to sing exquisitely, and then to help us recover after we have sung exquisitely. This basically means preparing breakfast for sixty people. For some, this is a competitive event, with choristers vying for the title of the most lavish and delicious treats bringer. For years, when Rebecca was in the choir, we worked together on the treats, and gave folks a run for their money. This was all due to Rebecca, of course. She planned the menu, and was the general in the kitchen, assigning me menial duties to get the task done. When Rebecca started back to school, she did not have time to sing in the choir anymore, but she still helped me with the treats, and last year Tom and I did the cooking, while Rebecca directed from afar via phone and email. This year I was on my own – no Tom, and Rebecca too busy to care about my treat troubles. I fretted all week about what to bring, and by Friday --- nay, Saturday morning, or even Saturday afternoon, I still hadn’t really decided what to make. Then after I had shopped for several options, I was so overwhelmed by the immensity of the treat ordeal that I took a nap. My treat partner called to tell me that if it was snowing, she would not be there, nor would her treats. Aaaaak! Finally, about eight in the evening, I swung into gear and made two kinds of focaccia, some barley soup which I was planning to serve in a crock pot, some boiled eggs to devil in the morning, and I prepared some raw fruits and vegetables. Once I got moving, I became enthusiastic, and enjoyed cooking – but I sure had been a slow starter. I went to bed about one, fretted all night about the treats, got up at five and found the world covered in white. There was snow and a big sheet of ice outside my garage, which is on a hill, so I opted to walk. This meant no soup and no drinks as I had to carry it all by hand. Since this was a “women only” Sunday, and the snow prevented many from coming, the numbers were few and my treats were minimally adequate, even without my partner’s help. This all reminded me of a Christmas pot luck at a job I had many years ago. It too was rather competitive, and I prided myself on bringing something spectacular every time. This year, however, I was in a funk and did not feel like doing a thing. I had planned some elaborate dessert from Julia Child, but when the evening to cook arrived I felt that I just could not do it. I looked in the refrigerator and found some apple tart filling left over from some other fabulous Julia Child dessert, and some homemade cranberry sauce left over from Thanksgiving. No doubt the applesauce, which had brandy and orange zest in it, was left over from Thanksgiving as well. I rooted about some more and decided to make some Bird’s Custard Pudding and fancy it up. I made the custard and put in the apple stuff. The milk in the pudding instantly curdled. Unfazed, I picked out the curds – large rubbery things - and discarded them. I put the resulting concoction in a nice dish with the cranberry sauce layered in like a parfait. When the morning came, I was humiliated about my dessert, and talked another woman who had brought apple juice into trading and saying she had made my dish and I would present her apple juice. Since she was the apple juice bringer type, everyone was amazed that she had brought real food. The odd dessert was the success of the party, and everyone pestered her for the recipe. She was mortified, and finally admitted that it was my doing. Then they wanted the recipe from me, but I had to claim that it was a family secret, as the dish was really quite unreproducible.


BobbieRN said...

I LOVE YOUR BLOG! I also received your Good Reads. I will send mine after I sleep for two days. Took me all day to get home but now I have the time to read and I am toasty. Have a great Christmas. Bobbie

Knitman said...

Oh Dear! I could juts tell that your 'diasterous' pudding was going to be a hit!
Thanks for a good read! Oh I sahll mae sure you are in my bloglines now too.

lv2knit said...

That is really quite a funny story!