I wrote this two years ago, right before Thanksgiving. (And The Wretched Obli.) You know, it’s funny; this year I only have to bring rolls.
So, this is a rerun, but a holiday rerun.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE!!
So my mom called a few weeks ago to ask me to bring dessert for Thanksgiving:
Mom: Bring that thing you made a few years ago.
Me: What thing?
Mom: Hmm … well, it was good.
Me: Okaaay. What was it?
Mom: Well, I thought YOU’D remember.
Me: Hmm. Well, Mom, I just have no idea …… how do you remember it but you don’t remember what it WAS?
Mom: Well, how could you make something you don’t remember?
Which one of us was Costello in this roundy-round conversation??
Mom: Just bring the thing. You’ll figure it out. Bye.
What the heck was “THE THING”?
I ruminated. I asked my siblings. I scoured my cookbooks. Pointless. Nothing jumped out as “THE THING.” (And, let’s face it, how good could it have been if no one even remembered it?) I was definitely becoming stressed. Finally, My Beloved spoke the soul-stirring, freedom-giving words, “Why are you trying to remember something that no one else remembers? Just make a new ‘thing.'”
As I looked at MB, glowing like that angel from that stupid angel show, the dessert-darkened clouds in my mind lifted and the spirit of Betty Crocker spoke to me, echoing MB’s words of liberty: “Make a new ‘thing.'”
I was, indeed, “Touched by an Angel.”
So … onto the new “thing.” What to make? I ruminated. I asked my siblings. I scoured my cookbooks. Nothing. The angel glow faded and MB looked eerily human again. Finally, yesterday afternoon, I resorted to searching online for something … anything. I soon discovered blessed salvation in the form of a recipe for “Black-Bottom Chocolate Cream Pie.” It all seemed so simple. Chocolate cookie crust. Chocolate cream filling. And topping. Creamy, homemade, chocolate deliciousness. Anyone could do it.
So last night was a quaint scene of cheery holiday baking. Everything was going fine. Frankly, I thought I was doing an excellent job. Chocolate cream filling completed, I began the traditional taste tests. Hmmm …. it seemed just …. okay-ish.
I thought the cream filling was not living up to its creamy potential.
I thought the cream filling could be richer.
I thought the cream filling could taste better.
And, clearly, I thought I was the one to fix it. My heart swelled. My mission was clear.
Certain that my baking prowess could save this pie, I began adding a little of this, a pinch of that, too much of something else. I was mad with power and high on chocolate. I glanced at my reflection in the window and startled at the chocolate-covered person staring back at me. Undeterred, I kept creating. I had become …. the pie god.
And you know, even after I knew I had killed it, I kept going, like a doctor trying to revive a long-gone patient until someone finally takes the paddles away. Beholding this trauma scene, My Beloved surveyed the damage, approached me, and gently but firmly took away my spoons. “Let it go,” he urged. I looked down at my dead pie. It was jiggly, pathetic, and pale in death, the sickly color of a MacDonald’s chocolate milkshake. No death with dignity for this confection. It suddenly dawned on me that I had spent that extra 45 minutes, fiddling, fiddling, all to create …. Jello. Jello, which takes 5 minutes to make. Jello, which comes in convenient Snak-Paks in the grocery store aisle and tastes much better than my homemade pie of death. Right now, my poor pie sits in the fridge, mournfully awaiting proper burial. Somewhere, Bill Cosby is laughing, scooping his damn JELL-O in dainty spoonfuls.
Shaddup, Bill. Your sweaters suck.
And in my oven as I write this post is Dessert No. 2: “Caramel Apple Spice Cake.”
My NEW new thing. Hope I don’t kill it, too.
(Anyway …. have a Happy Thanksgiving, all!)