That’s The Way The Cookie Crumbles

cookieThe idea of a holiday cookie exchange conjures up “Fun, Frolicking, Festiveness, and Frivolity” but there’s another reason I will forever call the events I planned the “F-word Cookie Exchange.” I think it will become abundantly clear when I tell you the two groups with which I attempted to organize these recent nightmares. My Writer’s Round Table and my Group Therapy.

Let’s listen in, shall we?

Writer’s Round Table Cookie Exchange

Me:  I know! Next time we meet, let’s each bring a plate of cookies for one of those fun trades, ok?

Member 1: Great, I’ll pick up a variety pack at Costco.

Member 2: Uh…you have to bake to be in a cookie exchange.

Member 1: Really?  That’s funny. You don’t write, yet you’re in our Round Table.

Me: C’mon folks, be nice. This is supposed to be just for fun.

Member 3: Why should I put major time and effort creating War & Peace cookies if someone else just brings Fifty Shades of Grey cookies.

Me: (Trying not to picture a Lady Finger handcuffed to the bedpost) I guess that’s true.  If we wanted store bought cookies, we could just head to the market.

Member 1: I prefer to spend my time using a pen, not a pin.

Me:  A pin?

Member 1: A rolling pin.

Member 3: You could always pick up those pre-made slice n’ bakes and just plop them onto cookies sheets.

Member 1: That’s cheating. And I feel that the Pillsbury Dough Boy is not a fully fleshed out character. What’s his true motivation for squealing when someone pokes him in the tummy? And shouldn’t he have an antagonist?

Me: Okay, seriously???

Member 4: Did you know that Ernest Hemingway adored his mother’s Toll House cookies so much it inspired his book title, “For Whom The Bell TOLLS?”

Me: I didn’t know that. You smart cookie, you!

Member 4: Nah, that’s pure fiction — I just made it up. Pretty good, eh? Don’t steal that. Speaking of, I call dibs on Oreos. Nobody else better plagiarize.

Member 2: You can’t copyright a sandwich cookie.

Me:  You know what?  Let’s forget this whole thing and stick with writing. A cookie exchange was a half-baked idea.

Member 1: Yeah, and you get those by the (baker’s) dozen.

Group Therapy Cookie Exchange

Me: We’ve all become so close and understanding of one another’s issues. What do you say we have a festive cookie exchange next time we meet? Everyone brings a platter with 3.5 dozen, ok?

Mr. OCD: I really can’t think about odd numbers.  Can we round up to 4 dozen? I would feel so much safer if things were even numbers.

Ms. Germaphobe: Can we make a pact that everyone wears gloves while we bake?

Mrs. Agoraphobic: I will only be able to attend if the cookies are distributed in my own home.

Miss Panic Attack: I’m starting to feel quite anxious that I might burn them all.

Mr. OCD: Just check the oven every 30 seconds, like I do.

Miss Chronic Depression: It’s really hard to get motivated for something this heavy. I’ll probably just spend the day sleeping. Although I once tried a cookie recipe called, “Pumpkin, Peanut, Prozac, Percocet Surprise Bites.”

Mr. Low Self-Esteem: My cookies will get pushed to the lonely back row and they’ll all still be there after our meeting. I just know it.

Ms. Borderline Personality: OMG, people! This isn’t all about you. It’s not even about cookies. I’ll confess that I’m sexually drawn to Bakers and Cooks in general and this entire conversation triggers my abandonment issues from the time the Head Chef for Marriott left me alone in Ikea housewares.

Mrs. Binge Eating Disorder:  I would like to graciously offer to bake on behalf of everyone else. I have each and every ingredient to make 103 different batches.

Mr. OCD: Can you round down to 102 batches? I would feel so much safer if . .

Therapist: I’m sorry, but that’s all the time we have for our session today. Good work everyone. Next week we’ll discuss favorite childhood cookie brands. Be prepared to feel a bit unsettled if Chips Ahoy comes up–but I’ll be right here with you the entire time and we’ll walk through it together.

 

 

 

 

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12 Potluck Party Personalities! Which One Are You?

potluckThe holidays have officially descended upon us and with this time of year harkens the arrival of the Potluck Party. Whether it be held at the office, school, church, or a relative/friend’s private residence, you’ll likely encounter some variation of the following personas:

  1. Potluck Prepper: Always bringing something to the gathering that requires a ton of preparation time. Proceeds to annoy the busy host in her own kitchen by opening the refrigerator and commenting “sheesh, how do you function in here?” and then thinks nothing of barricading an entire counter with the layout of different toppings as she assembles her ugly lettuce wraps.
  2. Potluck Planters Peanut-er: We get it – – you work, have kids, didn’t sleep, were sick all week, and in general “your time is ultra-valuable” so the can of Planter’s peanuts is your fall-back. But people with nut allergies are not digging it. Switch to beef jerky.
  3. Potluck Patenter: Owns the original copyright, trademark and patent for spinach dip! And thusly, in the name of all holy condiments, will wage a strategic war of subterfuge if you dare bring the same dish as her. Will either: a) rearrange platters so your contribution is in the back row. b) start a rumor that you used expired sour cream. c) offer guests $1 incentive for each bite they ingest of her concoction, $2 per obnoxious lip smack and $5 to the person who loudly declares her The Royal Dip Queen.
  4. Potluck Preliminary Packager: Very worried that she won’t get to bring any of her grub back home at the end of the evening so will prematurely wrap up several servings under the guise that it’s So & So’s favorite thing in the entire world, but they couldn’t come tonight. Let’s call up So & So and just see about that, shall we? The jig is up- – this doggy-bag is actually FOR YOU!
  5. Potluck Plastic-er: Cannot be bothered to transfer the contents out of the carton that it originally came in.
  6. Potluck Pricetagger: Eager to show off what she spent on her gourmet donation. Sometimes unintentionally left on and it’s so mortifying for them to know that there’s a tell-tale red-tag clearance item, they’ll douse it with sauce or frosting.
  7. Potluck Pasta PickerOuter: Brings a spaghetti dish but realizes that there’s inadvertently mushrooms in the sauce! Stands over her contribution for twenty minutes, sifting out every last ghastly fungus, never thinking that other guests might love those disgusting, rubbery toadstools.**
  8. Potluck Prider: Makes a dramatic entrance coming in late and then a huge production setting down her entrée, often simulating a drum-roll and exclaiming, “At long last, the mac n’ cheese has arrived!”
  9. Potluck Puny Portioner: This personality grew up with food rations and even though they knew full well that the host was expecting 40 guests, brings a cheesecake that serves six. Throughout the evening, they are constantly emphasizing how RICH the dessert is, thus justifying their paper thin slices.
  10. Potluck Panic-er: This person lets the whole invitational food farce upset them so much (what can they possibly bring?  OMG!) that days before the event they cancel with a mother-in-law excuse. The mother-in-law passed away three years ago.
  11. Potluck Paprika-er: Has a philosophy that everything looks better with orangish/rust colored sprinkles on top. Will paprika anything from egg-salad to birthday cake.
  12. Potluck Pedestal Presentation-er: Highly skilled in the art of display. Owns the fanciest crystal bowls and sterling-silver footed cake plates. Has a strong believe that the appetite begins in the eyes, which is rooted in the fact that one of his parents was an ophthalmology chef.
  13. Potluck Putrid Prankster: Stays up nights thinking of the dish they can bring that will emit the foulest odor. It will contain limburger cheese.
  14. Potluck Punctuality Person (NOT!): Swears they will be on time but inevitably signs up for an appetizer and then arrives when desserts are served.
  15. Potluck Papergooder:  No matter how many varied food group choices are on the list to sign up for, this person consistently gravitates to either plates, cups or utensils. They simply feel they cannot be trusted with real food.
  16. Potluck Peter Piper Pickled Pepper: “Tongue-Twister” is their name and “burn your mouth off with HOT n’ SPICY” is their game!

4 Types of Potluck Party Planners!

(The hosts themselves can often be categorized!)

  1. Potluck Prayer:  A host that secretly does not want to return dishes and vessels to the guests who brought them and is actually praying that taking them into the kitchen under the guise of “washing them out” will lead to “out of sight, out of mind” and thus increase and strengthen their personal Tupperware arsenal.
  2. Potluck Pretender: Offers to hold a potluck under the guise that it’s laid back and easy. “Bring whatever you want, everything goes,” is their mantra at first.  This should be a red flag that the day before their affair, you’ll get a call where they insist in an ominous tone that five people are bringing brownies and if you do not bring something with protein in it, (preferably steak) you’ll be arrested by the Carb police.
  3. Potluck Piler:  The host who holds back an entire dish for his or her own use because it’s their favorite and they don’t know how to cook it themselves.  These people cannot help themselves.  They spy an incoming “cheese soufflé” and immediately think “I could bring this to Jody’s party this Sunday!” You can easily recognize them because they have bruises on their foreheads from where they slap themselves while loudly uttering, “Would you look at that!  I completely forgot to put out your Velveeta thingy.  But never fear, it shan’t go to waste around here.”
  4. Potluck Passive(aggressive-er):  Starts out choosing a seemingly innocent theme. Either It’s a Small World, Breakfast For Dinner or Finger Foods. As an example of their subversive, covert demeanor, let’s say you bring soup to this last theme above — They will reassure you that all is well, and that they adore chicken broth, then suddenly blurt out, “Well I guess now we all NEED spoons, don’t we?” followed by a loud clattering in the kitchen.

** If you couldn’t tell, the author is #7.

UPDATE!  Here’s a direct link to the following!  Scroll down and please vote for team Hickson!  Right HERE!   NEWS!  I have been participating in a special collaborator phase of an exciting contest called “A Star is Born” (produced by The Neighborhood’s Kendall F. Person) when I was truly honored to be asked to team up with the one and only hilariously funny man, Ned Hickson. The voting will take place in less than 24 hours (!) Sunday, Dec. 6th at 7 pm so just click HERE to support Team Hickson in our humorous antics because updates will be posted frequently and a link to vote will magically appear at 7 pm!