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11.17.2010

BAKED GOODS, POTLUCKS, BUFFETS AND OCD

Unless I know you fairly well, feel comfortable that you are a good cook, have exemplary kitchen cleanliness conduct and have three references who will vouch for all the above statements, I will not eat your baked goods you bring me at Christmas.  I will take them from you as you stand on my doorstep, politely thanking you for the thoughtfulness and that they look delicious, but will close to immediately throw them away.  After a proper amount of time that I think it might take to have actually eaten whatever candied bread, sprinkled cookies that have been over baked, dried out fudge, dipped pretzels and some small round balls dipped in I think, powdered sugar, I will return the plate or pen a thank you.  But I will do that without ever having eaten anything on the plate or a bite from your "13th Day Of Christmas Bread".  Really I have become quite gifted at creating thank you notes that directly thank the kindness while indirectly skirting the goodie, the taste or falsely encouraging the giver that I love it so much I want to eat some more of it.  I have what you call baked goods, potluck and buffet OCD - that is obsessive compulsive disorder.    Just typing these words and strolling through my mind of various and assorted baked goods that have been bestowed on me over the years, while thinking of all the church potlucks and buffets I have endured over my life, I am saying "ew" and shaking my head at the same time.  Church potlucks and buffets are another food form that I just can't stomach very easily.  25 years of church potlucks while in church ministry have caused a deep and wide dislike and abhorrence of them.  If I cannot eat baked goods given me by folks I don't have close and intimate relationships with, how readily do you think I can eat off a church potluck table or restaurant buffet!  Potlucks are interesting.  People bring whatever they want in whatever proportion they choose to be shared by others.  There is usually 20 bags of chips, 6 salads of varying A,B,C,D & F quality.  Some poor soul who made bologna sandwiches and cut them in fourths triangularly, someone else who made a large pot of Kraft macaroni and cheese now thick and clumpy from sitting out for an hour and the small dish of something pink and fluffy with what appears to be grains of rice or small mealy worms in it.   If you are unfortunate enough to be the last through the potluck line, then beware.  This is where you will find only dishes that were so unappealing to those in line earlier, left with little or nothing removed from them.  There will be nothing resembling the four main food groups left - only chips, a cereal bowl size serving dish of cole slaw, black olives and few cheese cubes now soaked in the black olive juice and one small scoop of spaghetti casserole that was cooked in the church oven nearly 3 hours ago.  These delights, to be eaten, will have to be washed down with that wonderful watery lemonade that is served in huge orange drink coolers just for the occasion.  As a cook, if you take any or all of your dish you brought to the potluck home with you it is a direct statement saying, "You are a bad cook!"  Buffets also gross me out!  People leering and leaning over vats of food that relatively all taste close to the same as they have been cooked in the same vat.  I once was in line in a buffet behind a woman who was breastfeeding as she pushed her plate down the buffet line casually ladling items on her plate while cradling her child who was securely latched onto a breast.  I was greatly disturbed on so many levels.  It further solidified my view of how wrong buffets are in general.  So, if you feel the need to bake a holiday goodie tray for me, please also include a Polaroid snapshot of the kitchen, leave the small balls dipped in powdered sugar off my tray and write on the inside of the Christmas card 3 references who can attest to the range and scope of your baking skills and kitchen conditions.  And whatever you do, please do not bring a crock pot of beans and weenies to the next church potluck!     

1 comment:

  1. LOL LOL LOL...if I know the cook chews their fingernails or licks their fingers or spoon while cooking....ew ew ew...not a fan.

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