Holiday Cooking Slacker

It’s come to my attention that during the holidays there are two
kinds of people in the world.
There are those who enjoy spending hours in the kitchen baking
things like pies, and cookies and fudge from scratch, and those who
prefer eating them. Bet you can’t guess which category I’m in.
It’s come to my attention that during the holidays there are two kinds of people in the world.

There are those who enjoy spending hours in the kitchen baking things like pies, and cookies and fudge from scratch, and those who prefer eating them. Bet you can’t guess which category I’m in.

That said, it’s not that I’m lazy or incompetent. I blame the pressure. I mean from Thanksgiving through Christmas Day, my cooking will be out from under the radar and exposed to Public Scrutiny.

Which means people will see just what sort of horrible things go on in my kitchen. And then, as they say, the gig is up. Everyone will know just what kind of big fat Cooking Slacker I am.

Now don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I don’t try. But, hey, everyone has their own unique personal strength. With some it’s sewing. With others it’s tennis. Or playing music. Or, well, holiday baking. With me, it happens to be shoe shopping.

But like most people with impairments, I’ve learned to work around it. For instance, whenever we’re invited to a holiday dinner party, I do what any cooking-challenged person would do: I panic, then break out the Cuisinart and the cheap wine, and then invent a sort of vegetable faker dip made from canned artichoke hearts, sour cream and whatever random herbs stashed in the back of the cupboard.

And really with one good bring-to-your-house sort of recipe and enough sour cream a person could pretty much get through the holiday season.

That is, if it weren’t for all of the platefuls of baked goods floating around. I mean, just when you think you’ve made it through the season, a nice, well-meaning neighbor will bring over a plate full of gourmet fudge. And another will bring cookies. And then peanut brittle.

And on and on, until your kitchen is filled with just the sort of homemade holiday-ish delicacies that make you look really, really bad.

This, of course, leaves you with two choices: 1) Saying “thanks” and eating it, or 2) reciprocate by also giving them – ahem – your homemade baked goods.

And, sure, while option one sounds tempting, we all know it’s not neighborly nor in the Christmas spirit. So that pretty much leaves you (and, of course by “you” I really mean “me”) with the more appropriate yet culinary stressful option number two.

And, sure, I’d like to say that out of the goodness of my heart and guilt (okay, mostly guilt) I bought a cookbook, learned to make all sorts of holiday goodies, and became an enthusiastic holiday baker.

But all of you should know by now that you won’t get that sort of ending here. Rather, I resorted to much less lofty, but more practical Plan B which was to thinly disguise my hoard by combining the cookies with all of the fudge and the popcorn balls and the brownies, rearranging it all on new plates, and handing them back out again.

Oh all right, some of you may call this “cheating,” but I prefer to call “recycling.” Which we all know is socially acceptable and good for the environment.

The really nice thing about the Holiday Baking Season is that it’s only four weeks long and just when you think that maybe, just maybe you should learn how to bake something presentable, it’ll be January and you’ll be safely back to your old non-baking slacker ways. And no one will know any different.

At least until Easter.

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