Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Proceed with Caution

My attempt at a costume for a Christmas party; I was being Cousin Eddy's wife from the movie, "Christmas Vacation"
Every ultra-hip housewife knows of activities in her domestic lexicon that should best be avoided, in order to cut back on ovens belching smoke, death by food, tornadoes and other natural disasters. Let's face it, no one is good at everything--and some of us, like myself, are either really good at something...or really, really bad at something else. Here are the things that I genuinely suck at in the world of the happy home.

1. Entertaining. Despite my insane teenage days where a party was happening as soon as the school bell rang, I seem to have lost that ability as soon as I turned twenty. Maybe it's because I sobered up, and a party no longer involves a keg and police sirens. Now, my inner Martha Stewart invites herself along whenever a get-together is arranged, and while she's shrieking in my ear, suddenly I'm obsessing about folding the napkins into swan-like shapes and forgetting that food and enough chairs might be involved. This is torture in some countries.

2. Sewing. I was SO grateful for that D- I got in HomeEc in 7th grade. We made a skirt, and the sewing machine only blew up twice. Although, watch out...I am feeling the yen for seam allowances and needle impaled fingers once again, she said with an evil laugh.

3. Roasting a chicken. This one is weird, because I can roast a turkey like a pro. In fact, this last Thanksgiving, our pipes froze, and I still cooked a majestic Pilgrim bird despite having to boil water for cooking and washing all day long. And yet, the equation of chicken + oven always, always winds up with a truly fowl result that seems done, and yet bleeds all over the plate. So if you're coming over for a PARTY where I am serving roast chicken, you should know that I really don't like you, and you should leave town as fast as possible.

4. Making Christmas divinity. Let me tell you, folks. Divinity is not divine. It is evil, pure, sugary evil. Every year, for twenty plus years, I have made divinity at Christmas time. You would think that with such experience, I would just be able to whip up a batch and that would be it. OH NO! Every time, and I mean EVERY time, I must make one batch that looks oh so pretty and yet mocks me with its refusal to transform from egg white goo into candy. The next batch is just fine. Maybe next year I will have proved my worth to the divinity gods and one batch will be all I'll have to make. One can always dream.

4. Making gravy. This one is slowly being conquered. It took figuring out that automatically dumping cornstarch into meat broth just resulted in meaty corn lumps. Yummy in my tummy! Now I actually follow the directions, and things are much better.

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