Friday, November 14, 2008

Potluck Pout

I am a potluck loser.
The first time it happened was after I first got married. I was just barely trying to step into the whole wife scene when there was a potluck at church. I worked all day putting together this fancy Oreo cheesecake. The fact that it didn't set up right was probably because I had used the low fat cream cheese.
You know me, I have a bad habit of trying to cut calories in my desserts instead of doing the smart thing which would be to actually cut out the dessert. So, I ended up sacrificing the quality of my cheesecake, but it was 1/3 less fat than normal cheesecake. I think that it actually might be a good weight loss strategy because when a cheesecake looks as pathetic as mine did nobody wants to eat it and ends up getting 100% less fat than they would have gotten had it been made according to the recipe. But, once again, if nobody else eats it I usually end up taking it home and eating the whole thing myself which ends up giving me five times as much fat as I would have gotten otherwise.
There in the middle of the jungle of beautiful desserts was th runny, droopy, lopsided, black and white pile that was my cheesecake. I kept a close eye on the table monitoring its progress. It was like watching a wall-flower at a dance. One by one the pretty neighboring dishes were scooped up and swept away to be enjoyed, while my dumpy, be-spectacled, pocket-protector-wearing cheesecake sat untouched. At one point I noticed that a small square had been taken from one corner and scanned the plates to see which person had been the good Samaritan that took pity on the thing. It didn't take me long to find the square sitting next to me, on Brandon's plate. I appreciated him for being supportive, but it only added to the desperate-ness of the situation. It was like my wall-flower had been asked to dance by a well-meaning elderly married chaperone who was only asking because he couldn't stand to watch anymore. I felt horrible to have subjected it to such humiliation. Secretly I was even a little horrified by my creation. Like Victor Frankenstein I abandoned the monster that I, myself, had brought into existance. At the end of the night I tried to get out of there without anyone knowing that I had brought the cheesecake. I left it and vowed that I would never claim the plate that I had also left behind. Honestly, I was crushed.
Since then I have never skimped calories on a potluck item.
It doesn't seem to make much of a difference because no matter what I make, it hardly ever gets eaten. I wondered if it was because I don't have any nice plates to display, or if I just pick things to prepare that nobody else likes, or if it is that I'm just a potluck loser. After awhile the sting started to wear off. Then I started making things that I really liked because I knew that I would get to take it home. Never again would I lose a good plate out of disgust. From then on I continued to watch the serving table, hoping that my dish would remain untouched.
Tonight we went to a pizza party with some people from Brandon's program. Everyone was supposed to bring toppings and we were all going to make pizzas to share. I worked all day getting the goods ready for a Jamaican jerk pizza, a recipe from the California Pizza Kitchen. It is an awesome recipe, I know because Grandma Jolley made it a couple of times for us when we were living with her. When I said all day, I'm not exaggerating. I was a little worried that this time it would get eaten. But, the fates were in my corner tonight. With the exception of a diced onion, we ended up bringing everything else home with us.
It's a little sick what continual rejection can do to a person. I had become the girl who didn't dance because she "didn't want to."
Incidentally, on Sunday our ward had a potluck and Brandon made a pumpkin cake. Of course, it was almost completely gone when we left. That is because he is a potluck winner.
I have often worried that there may be other losers out there like me. That is why I eat so much at such get-togethers. I sample a little bit of everything. Nobody is going to be a wall-flower when I'm around. It isn't a gluttonous gorging, but a selfless act on my part
I have learned that there is one thing that I can make that will get eaten every time. Whoopie Pies are my staple and you can bet that the next time anyone asks me to come to a pizza party that is what I'll take.


Chels said...

I can totally sympathize with you. Ask Tyler about my "brown peach jello surprise" that I took to our first extended family dinner. It was humiliating...

Callie said...

we've all been there. And yes, it does hurt your feelings! Just stick with those things you KNOW you are good at. And Marci, believe in yourself, after all, one of your talents is cooking! :)

Adam and Cara Rigby said...

You are so funny. I felt so bad for your little cheesecake. I am however, glad to hear that things went much better with the pizza!

Sharstin said...

Dude--I totally would have tried your cheesecake! I love all of your posts--they are too funny! I miss you friend!

Jacob and Stephanie said...

Oh my gosh! I feel the same way. I know exactly what that's like. I think I can count on two fingers (he he) how many times what I've brought was a hit. We'll be potluck losers together OK?