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Thursday, September 14, 2006

The horror of it all….

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On occasion, I find myself pondering the fact that I tend to allow myself to be somewhat of a doormat, and last night was no exception. My lovely friends came over for dinner.

Great, right? An evening of celebration and joy and wine and yummy food, right?

Hehe. I will admit to having a good time, but only because I put myself in ‘duck’ mode and allowed all irritating comments to slide off my back. Or did I? Knowing my friends, I made a point not to act offended, and I’m not truly offended, just a little pissed.

To refresh your memories, my two friends (who are sisters) were scheduled to come for dinner, and also managed to dictate that I was to make a certain salmon dish, as well as a certain type of salad. And I decided to be nice and accommodate these requests. I can't say I didn't see this coming, but at least it makes for an amusing story for y'all to read....

Well dammit if it didn’t piss me right off. First, on Tuesday night, I spent a substantial amount of getting the house ready and setting a lovely table. It really did look nice and inviting and very classy (luuuurve the new table and dishes!). I also wracked my brain trying to figure out some sort of appetizer that would be enjoyed by all (my friends are quite picky and not exactly gourmets….). I made the classic – taco dip.

Turns out taco dip is a favourite (yay!) but that mine was a bit too spicy (the nerve). Whatever – it looked pretty sweet with my snazzy glass serving dish set atop a gorgeous pfaltzgraff night surf platter. I enjoyed it, despite its purported ‘spiciness.’

Anyway, I was happy that at least the prep work I had done was not all for naught. Well…fast-forward to making that blasted recipe.

First, if you’re a regular blog reader, you probably already know that I love to cook and consider myself a pretty decent cook. I also don’t like to follow recipes as written – recipes are guidelines, imho. Now, the recipe in question was pan-fried salmon with julienned vegetables and a simple sauce (recommended that it be served with rice).

When my friends arrived, I was busy chopping the veggies. Note that I say chopping and not julienning (for those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, a ‘julienne’ cut vegetable looks like a matchstick – you can imagine how much time and effort it would take to get 2 cups of julienned carrot, 1 cup of julienned parsnip and 1 cup of julienned red pepper, especially because my knives are not terribly sharp). Anyway, I was just cutting the carrot in wafer thin slices. Apparently, that was a disappointment to the bride-to-be, who had anticipated julienned veggies. Bride’s sister bravely said to b-t-b that it didn’t matter, they would eat what they were served (gee, thanks!).

On to further disappointments….the recipe called for ¼ c. apple jelly. I didn’t have apple jelly and wasn’t about to buy it (because we never use jam). So I substituted apricot. I made the horrific mistake of mentioning this to the bride, and she said “oh, it’s not going to work then.” Um….yeah, it’s going to work, and it will be hardly any different than using apple. The role of the ‘jelly’ in the recipe was to provide some sweetness and fruitiness to the sauce, without a real distinctive flavour….apricot is often melted and used the glaze fruit tarts, so I knew that it would work just fine. After reassuring the blasted bride that I wouldn’t destroy her precious recipe (and why did I invite them again????!???), we continued.

Apparently, I need a lot of guidance in the kitchen because everything I did was watched, criticized, until the bride-to-be could take it no longer and just sort of took over the cooking. Gah. After the sauce was made (and salmon and veggies cooked), bride’s sister complained there wasn’t enough sauce (good lord – the quantities I made were EXACTLY the same as the sainted recipe – obviously, the recipe is coming up short….but this quantitative difference was blamed on the apricot jam).

Bride-to-be did eventually admit that the apricot was not the complete disaster that she had envisioned, but that it would definitely have been better with apple. Thanks. Glad I invited you INTO MY HOUSE so you could criticize everything. Even better, the rice ended up a little bit dry, so bride’s sister made a big point of saying that she just couldn’t finish the rice because it was just too undercooked for her. You know, I understand if you don’t like something, but just claim you’re full and just leave it on the plate. Don’t tell me three bloody times how the rice was inedible (which it wasn’t, it was just a bit dry).

Also interesting is the fact that bride-to-be admitted that she was very worried about how I’d fare with the recipe and that she had thought about phoning to ask if I needed any help, or whatever. Don’t worry, I’m not insulted.

Anyway, the bride’s sister brought cake, which was actually very lovely and very tasty – she made four little cakes and decorated them and they looked very cute. So I thanked her profusely for it.

Can I just say that next time I meet these friends, it’s never ever going to be at my house again. I could never go into someone’s home and treat them that way and I’m not going to be insulted like that again.


Anonymous said...

As if! You are making them dinner and a dinner they specifically asked for and they are now insulting you for it?!?!!

I noticed you kept referring to them as "friends" you might want to rethink that one. :)

Anonymous said...

I am INFURIATED just reading that. I give you a lot of credit for not dumping their dinner all over them! -marlene

Anonymous said...

WOW! I would never have been able to hold myself back from letting the sisters know what I really think of them! Was there any other guests there? Didn't anyone remind them that they were GUESTS in someone elses home?

I agree with the PP. I'm surprised you choose have "friends" like that in your life.

By the way, I like spicy food, so I'm sure your dip was super yummy :)

Anonymous said...

BOOH on them for not being gracious guests.

As for the julienned vegetables, you're right, chopping would definitely not be a pleasant experience. But I just wanted to mention that I bought a japanese mandolin from Home Outfitters (it's actually German) for 49$ and it is worth every penny. SO SO SO useful, you can julienne any vegetable your heart desires.


Anonymous said...


HumanUnit said...

Kudos to you for being able to keep a sense of humour about the debacle. I would have been homicidal after the appetizer course! How have these two managed to make it to adulthood without provoking someone into braining them?

You can virtually cook for me anytime! Mmmmm taco dip...

BubblyBunny said...

Haha...I read your blog once in awhile b/c I really enjoy reading about your crazy friends. I like how you see humour in everything; I guess it's humour or spend the evening pulling out the hair. :P

BTW, I love spicy dips I'm sure your recipe is fantastic! YOu should post that on your blog! :)

~ Bunny

Anonymous said...

Wow........ I'm impressed that you didn't snap at them. I don't think I would be able to handle it!

Anonymous said...

Wow, those are two rude ducks!!
You sound like an amazing cook and your obvious passion for cooking has inspired me on more than one occasion. If I were you, I would end this "friendship"

Anonymous said...

What rude little girls! It's amazing you didn't flip on them. I've read about your many adventures in the kitchen and you are obviously a great cook--your friends probably know this and want to trip you up!
Regardless, someone should've taught them some manners long ago about dining at other people's homes: eat what's in front of you, whether you like it or not; and never, EVER, do you criticize your meal in front of the chef.
Argh! It gets me mad just reading about it.
Good for you on keeping your cool.

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