But then one of my friends ruined summer for me when she said, “Sherri, you can bring the salad.”
“Well no, I will not bring the salad,” I said with a sigh. “You know that I am not good with a knife. I also get bored easily. Unless you want half a head of lettuce in a big bowl, decorated with chunks of carrots and tomatoes, don’t tell me to bring the salad.”
“Judy has gout,” my friend snapped. “This year she can’t do the salad.”
“Let’s just have Pop-Tarts,” I said.
“Not funny,” my friend growled.
“I wasn’t trying to be funny,” I said with a shrug. “I am serious about that suggestion. And I will be in charge of all preparation.”
“That will not happen,” my friend said crisply. “If you don’t want to do the salad, just bring a couple of dozen deviled eggs.”
“Are you kidding me?” I squeaked.
“How could anyone freak out about deviled eggs?”
“Remember my last experience with making a batch?” I cried. “The deviled stuff dripped over the sides of all the little egg halves.”
“Oh yeah,” my friend nodded. “You must have used too much mustard.”
“The stress of pitch-in party food preparation gives me hives,” I said. “If you request chips and paper goods, I’m good with that. OK? No problem. Tell me to bring name tags or hot dogs buns, an extra volley ball or alcohol. But I don’t want to be responsible for adding anything edible to social events.”
Well a few days ago a nice guy invited me to be his guest at a pool party.
Yes, girls and boys, it was a pitch-in pool party.
I assumed that since I am the female, he would designate me as the food maker.
Imagine my horror when he answered my text about what we should take to the pitch-in.
“Baked beans” is what he texted back to me.
Thank goodness we were not face-to-face since I immediately stuck my hyperventilating head in a brown paper bag.
“Oh no! He thinks I have skills! He thinks I can make baked beans!”
That usual you-don’t-measure-up movie started playing in my mind. … I am definitely not a great cook. No one ever gives me awards for housekeeping. And if you want to ride in my vehicle, I need a few days’ notice to find my shovel and use it in my car to clear a seat.
Right in the middle of my I-have-absolutely-no-skills movie, the most incredible thing happened.
Another text came through. My hands shook slightly as I reached for my phone.
The text read, “I have a pretty good recipe for baked beans.”
But I still wasn’t completely clear about what was going on. Was this guy offering to lend me the recipe because he assumes I can actually read a recipe and whip up a nontoxic dish because I also have a fully equipped kitchen?
But then a miracle …
“You could come over here to my house,” he wrote. “You can help me make the baked beans.”
“Help him?” I whispered to myself. “Help him … as in dumping the beans in the baking container and possibly popping open a beer for him so he can take a rest from all that cooking stress? Well yes, I absolutely can be his cooking assistant.”
The pool party was so fun. And the baked beans were also awesome!