Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Under-domesticated Girl`s Guide to Getting Pot-Lucky (Canadian Edition)

Once upon a time I was young.  Being young meant that going to parties involved bringing a very large bottle of vodka and/or a 24 of Canadian, and that was pretty much it.

Being a grown-up is different.  Gone are the days of people being impressed with your ability to chug 8 litres of hard liquor through a hose without puking for 30 seconds.  Now you have to prove to everyone that you are a functional member of society based on your ability to mold fancy hors d`oeuvres into the shape of a swan while holding down a job that grants both medical AND dental benefits, and investing in your child`s Harvard Law future.  Adulthood is the worst!

Being a grown-up does not suit me for many reasons. I am a commitmentophobe who is afraid of babies and I can`t cook at all.  Not even a little.  I mean, I`ve never actually poisoned anyone with my cooking, but I`ve also never really impressed anyone with it either.  Maybe because when I find something I think might be fun to make I start reading the recipe and then just get really bored. The story is always the same: Add salt, stir until thick, cook for blah blah blah...  And there`s never any character development!

Being a grown-up means that you have to pre-plan for parties so you can show off your outstanding culinary skills in a way that is not only delicious, but also clever, whimsical, and adorable.  You have to make people at the party say things like "Oh my goodness I think my tongue just had an orgasm", because that is the kind of thing that not-young people like to say at parties and then everyone laughs because it is silly and edgy and hilariously inappropriate. People will tell you that the thing they made was really no big deal and that they just whipped it up at the last minute, but they are lying. Fruit does not naturally come shaped like flowers. You are fooling no-one.

Being a grown-up means pretending that you are from Europe, so you have classy European habits.  And I`m not referring to Henry Miller`s Tropic of Cancer kind of Europe. I mean like stereotype Europe.  You can no longer justify that pizza is nutritious because it has cheese and vegetables.  You have to have a more sophisticated palate and pretend like Foie Gras isn`t a completely disturbing concept.  But here`s the secret weapon that will protect all my fellow under-domesticated grown-ups from being sucked into the culture of adulthood: Grown-ups are nostalgic for their youth.

So, with that in mind, here are a couple of great ideas from my kitchen to yours on how to Pot Luck with the best of them without surpassing the cooking skills of a 10 year old.

1. Rolled up Balls of Cookie Dough
People like cookies, but approximately 99% of people like raw cookie dough way more. (I made up this statistic. It`s probably correct though.)  But you can`t just bring a tube of pre-made store bought cookie dough to a party because that`s really tacky. So what you do is buy the tube of pre-made cookie dough and then roll it into little balls and arrange nicely on a plate that doesn`t showcase the fact that you`re poor.
*Super Fun Twist*
If you, like me, have had a few too many bellinis from Milestones and have been collecting the colourful little plastic animals they put on top, this is a perfect opportunity to put them to use. Place them firmly in the cookie dough balls for a funtastic treat! If you don`t have any little plastic animals, improvise. Be creative. The sky is the limit!

2. Kraft Dinner with Little Pieces of Hot Dog
Prepare two boxes of Kraft Dinner. Follow the instructions or don`t, it`s your call.  Make some hot dogs. Cooking method is not important for the hot dogs.  Quantity is also up to your discretion. After the hot dogs have been cooked all the way through, cut them up so they make little hot dog circles. Place the hot dog circles in the Kraft Dinner and stir half-heartedly.  No need to overexert yourself.  Place in serving dish that doesn`t showcase the fact that your poor.
* Vegetarian Twist*
Do not add little pieces of hot dog
Also makes for a good hangover snack the next day.

3. Bacon
Other people will try and outdo you by make something fancy and then wrapping it with bacon, but why mess with a classic? Everybody loves bacon.

4. 1960`s Jello Cake With Fruit Chunks
This dessert is both over and under-rated.  It is entirely possible that nobody will eat it, but everyone will appreciate you for bringing it. I have not used this one yet.  Feel free to let me know how it works out.

Moral of the story:  Being a grown-up is about facing new responsibilities and trying new things, but we all long for reminders of our youth.  If we really think hard, being young wasn`t all that great, and we spent most of the time wishing we were grown-ups.  Adults get to take the best-of moments and find some campy way of bringing it back to life and sharing it with others who need to be reminded of just how special the Garbage Pail Kids were.  Grown-ups will tell you that we hate Call Me Maybe and we only dance to it to be ironic, but deep down we dance to it because it`s fun to be young without all the bullshit.