Sunday, August 23, 2009

I'm still taking Buffy's Shiitake.

So my non-friend Buffy called me last week while I was playing darts with my friends Rip and Speed Racer. Buffy's pregnant, her husband's unemployed, she just moved across the country to start this dream job which has turned out to be a nightmare (they didn't inform her that she'd have to cover her tattoos, for one thing), she's living in a shithole one bedroom apartment in a crap part of From Whence She Came, and in addition to her twelve-year-old son Princeton (who's an absolute doll), she has Perfect Baby who's 15 months and they can barely afford to pay for her child care. She can't figure out where her life went wrong.

She called me because she was hoping to make a deposit into The Great Bank of Karma, after having provided me countless opportunities to rack up a whopping nine-figure balance. In other words, she wanted to do something "nice" for me after having called on me to bail her out of shitty situation after shitty situation for the last year.

Her husband Dummy was packing up their house before he and Princeton and Buffy's sister hopped in the U-Haul and drove all the way back to From Whence. She wanted to know if I'd like to have the non-perishables and stuff from their pantry.

The more I thought about it, though, this wasn't exactly her doing a selfless, nice thing for me. This was, "Here, come over to the house and take this shit off my hands and save me a trip to the church Food Pantry. Make me feel like a good person for giving it away instead of chucking it all." Still, hey, I'll never turn down free food. Unless it's pickles. I fucking hate pickles. But I digress.

Dummy and Buffy's sister loaded up two big boxes and a bag of stuff. It was mostly baking stuff like spices, a huge bottle of olive oil, pasta... this isn't even all of it. This is just the stuff I haven't gone through yet.

In the interest of full disclosure, they did give me a bottle of Crown Royal with about two shots left in it (not pictured), but kids, trust me - if someone gives you a big bag of Shiitake, read IMPENDING DOOM.

I looked through the stuff and found a couple of things that stood out to me, including two-year-old macaroni, which didn't really phase me too much because I've been known to bury things in the back of the pantry and forget I have it, and then I'll buy more so it stays buried. That happens. No big deal.

I have a really awful habit of extending people the benefit of the doubt long after they've proven to me they don't deserve it.

I didn't feel too bad about pitching the 2007 macaroni. Or the Folgers Crystals that looked more like Folgers Chunks.

Or the Cream of Wheat from 2005, which no one in my family would have eaten anyway, even if it was new.

This stuff has been sitting on my kitchen floor for a few days because I don't even have room for all of it. I'll have to re-think the space where I keep my spices and baking stuff before I can put it away, and I haven't had the time or the energy to do it.

Fast forward to yesterday morning. We had plans to go out to Chez Inlaw for the Annual Community Luau, followed by a family celebration for FIL's birthday. So not only did I have to go out there and spend a day kissing FIL's ass (and if you're new to my blog, it might behoove you to check out at least some of the backstory on FIL), I had to do it while wearing a dipshit Hawaiian shirt, surrounded by other people wearing dipshit Hawaiian shirts. Fantastic.

Traditionally, I bake some desserty thing with a pound or more of butter in it to take out as our gift to FIL. He likes my peppermint fudge, my pumpkin muffins, my cheesecake, and particularly my cookies.

You may recall that the last time we went out there, my Snickerdoodles were a smash hit. They're quick, they're easy, I usually have all of the ingredients - Awesome, I thought, I'll make Snickerdoodles. I think I remember seeing some Crisco in the box of stuff from Buffy.

I measured out a cup of the Crisco from the Buffy box, gleefully recalling my long-term homicidal plan to fill my FIL full of as many artery-clogging substances as possible. I sifted the dry ingredients, did everything according to the recipe, and popped them in the oven.

My Facebook pals might recall the status update "It looked like frosting. It was Crisco. Need I say more?" I posted that right after I tasted the cookie dough. I thought I'd just tasted a bit that didn't get mixed in very well and had an abundance of Crisco in it. See what you're missing if you're not on Facebook?

Normally, I love the smell of cookies baking. Who doesn't? But these cookies didn't produce any sort of aroma at all. Weird.

The Snickerdoodles were just beautiful when I took them out of the oven. Lovely, perfect golden brown. FIL would be so impressed. The kids wanted to eat them right away, but I said No, guys, these are for Grandpa. And, of course, as soon as they left the room, I popped one into my mouth. Y'know, just to see if they tasted as heavenly as they looked.


Oh, God. It was the WORST, most hideous, repulsive, putrid, foul... words fail me. The Crisco had spoiled, so it didn't just taste nasty like a spoonful of Crisco, it tasted like rancid Crisco. I can still taste it.

Yes, there was a tiny part of my brain that thought it might be amusing to serve them to FIL just to see what would happen. But the more pressing issue was that now I had to come up with something else to take out there. And we were leaving in about twenty minutes. FUCK. You guys know I stress out enough every time I go out there, and this shit, I did NOT need.

Just to recap, I'm about to leave the house to spend an entire day celebrating the birth of the man who has made the last twelve years of my life (and the last thrity-eight years of my husband's) absolute hell, I'm wearing a hideous dipshit Hawaiian shirt, I can't get the taste of rancid Crisco out of my mouth or out of my kitchen (or my garage, since I threw the cookies, the dough, and the tub of Crisco out), and now I have no yummy, cholesterol-laden treat to take out for our Sacrifice to lay before FIL in twenty minutes.

We ended up stopping by the grocery store and buying a forty-dollar chocolate pie. And you bet your ass I made sure to leave the price tag on it.

So, once again, kids, our old pal Buffy has screwed me, this time while allegedly trying to be nice. From a thousand miles away.


Rachel said...

I swear I'm not laughing at your misfortune. *snicker*

You know what 4 year old Cream of Wheat and 2 year old macaroni say to me? Pantry moths. Pitch that shit and block her phone number.

OakMot said...

Oh, so that's the story behind the $40 pie! Was it good?

I have an acquaintance who is SO cheap. She can't get rid of anything, and if she does, she wants to give it to someone that she knows, maybe so that she can get undying affection, I don't know. I just give it to Goodwill.

You are SO lucky that Buffy has moved. Now don't answer her phone calls.

Batty said...

Oh, man! I just threw out some boxed mac and cheese that expired in 2006! But... dude, I never, ever would have given it to another person. As a favor. Man, that's just nasty. So sorry about the snickerdoodles.

Love your apron, though. I have a project bag in the same print, it's awesome.

Bezzie said...

Ugh. Buffy's got no nomad street cred. I've got spices I bought from Kroger. I haven't set foot in Kroger in years.

I'm glad you still post here--it ties all the FB posts together!

SiressYorkie said...

That's so weird...I was just thinking, man, I love that apron.

My BIL is stingy too, and he makes a buttload of money. When I visited them about three years ago, my sister opened up a bag of cereal that had been sitting on the shelf for a while, and there were cobwebs inside. Seriously. She sighed and said, "And yet, he still probably won't let me throw this out."

I don't think Buffy meant you any giving you her pantry stuff, she was probably just ticking off one more thing in her list of stuff to be done.

And yeah, rancid Crisco is foulness. I don't even use the stuff anymore.

Penny Karma said...

That apron, purchased on Etsy, is an gift I received from a former friend (who some readers may remember). It hangs proudly in my kitchen to keep me ever mindful of the myriad reasons why I don't talk to him anymore.

And the upside of the fact that I dropped an insane amount of money on a delicious Tootie Pie from is that said pie contained more fat and calories per serving than the cookies I attempted to make.

In 1/14 of the pie (an odd serving size, wouldn't you say?), there are 400 calories and 20 grams of fat. MIL cut the pie into 8 slices.

I win.