With a little time and some Pinterest, I can mess up just about everything

Oh, shut the hell up.

A little part of me believes herself to be Julia Child incarnate.

Pesky Julia rarely feels like strutting her stuff when I have a free afternoon and no one to impress. She shows up when I’m pressed for time and need to provide appetizers for a couple dozen people.

I should feel lucky, if I’m going to have multiple personalities, at least there’s no BASE jumpers or spelunkers clamoring for space. Julia rarely puts me in any danger. She’s just overconfident in the kitchen.

And Julia really digs Pinterest boards with names like “Absurdly Easy Appetizers You Can Do Unless You’re an Idiot,” and a phone app we can use in the parking lot of the grocery store. When it comes to wreaking havoc in the kitchen, Julia and Pinterest are codependents.

I’m no social scientist, but I’ve a theory that most of the developed world falls into one of two categories:

loser_chart

When I prepare anything for the family, I have to account for picky eaters, adolescent boy-size appetites for carbs, wanna-be runner-size appetites for protein, and people who are allergic and/or sensitive to pretty much anything easy to work with. Pinterest and Julia would have me believe I can manage all these criteria and still get something palatable on the dinner table every night.

Sometimes, Julia scores, which gives her just enough encouragement to smugly overlook the bajillion times she’s missed the mark at the expense of my family and my feelings.

I made a kick-ass homemade pizza this week with a 2-ingredient dough I found on Pinterest, for example.

Colin said it was epic. Which was nice to hear. That pizza and one other dish make two in my repertoire that won’t garner a huge sigh when he finds out what’s for dinner.

The usual scenario goes like this:

Colin: What’re we having?

Me: Flambéed whosacallit with roasted thingamagigs. I had it at a friend’s house and it’s fantastic. Plus it uses all the vegetables we got this week from the CSA and some free-range chicken. It’ll taste just like summer, and be sooo healthy. You’ll probably freak out, it’ll be so good.

(See? I know how this is going to go down. I’m in full-on sales mode as I’m rushing to get stuff on the table before people start sneaking granola bars when they think I’m not looking)

Colin: What’s that green stuff?

Me: Diced bell pepper.

Colin: I’m not much of a fan.

Me: Of what? Bell peppers? Of vegetables? Of eating? You’re perilously on the verge of making me crazy, you know.

Colin: {shoulders slump} I’m sorry. Can you just cut up an apple for me?

Me: Just … go tell your brother dinner’s almost ready.

Colin: {palms a granola bar when he thinks I’m not looking}

When I’m not cooking for picky people or people with food allergies, a whole new world of options opens up. I can almost just let my Julia flag fly unfettered.

Except, did I mention Julia is also forgetful? And a procrastinator.

That’s what I realize when I’m sitting outside the grocery store trying to remember the ingredients to that one thing I brought to a party once and it was a big hit, the same thing I want to bring to the party that’s tonight.

But I can’t find the recipe I’m thinking of online. I can’t remember what it’s called, even, and googling “zucchini appetizers with cottage cheese topping” isn’t bringing up anything close to what I remember making that was such a big hit.

But hey, here’s a casserole I might try later {pin it}.

And here’s this other thing, this crispy zucchini rounds thing that looks easy. Heck, I have most of that stuff at home right now. And look how pretty, with the parmesan sprinkles all lightly golden like little zucchini chips.

So I buy the stuff and I set it on the counter and I work for a bit until kids are home and I’m giving them instructions on heating up their own dinner because we’re going out, and will they pretty-please-with-sugar-on-top clean up after themselves so we don’t come home to a kitchen full of dishes (we will) and get all grouchy with everyone (uh, huh, that too) right before bed?

I preheat the oven and start dicing and mixing and tossing with oil. And about halfway through the baking part, a little nugget of a thought pops up.

I’ve been here before.

Crap. I found this exact recipe before and I was enticed by it’s deceptive simplicity and I’ll bet if I had just scrolled down on this recipe, I’ll have found the comment I left the last time I did this…

“This doesn’t actually work out so well.”

No, it doesn’t. The zucchini “crisps” turn out to be soggy blobs, floppy testaments to the inevitability of my stopping on the way to the party for a box of store cookies which I can arrange on a nice tray to set at a table with the smoked salmon and capers, and the sugar snap peas with curried mayonnaise and crumbled peanut thing, and the candied walnut and fancy-crumbled cheese tray.

So Julia’s in time-out today. Which is okay, because I’ve no time for the kitchen.

… Because Colin mentioned this morning he’s going to be the Joker for Halloween (yes, tonight), and could I please find a purple blazer and green cravat for him to wear with his make up and hair gel?

Probably not, but I have a little felt and a hot glue gun and a really good feeling about this {cracks knuckles}. It’s going to be epic.

***

Regardless of how easily you are sucked in by Pinterest, I’d appreciate your vote. Thank you.

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Pinterest graphic (top) by MKH Marketing

 

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  1. I pin all the pretty foods and then just gaze upon them adoringly. I know myself well enough to realize that anything I try to make is not coming out like THAT. Maybe I can hire someone to make them for me?

  2. Mostly, I look through Pinterest as one would visit a museum, admiring all the awesome creations some very talented people are able to think up and produce. I don\’t usually have much thought of trying to replicate any of it.
    However, my daughter and I did make two Halloween projects, and we were surprised and amazed how great they turned out! Pinterest is awesome.

    1. It\’s probably more awesome if you aren\’t prone to delusions of perfection, and to being unreasonably disappointed with occasional failures.

      I do like looking at all the pretty pictures, though. So, yes, I\”m with you there, Deborah!

  3. You always have my vote.

    And you have my shared enthusiasm and disappointment in many of the things I\’ve tried on Pinterest.

    They make it look so easy!

    Liars.