NaNoWriMo Day 24 Word Count: 43,589
I’ve got a homemade Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Crustless Pumpkin Pie and homemade Pumpkin Pepper Hummus hanging out in the fridge with the store-bought veggie tray and whipped topping (both dairy and non). I’ve got a from-scratch gluten-free, dairy-free apple pie baking away in the oven. I’ve got cranberries waiting to be masticated in the mixer and a recipe for gluten-free, dairy-free (sensing a pattern here?) dinner rolls sitting on the table, hoping to be put to use in the morning. I’ve got an open canister of cashews to my right and a “Slightly Sweet” Oregon Chai with rice milk steaming to my left.
And I’ve got Billy Boy stuck in my head. I always get Billy Boy stuck in my head when I bake pie. You know, “Can she make a cherry pie, Billy Boy, Billy Boy? Can she make a cherry pie, charming Billy?” Despite the fact that I’m not making a cherry pie. As I mentioned before, I’m making a pumpkin pie and an apple pie, neither of which I made as quick as a cat can wink its eye. In fact, I’ve been at it for hours, and not always happily.
Which leads me to ask myself: do I like cooking?
I think I do. I mean, when someone asks me if I like cooking, I say, why, yes! I do! I post pictures of foods I’ve made and recipes I like on this very blog. I participate in conversations about food preparation and procurement of exotic ingredients, like maple sugar and dairy-free, trans-fat-free butter. But when I actually go to cook something, I do an awful lot of swearing and taking the Lord’s name in vain.
And then after I’ve made the thing that I’ve been very surly-ly making, I feel somewhat let down. “Oh,” I think. “Is this all?” And then we eat it and no matter how tasty it was, it’s gone now. No trace of all of my work but a drainer full of clean dishes stacked precariously and towering three feet above the countertop because I can’t stand drying dishes. We live in a desert. It makes no sense to dry dishes.
But I digress. The point is, do I really like cooking?
Even with all of this, I still think I do. I think the only reason I get all bent out of shape about it is that I want it to turn out perfectly every time, even if it’s something I’ve never made before. (Speaking of perfectionism, I just took a little break from writing to make a protective foil ring to keep the crimped edge of my pie from over-browning. I could sense from the way the pie smelled that it was browning at a rapid rate, and it still has at least 30 minutes left to cook.) And I want the eating of the food item to be some kind of transcendent experience, something that will be a highlight of our day and make us leave the table wanting to be better people and to help humankind. That’s a lot to ask of a pie.
Instead, it’s usually more like that scene in The Simpsons episode in which Lisa is disappointed because her career aptitude test said she should be a homemaker (“It’s like a mommy,” the school counselor explains). She’s spending the day with Marge, watching what might be in store for her as a future homemaker. Marge has made breakfast and shaped the bacon, eggs, and toast into little faces on Bart and Homer’s plates.
“What’s the point?” Lisa asks. “They won’t even notice.”
“Oh, you’d be surprised,” Marge assures her. Then, of course, Homer and Bart come to the table, scarf down their breakfast, oblivious to everything. I’ve given a fairly accurate and thorough recap, but in case you’d like to see it for yourself:
So, in conclusion, the earlier seasons of The Simpsons really stand the test of time, and I clearly didn’t waste years of my life memorizing the episodes. They come in handy on a daily basis.
Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!