Friday, June 19, 2009

almost became the next Rachel Ray

Back when I was much younger and we were all blissfully unaware of how undomestic I would turn out to be, mom forced me to join 4-H. I had no interest at all, because I went to the Puyallup fair every year and saw the girls holding their pigs and pining for those stupid blue ribbons and I wanted no part of it. But alas, mom had spent the best part of her childhood in 4-H actually winning those ribbons for sewing dresses and making pies, so as all parents do with their own hobbies, she forced me.

I hated the meetings. I could never remember the fourth H (Heart, Health, Hands and ______?). They had a hierarchy with a president and a secretary and took minutes at the meetings and possibly even followed Robert's rules of order. They were stiff in their gingham jumpers in a way you wouldn't expect of lonely horse girls. I hate horses and pretty much all animals and even then, I didn't give a shit about a ribbon. I had plenty from saying verses, and they tatter, tear and get wrinkled, and no one except yourself cares. What's the point of an award if you aren't praised for receiving it? Although I did spend ten years being homeschooled, I still knew I was somehow above this nonsense. They collected dues much like a church passes around an offering plate and it was much too cultish, even for my simple, uncultured mind.

My mom allowed me to start off with just two classes, so I was enrolled in a bread making class and an arts and crafts class. For the bread making class, I had to do a demonstration, much like Martha Stewart, where I was to talk seamlessly about flour and dough rising all while whipping and rolling dough. I picked the easiest recipe known to man: flour, water, and drop it in hot grease. My demonstration was the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, so while at Grandpa's over Thanksgiving, mom thought it would be cute for me to do a mock demonstration.

Eating anything found in Grandpa's kitchen was a gamble: expiration dates ranged anywhere in the last two decades, and sometimes were nowhere to be found because he stored things in those plastic containers. I figured flour would be safe though. I mixed the flour and the water, but somehow it was so sticky that I couldn't even roll it. I added more flour and more flour, but the stickiness refused to be beaten. I got so frustrated that I decided to start over (this was also my strategy at piano recitals, which also didn't go well for me). The second time yielded the exact same results. I threw away the two lumps and sat down to watch "Cheers" with Grandpa. He seemed relieved he no longer had to act interested in my little skit. Later, I realized the ingredient I believed to be flour was actually malt-o-meal.

To this day, the only food I make starts with the instruction: boil water and ends right there after with strain.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i did 4-h too! the thing i hated the most was "decorate your duds" because you could model and i was forced to do so. i'm pretty sure the 4th h stands for head.