Tonight I decided to bake something for my friends coming in town for our 30th college reunion.
Pumpkin bars from a Betty Crocker mix. All you have to do is add some butter and an egg.
How hard can it be?
Except I forgot to melt the butter.
And I never should’ve attempted cream cheese icing with fat free cream cheese.
Did I mention that the friends coming to stay with me for the weekend had been home economics majors in college?
Made me think of my senior year when I lived with three girls in an apartment and we decided to each be responsible for preparing a meal one night a week.
They made things like spaghetti with homemade sauce, never something out of a jar.
Mashed potatoes and gravy, broccoli with cheese sauce that I wanted to wash my face in it was so good.
And then there were Thursday nights.
My night to cook.
At first I made things like tomato soup and crackers.
Some weeks I went all out, telling them I hadn’t had time to cook, that I just picked up a bucket of chicken on the way home, or a large pizza.
Then I got desperate.
So at the beginning of the week I started asking around – on the sly, of course – looking for someone who’d cook for me. I scoped out our campus center, looking for somebody who could cook who wouldn’t rat on me. When I found someone who’d agree to prepare a meal for me and sneak it over to our apartment in time for me to stick it in the oven as though I’d prepared it myself, I paid them for the groceries and waited for delivery.
Felt like some kind of drug deal.
For several weeks it worked like a charm. Until they started asking me how to fix whatever it was we were eating.
So I confessed.
And they actually started helping me learn how to cook some things.
Turns out I could make some mean chicken fried steak. And chicken enchiladas. With guacamole.
Not bad for a communication major.
We’ll probably eat those pumpkin bars, too.