Much to my delight, it turns out that my company has an annual Thanksgiving luncheon potluck. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. It’s a holiday filled with all the warmth and togetherness of Christmas and yet none of the family drama. What’s not to like?
Plus, it’s an entire day centered around eating.
Who doesn’t like a holiday that celebrates binging on vast quantities of food?
Angry, communist Nazis, that’s who. Not liking Thanksgiving is practically a sin, in my book.
Thrilled to have a reason to celebrate
gorging on fatty, delicious foods my thanks for all of the blessings in my life, I immediately signed up to bring a dessert.
After a week of watching other people sign up for various items, I decided to throw caution to the wind and sign myself up to bring some mashed potatoes as well.
The problem is that life got in the way of my good intentions.
The evening before the party found the Bean working overtime, the DragonMonkey in a viciously whiny mood, the dog suffering from an attack of the runs after eating his way through the trash, and the Squidgelet making my ankles swell as my temper shortened.
By the time I put the finishing touches on the mashed potatoes, I was angry enough to chew nails and spit out bullets.
I no longer felt like cooking.
I no longer felt “thankful” or excited about the party about the next day.
In fact, I downright hated Thanksgiving.
I hated the stupid turkey. I hated the stupid gravy. I hated the stupid mashed potatoes and the stupid stuffing.
I resented my stupid coworkers for making me go through this kind of hellish torture.
This was, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the stupidest holiday ever created.
I slammed around the kitchen in a near rage, crashing through cupboards and throwing pots in the sink with enough force that even the dog slunk around the corner and voluntarily kenneled himself for the night.
It took about twice as long as necessary, but I managed to eke out a delicious dessert and some fairly credible mashed potatoes. I threw saran wrap over every thing and huffed off to bed.
Unfortunately, my mood hadn’t improved my morning. This probably had a lot to do with the fact that when I opened the fridge I discovered that my previously fluffy, flavorful mashed potatoes had morphed overnight into a metric ton of solid, white-colored rocks.
I have no idea what happened. Frankly, the more I think about it, it kind of defied the laws of physics. How does a small, one pound Tupperware of mashed potatoes turn into approximately 19 pounds of rocks overnight? It doesn’t seem possible.
Grumpier than ever, I tossed the food into the car, drove to work, lugged it into the breakroom and shoved it into the fridge.
By the time lunchtime rolled around I had managed to pull myself out of my funk. I decided to avoid taking out the potatoes unless it seemed absolutely necessary. After all, even though potatoes were a loss I still had my dessert.
The breakroom was filled with laughing, happy people, and as I placed the dessert on the counter top to peel off the plastic, I found myself drawn into the holiday spirit.
“Ooooh! What is that?” I glanced over my shoulder to see two of my coworkers looking over my shoulder, eyeing my dish hungrily.
“It’s Hermes Delight,” I exclaimed proudly, turning around and holding the dish up in front of me so they could give it all the admiration it deserved. “It’s DEEEE-licious!”
I love Hermes Delight. It really is my favorite dessert. And holding it right in front of my face probably wasn’t the best idea, since I find it so mouthwateringly delicious.
Let me assure you that there is a BIG emphasis on the “mouthwatering” portion of that sentence. My body betrayed me (and not in that sexy Harlequin Romance novel way, either.)
Horrified, I watched as a bit of spit launched itself from my mouth right as I enunciated the “DE” of “DEE-licious”. It felt like some kind of horror movie. I couldn’t even pretend that it wasn’t happening. Like a slow-motion scene out of a bad movie, the spit launched itself in a perfect little arc and landed right in the middle of the dessert.
The three of us stared in horror at the center of my dessert.
Our eyes flicked upwards, then back down at the dessert, then back upwards.
I swear, that was the most awkward silence of my life.
What was I supposed to do? Cut out the middle portion of the dessert? Pretend it didn’t happen? Throw the whole thing away?
After all I went through to bring it to the potluck?
The two coworkers began stammering excuses as they rescued themselves from the situation, leaving me standing by the counter, staring down at my ruined dessert.
Stupid happy-warm-family-love-cooking-food holiday.
I stared at the dessert for a few more moments, then shrugged.
Reaching into the cupboard in front of me, I grabbed a paper plate, ladled out a gigantic portion from the center of the dish and plopped it in front of me. Ignoring the fact that I was serving myself before anyone else had started, I began grimly chewing my way through the oversized wad.
You know what? It was pretty good. In fact, it was DARN good, although interestingly enough, I was the only person to serve myself from my dish that particular day.
Oh well. It’s their loss. It really was tasty, “extra flavoring” or not.
1 large package raspberry jello
1 can whole cranberries
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 8 oz package cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 cup powdered sugar
1 can crushed pineapple
Make the raspberry jello according to the directions on the box, but only use 1/2 the required amount of water. Put into glass pan. Combine with can of whole cranberries. Zest the skin from the green apples into the mixture and add the juice from 1/2 lemon. Stir, then set into the fridge until completely solid (usually about 2 hours).
In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, powdered sugar and crushed pineapple (drain the juice). Smooth onto the top of the jello portion once the jello portion has set properly. Sprinkle crushed pecans on top.
Serve with a garnish of spit to ensure you don’t have to share.
(PS: This is is an incredibly forgiving recipe. I swear, I make it with different amounts of ingredients every time and it always comes out tasty.)