MathCrony has my sympathy. She's all generous and thoughtful, and bakes a mean Thanksgiving turkey. Yet every year we thumb our collective noses at her. You'd think that if MathCrony can choose and purchase a turkey, bake that bird, transport it to Newmentia without it sliding off the seat and onto the floor (most years), and see that it is warmed and ready for consumption at 10:53 a.m. on a Monday, the least we can do is cart in some tantalizing side dishes to complement her fowl. But no. Please be advised that there are upwards of 21 faculty participating in this event.
In case you haven't seen the sign-up list for side dishes posted at the door leaving the Newmentia teacher workroom, right next to the women's faculty restroom, where anybody who's anybody stands in wait a good portion of the day...it's a cryin' shame. There are categories for vegetables, desserts, baked goods, and something with no entries. The dessert list is the longest. Except that it only includes the names of the bringers. I suppose they have not yet decided what to bring, or what to pick up from The Devil's Playground on the way to work Monday morning. The way it stands right now, we will be feasting cannibalistically on four of our female faculty.
The baked good entry belongs to Mr. S. It's a tradition with him, of which later I will divulge the details.
The lone entry in the vegetable category was Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, who plans to raid The Devil and haul in a tray of cruciferous veggies and dip. In past years, she actually bought the separate veggies and washed and trimmed them and whipped up the Hidden Valley Ranch dip. The Devil's handmaidens have been subcontracted for that task this year. Except maybe for the Hidden Valley, which only requires whisking a packet of mix into a container of sour cream and letting it sit overnight. Once upon a time, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom was noted for her Oreo cake. Until a certain someone sarcastically commented that anybody can buy an Oreo cake from The Devil. Which Mrs. Hillbilly Mom did not know whether to take as a compliment or an insult, but either way, begrudged the three hours of intensive labor required to bring that Oreo cake to fruition. And decreed never to bring it again, thus prohibiting the terrifying sight of two female faculty jamming fistfuls of Oreo cake into their pieholes at 8:00 a.m. the day after the dinner, lest somebody else usurp the magnificent pastry before they could consume their share.
Not to be outdone by Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, her ArchNemesis penciled in the culinary classic Thanksgiving vegetable side dish of chips and dip. Mmmhmm. We're pulling out all the stops for this fabulous feast. One Who Sometimes Views Herself As Being In Charge took the initiative to sign up Mrs. NotACook for her fabulous hot wing dip. She listed it under 'vegetables.'
Which brings us back to the tale of Mr. S and his holiday staple. Ever since the beginning of time, or 1998 B.S., as I like to think of it, the year Mr. S and I joined the Newmentia faculty, Mr. S has been supplying us with his tasty carbohydrate treat. At first, it was a simple loaf of white bread from the day-old bread store. I could understand it during the years Mr. S was between wives. Nobody wants to think of him cooking something for us to eat. I think I'm pretty safe in speaking for everyone there, right Mabel? But it got to be a bit of a thorn in our overstuffed sides. Because Mr. S would always ask us how we enjoyed the bread, even though nobody else was eating it besides him. Why would we? Back then, we had some really fantastic side dishes (except for that creamed corn casserole made by Mabel's former bestest friend). And the bag of frozen corn that never left the freezer.
Two or three years ago, Mr. S stumbled upon some Hawaiian Rolls on sale at Save-A-Lot. That's what he brought instead of the old white bread loaf. We haven't heard the end of it yet. As I told LunchBuddy the other day:
You'd think that man discovered Hawaii, cleared a field, planted sugar cane, harvested it, refined it, forged an oven, concocted the recipe for Hawaiian rolls, baked them, packaged them, shipped them to the mainland on a Chinese junk, contracted distribution through Save-A-Lot, and bought a dozen at discount to treat his work friends.
Imagining the great lengths that Mr. S goes to in order to supply us with baked goods, I'm now too exhausted to get into the story of the coaches and the Presidential Potato Salad. According to the sign-up list as of Friday afternoon, we will be feasting on a turkey, Hawaiian rolls, veggies and dip, chips and dip, hot wing dip, and four mysterious desserts. Are you salivating yet?
A doff of my pink, jewel-encrusted Dolly Parton hat to you, MathCrony, for all that you do. Which includes entertaining us intermittently with those flowered panties peeking out your pants leg.