Monday, July 20, 2009

Getting creative

There are some people who should just stay far, far away from food preparation. Here, I'm thinking "Rupert." Rupert is an enthusiastic and willing direction taker, but when you let him pursue his own ideas, prepare to run for the nearest Shakey's and call it a day.

We were having a communal meal with Rupert, his wife, and several other people, where everyone contributes a dish. Rupert announced that he wanted to make something fantastically creative. Beware of anything "fantastically creative." When I was 8, I used to get fantastically creative in the kitchen by mixing oatmeal, ketchup, mustard, and worcestershire sauce in a big bowl. Had I poured it into the toilet, I could have convinced my mother I had a serious digestive disorder.

Rupert proposed making Campfire Eggs, which sounded ok, until he told us what they were: scrambled eggs cooked in a ziploc bag in boiling water. Then, as if he needed a visual aid to alarm us further, he held up a baggie with raw eggs and assorted chopped vegetables sloshing around inside. It disgusted me the way dog poop might on a warm, humid day. But I held my tongue. No one likes a know-it-all, and maybe I didn't know it all. Maybe these would be the best scrambled eggs in a ziploc bag ever.

So into the boiling water they went. The rest of us were cooking other things. Good things. Pasta. Spinach salad. Garlic bread. Rupert tended to the eggs, which meant poking and prodding the bag with the handle of a wooden spoon as it bobbed up and down in the water. We all pretended to take his efforts seriously, but were secretly coming up with our own excuses for not eating the Campfire Eggs: allergies, satiation, or in my case, a secret aversion to eggs since childhood thanks to a little girl named Hillary, who threw up her egg breakfast on the camp bus, and we had to ride with it rolling up and down the aisle, in 85 degree heat, the entire way to camp. It was a 45 minute ride.

As we passed around the pasta and bread, Rupert appeared with his bag of eggs, the contents of which looked like this.

Rupert held the bag over each plate and the runny eggs slid out. It was a sickening sight. When it was my turn, I immediately eased them away from my spinach salad - God forbid they grazed even a leaf.

We all stared at the eggs. They looked more congealed than cooked. Rupert seemed truly pleased with his creation, though he did acknowledge they might not be "completely done."

If you're going to get creative with anything, it should be how you arrange Campfire Eggs on your plate to make it look like you've eaten them when in truth, you haven't. That's what we did.

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