Yesterday, my husband took his big, festively arranged platter of Christmas cookies to work for the annual pitch-in. I have a really nice cut glass serving plate decorated with lit candles in a holly base, making it the perfect complement to all sorts of baked goods, so I placed all those different cookies on it with a definite feeling of satisfaction. That looks very nice, I told myself approvingly. Appetizing! Attractive! I wish Martha were here to see this!
He left for work at about seven-thirty, so I thoughtfully timed my first telephone call for about eleven o'clock, a time which I determined would be one in which people would want a little something sweet to go with that late morning cup of coffee; also, the sweetness would be useful in counteracting the savoriness of the meatballs in barbecue sauce and taco dip they'd been eating all morning.
When my husband answered his phone, I dispensed with the preliminaries and immediately said, "So! Does everyone like my cookies?"
His response? "Oh, yeah!" And that's all I could get out of him.
So this post is a bit of a public service announcement to any man who might be reading this -- When your wife calls to ask you if people liked the food she sent with you to work, here's what she wants to know:
1. Did anyone comment on the beauty of the goods arranged on the serving platter? Did they think it actually came from a deli/bakery and were they struck dumb with amazement when they found out that it came from the loving and talented hands of your gifted wife from her own kitchen?
2. Which treat seemed to be receiving the most approval? Since I was dealing with cookies, I'll go with that: Was it the peanut butter/oatmeal/M&M? The pretty little lemon cookies? The cream cheese drops (so cute, colored red and green and rolled in sugar)? Was it the pretzel candy in their professional-looking candy frills?
3. What was the state of the platter? One-third empty? Half empty? TWO-THIRDS??!! COME ON, GIVE ME SOMETHING TO WORK WITH, HERE!
4. When people took a bite of a cookie, you should have been analyzing their reactions and taking surreptitious notes. Was the general reaction an "Mmmmmm!!" or was it the more ambiguous, "How interesting!" Heaven forbid it was a full on "Could you hand me a napkin to spit this mess into?" Which person seemed most enthusiastic? Because that person will be getting his very own package of cookies after the holidays and I want to know what kind of treat it should feature.
5. Was everyone properly grateful, asking you to tender thanks to me, or did they just toss my hard-wrought creations down the hatch like circus peanuts? Will anyone be sending a balloon-o-gram? A singing elf? A gift certificate to Macy's?
Just a reminder, gentlemen. When your wife sends food to your work pitch-in, she expects more feedback than just a hearty, "Yeah! They liked it!" Details, please! Details! Details!
Tuesdays with Dorie: Baking Chez Moi - Cranberry Crackle Tart - The second recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie is Cranberry Crackle Tart, found on pages 135-137 of Dorie Greenspan's Baking Chez Moi book. Dorie has also publish...
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