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What are you cooking today?


givemecarbs Jul 12, 2011 08:51 AM

Was talking to my friend last night about about a big beautiful pie. It was the last day of class and the professor liked to have a potluck and hand back papers and tests. My friend brought a nice but simple plate of cheese and crackers. It was kind of a joke because one of the professor's favorite expressions was "cheese and crackers!" No one noticed but it was still fun.
Anyway, someone brought a large and beautiful pie that kind of got hidden under some other offerings and then suddenly appeared towards the end of the class when most people were sated. Not my friend. He saw the pie and exclaimed "wow! I want a piece of that!" The teacher scolded him and said he wasn't going to allow my friend to ruin the gorgeous pie by cutting just one piece out of it. The owner of the pie did not speak up and insist, in fact no one said anything. No one else expressed interest in the pie. To be fair this was a college education major course. My friend felt ashamed and greedy and I guess the owner of the pie left with the said pie intact and didn't have to share.
My friend's story reminded me of the time I was invited to another friend's graduation party for college. His parents were quite well off. There was a cooler full of beer with a few bottles of imported beer mixed in. The more interesting beer required a bottle opener, frequently referred to as a church key back in the day. :) None was available. Being a social clod I guess, I asked my friend for one and he reluctantly went and got one so I could have an imported beer. I think this was probably a mistake on my part, I felt some bad vibes from the family.
I guess I could call this post food and drink that you are not actually supposed to consume. Both the beer and the pie happened several years ago before the economy imploded but I'm still scratching my head over both of these and other similar experiences. Any insights or other sad tales? I got my beer but my friend went pieless.

  1. q
    Querencia Jul 21, 2011 09:19 PM

    I wonder if the professor was hoping to take that uncut pie home with him afterward.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Querencia
      givemecarbs Jul 22, 2011 12:27 PM

      Querencia it would be more understandable if he was. And who knows, maybe that was his secret agenda. Pie makes people do some wicked wicked things. :) But I think he was being overly concerned with the feelings of the person who brought the pie, to the extent that he publicly shamed my friend. Anyone who has been shamed by a teacher in front of the class knows what I mean. Many teachers are drawn to the profession for reasons of control.

    2. b
      beevod Jul 13, 2011 08:03 AM

      If, at a social gathering, there is a pie or cake on the table, and unless it is a wedding cake, I can't imagine being hesitant to cut a first slice and partaking. If someone is offended, it's their problem. Sort of like who's going to take the last slice of pizza.

      1. b
        bobbert Jul 12, 2011 02:54 PM

        My guess is that the "few bottles of imported beer" were brought by another guest who probably had an opener of his/her own. That's why there were only a "few" of these. If it were a byob affair then the imported beer probably belongs exclusively to the bringer of said beer. If they brought it because it's what they like to drink (same with wine) and place it at the communal table, all bets are off. It becomes fair game. You want to make sure you get to drink 3 of your special beer? Bring 12.

        5 Replies
        1. re: bobbert
          givemecarbs Jul 12, 2011 08:36 PM

          Hmm. I never thought of that bobbert. This is why I love to post on chowhound, I learn so much. And in a friendly enlightening way unlike some other sites I've visited. If what you say is true, this beer dude or dudette kinda made the hosts look bad. On the other hand my friend the graduation boy would have had no trouble telling me they were off limits if someone had brought them special. Now that I think of it, a couple brought some god awful malt beverages in a six pack that they kept to themselves. Fine with me. :)

          1. re: givemecarbs
            dberg1313 Jul 13, 2011 07:21 AM

            In my social circle, if you can call it that, almost everyone is so polite, they hate to cut into a pie or cake at potlucks, etc.--especially the older men for some reason. I started cutting a slice or two and leaving the plates by the cake or pie in question, thinking people would "get it" and just take the serving. Not so! They always think it was meant for "someone else" and just leave it there. I actually have to stand by and urge them to take it! Weird! but polite!

            1. re: dberg1313
              rockycat Jul 13, 2011 08:07 AM

              Yes, around here that's a given. If a bring a whole cake to an event I always make sure to cut a small slice out of it first, otherwise no one wants to be the first person to "ruin that pretty cake." Guys, that's why it's here! To be eaten!
              Dberg, don't leave those slices by the cake. Eat it yourself or share with your SO. Then watch the cake disappear.

              1. re: dberg1313
                givemecarbs Jul 13, 2011 10:19 AM

                Interesting dberg. The prof was an older guy. The owner of the pie did somehow manage to hide it somehow among the other offerings and then make it reappear near the end. My friend's take on it was whoever brought it scammed everyone by enjoying the other dishes and not having to share. He or she had his pie but ate well too. Hmm that would have sounded much better if it was cake.
                Hmm at my church we have fellowship time after and boy do I need that cup of coffee. Desserts on the table are often cut up but people wantonly slice into pristine cakes, pies and other offerings, as it should be. I think it is the wide demographics there including many kids and teenagers. Youth will not be denied.

                1. re: givemecarbs
                  woodburner Jul 13, 2011 07:22 PM

                  "My friend's take on it was whoever brought it scammed everyone by enjoying the other dishes and not having to share. He or she had his pie but ate well too."

                  This brings up another question: There were a couple comments as above about the person taking the pie back home. What? If you bring something to an event, don't you expect to leave it there (unless you need to reclaim your Pyrex or serving piece)? People come to my house, they bring all these desserts, then then are ready to leave at the end... and we beg them to take some of the food/dessert home. Let me offer it to you or the other guests. But If you brought me a cake, then just grabbed it if no one cut in, I would not be impressed with you...

          2. i
            Isolda Jul 12, 2011 10:44 AM

            I wouldn't call you a social clod, just an earnest person who assumes that others are also straightforward. I assume the pie owner probably intended it as a gift for the professor, who knew this and didn't want to share. You and your friend weren't at fault; they were. Anything that isn't meant to be shared should be given directly and discreetly to the person for whom they are intended.

            It's rude to put stuff out for all to see, but not invite them to have any. You did nothing wrong by asking for a bottle opener when the beer was in plain view.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Isolda
              givemecarbs Jul 12, 2011 11:01 AM

              Thanks for that isolda! Never thought about that with the prof, would be too funny if you were right. I've had courses with this teacher also and I hate to say this but I really think it was a gender thing. We need more men in the education field, a couple more guys in that course and that pie would have been devoured.
              As for the wealthy family that wanted to have the illusion of abundance and generosity without sharing their imported beer, there is such a thing as karma. The parents and hosts of that party are also proud grandparents. But the graduation boy tells me that they don't get to see their grandkids, even on Christmas. Stuff like this has a way of catching up with people in the end.

              1. re: Isolda
                woodburner Jul 12, 2011 11:14 AM

                Right on! Cut the games! You put that pie it out, it will get eaten. In whole or in part, whatever. Don't even THINK of looking at me sideways either, or you'll get the NYer's "what? WHAT!!!"

                And its insulting to put out the beer with no opener. My FIL drinks Tab. Yes, Tab and only Tab. We don't put it out with all the other (normal) drink. Its in the fridge, where he can tap into his stash quietly.

                Agree that if you don't want it eaten, give it to the recipient separately.

              2. w
                Whinerdiner Jul 12, 2011 09:20 AM

                Dontcha love it when hosts leave little social minefields scattered all over the place and don't tell anyone?
                Like, the imported beer was only for Uncle Bob, because that's all he drinks (didn't you know the domestic stuff was for you cretins?). Or, that beautifully plated and delicious X on the buffet table with plates and serving utensils was really only for Sue because she doesn't eat Y (we put it out for everyone so she wouldn't feel self conscious - you should have known better than to touch it). Better yet, the beautifully aged Scotch set out out on the help-yourself open bar with tumblers and ice was only for Mom's boss who might be stopping by (duh).

                It would be nice to get the memo in advance, just once.

                1. j
                  Janet from Richmond Jul 12, 2011 08:58 AM

                  I'm not a pie person but I am a cake person.

                  I remember one instance where my brother and I were the cake hoarders. Our Mom died and people brought food to my house (where the family was gathering). My brother said if his boss brought her famous pound cake hide it. He said I would understand later. Sure enough the women from his office brought tons of food including the famous pound cake. We hid it off to the side and my brother explained to the boss that we wanted to keep it. She laughed and said she had another one in the car waiting that she was going to give us for our own before she left but had not wanted to bring it in with the rest of the food so that it wouldn't accidentally be served.

                  Moral of the story....the guest who brings two cakes wins :-)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Janet from Richmond
                    givemecarbs Jul 12, 2011 09:25 AM

                    Great story Janet! Whinerdiner, I wish things could be simpler, here is food or drink I want to share to celebrate the end of class or graduation or something. All I can really do is show some old school hospitality when it's my watch. When my guests eat and drink I want it to go down easy.

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