Among my group of friends, I’m known as the cook, the one who likes to cook and bake. I’m the one who hosts the birthday parties at home and makes the homemade cakes. I enjoy it, and I like to do it for people.
When it comes time for playgroup, people always make sure to show up when it’s at my house, as they know that they’re guaranteed enough food to skip dinner that night. In fact, one friend insists her husband stay late at work on nights I host playgroup.
I’ve had the same playgroup since Mister Man was a few months old. Our group has grown and shrunk and grown again. There are only a few of us who remain from the original group, but we’re all good friends. Until earlier this year, we met every Monday at someone’s house. Now that we all have two children who are involved in a variety of activities, it’s down to once a month. I miss having it every week and seeing all of them as often, but I’ll admit that it was getting really hectic to try to make it every week.
Today was my day, and I have to live up to my reputation. I had planned on making a bunch of food, but I ended up having an unexpected mandatory call for work from 3 to 3:45, while I was planning to get ready for playgroup from 3 to 4:15. Needless to say, it became a bit rushed.
The good news is that I’d planned ahead a little and made cookies the night before. It wasn’t my banana cake or chocolate éclairs or chocolate cherry chip brownies, but they were homemade at least. I also had made a batch of bread dough a little after noon that was rising.
I ended up making homemade bagel dogs and pizza with the dough. In fact, I realized that I had no sauce in the house (whoops!), so it was truly homemade pizza – homemade dough, homemade sauce, homemade cheese. Oh, just kidding there was no homemade cheese.
After that, I cheated. I cut up cheese and put out crackers. I washed the mongo strawberries I bought at 7:30 this morning. I put out pita chips, although I had forgotten to get hummus. Ironically, I bought salsa but forgot chips, so it sort of evened out.
Partway though the playgroup, the following conversation ensued:
Friend A: This is all really good.
Friend A: By the way, what is this white creamy dip? It’s my favorite!
Me: Uhhhh, you mean the Cool Whip?
Apparently my friends have too high of expectations for me. While I do occasionally whip cream myself, I wouldn’t do it for small kids at playgroup. And I had intended to make a yogurt dip for the strawberries but ran out of time. I’m definitely not capable of recreating the creamy goodness of Cool Whip, however!