5.04.2008

how to make friends. and enemies



Once in awhile a food comes along that’s good. Really good. Maybe even too good. Something so simple and irresistible that people ask you not to make it. “Don’t bring it around here,” they say. “I can’t contain myself.”

But it’s reactions like that, calls from my family where epithets are playfully spat that keep me making more. With a raised eyebrow and a sly little smirk, I offer, “Oh, why don’t I bring something sweet?”

This cruel joke I play, this tempting of willpower and ruin of diets? Simple. Matzoh brittle. Matzoh with a simple butter and sugar caramel poured and baked on, add chocolate chips and a sprinkling of pistachios and you’ve got friends. I’ve brought it to work and it was gone in an instant. I sent some home for Passover and my family almost stopped talking to me. I took it with me to a potluck last week and reveled in sitting across the kitchen, watching people and their reaction. They’d have one piece, then come up with ways of making it ok to have more.

There was bargaining: “The meal was veggie, so another piece is ok.”
Self-delusion. “Just one more piece. Just half of one more piece.”
Displaced empathy: “We can’t let that little half a piece sit there.”
And recruitment: “Have you tried this yet? Here, we’ll split one.”

It was insanely fun to watch. To see people get so excited about something I made. By far, it’s the most satisfying part of cooking for me. To get to watch someone else enjoy it, express genuine joy for what you brought to the table. It was, in a word, sweet.

Like coming across this empty bowl in the office kitchen a scant 20 minutes after I left it there, filled with brittle:

1 comment:

Nancy said...

you mean the "crack" matza brittle you sent home?! face it, you're just like every other drug dealer....in it for your own gain! "here just try a little, the first sample is on me"

pssst....send more home but be sure to send it in a standard issue brown paper. I'll be checking the mail box every hour...okay maybe every 5 minutes.