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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Christmas Cooking/Baking (not recipes) (10/16/08)

TITLE: Half-Baked Christmas Dessert
By Judith Gayle Smith


Zucchini bread. A logical choice for a Christmas bread - all those lovely green flecks! A grand new food processor awaited my ministrations! Celebrate! Make bread and feast! Cranberry jam would be perfect, if I could find a recipe - to slather over it and get our tastebuds to dancing! I mean, we had been pretty much pumpkin pie-eyed out. We were overstuffed with too much roast turkey and candied yams. What would be a good Christmas Day-after meal? Sweet and sour stuffed cabbage (for the red), potato pancakes and zucchini bread (for the green)! Yes!

I was very inexperienced with food processors and much too impatient to read all the instructions. As a result, my zucchini very quickly resembled green pea soup, much too thin even to be designated a puree. Just dandy - green sludge.

A change of plan was quickly devised - zucchini cake! I am not the best baker in the world, but I could qualify for being the most creative at times. Not allowing for the liquidity of the zucchini slurp, I added eggs, lemon cake mix (why not?) and a lemon pudding mix. Tart sure sounded good after all the sweet yums of the Holiday Season.

And now the oven refuses to heat. Overworked? That makes two of us. Aha! The microwave awaits! Piling the whole green mess into a microwave Bundt pan that barely fit the small microwave, I nuked it until it started smelling way too good. A sure sign of overcooking. Pulling it out, letting it cool - waiting impatiently! When cooled to my satisfaction, I upended it onto my finest cake plate, and left a good sized over-moist chunk in the Bundt pan. Plucking it out with my fingers, I slap-patched the hole with the now mashed potato textured batter. It held its shape, surprisingly! Who likes dry cake anyway?

It did look rather garishly green. How to decorate it? Got it! Powdered sugar! A pretty paper doily and a sifter - and I stood ready to create! The doily stuck to the cake. The powdered sugar soaked into the cake. What a mess! Now what? Too disgruntled to even try concocting a cranberry jam, I reached for raspberry preserves. Big mistake. What didn't get absorbed by the cake was left smeared on top - making the whole mess look like a moldy meatloaf with ketchup.

My sense of creativity, nay humor - failed me at that point. Dumping the whole disaster into a large plastic bowl, I shoved it behind everything I could in the refrigerator. Out of sight - but definitely not out of my tortured thoughts.

My company arrived - hungry! And feed them I did. They pronounced the stuffed cabbage and potato pancakes the perfect break from the traditional leftovers - and then clamoured for dessert. I said there would be no dessert. I suggested coffee in the living room.

Later, as only family can, someone snooped in the refrigerator to seek for a sweet snack. A forgotten sliver of leftover pumpkin or pecan pie? Nay - but a most delightful discovery! What appeared to be a moldy meatloaf yielded to a forefinger thrust through the mess, and dessert was announced!

I remained sulking in the living room as the mess was pulled out and dished into dessert bowls. Dolllops of whipped cream adorned each red/green filled bowl and was passed around to all who were brave enough to try it. I refused to lay claim to it. Until they brought a bowl to me. I stuck my spoon in - and greedily devoured it. Best pudding cake I ever tasted, if I do say so myself.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joshua Janoski10/26/08
LOL. This was funny and put a smile on my face. Can't say that I would enjoy trying the dessert myself, but then again, I am not very daring when it comes to trying out new dishes. :)

Thank you for making me chuckle with this fun story.
Janice Fitzpatrick10/26/08
Oh, how could I relate to this! Sometimes the harder I have tried to make something come out the worst it was. So, I figure throw things together,pretend I don't care and "Whoola, I usually have very edible dishes and get the most compliments then if I slave all day over something,LOL. I really enjoyed the humor in this and like the "...yeielded to a forefinger thrust..." description of someone's curioiusity of what lurked in the back of the frig. Well done! Now, if only the zuchinni bread was too. LOL. God bless and I want to see more of your writing!!:0)0
Sharon Kane10/27/08
This gave me a good laugh, and boy have I been there. Problem is when one of these original creations turns out delicious I can never remember afterwards quite how I did it! Good job.
Tammy Bovee10/27/08
Thank you for relating this hilarious experience! I'm thinking many Christians feel their lives are like your concoction, but as we know, God can make something beautiful out of even those things we view as disastrous! Maybe that sort of message at the end would create a neat take away for your readers... or something about the unsettling events of the first Christmas for Mary and Joseph. Just some ideas.
Tammy Bovee10/27/08
Marlene Austin10/28/08
Wow, you are a BRAVE person. LOL Nice story. :)