Oh the horrors!
I have a very dear, living-too-far-away friend coming to stay with us in two weeks and since he's rarely here in the Bay Area there are a lot of people he'd love to see. I'm having a few of "the group" over for a brunchy-lunchy-type gathering and I'm already freaking out.
Now there are some people who are born entertainers. (By which I do not mean Groucho Marx.) I mean Martha-esque type entertaining. Many of my friends (including The Foreigner, Finny, and the Lurker) are wonderful cooks. I, on the other hand, am not.
I come by my lack of cooking talent through genetics. My mother is a notoriously bad cook. Not only can I not cook well, I don't even know where to start in terms of what to serve. I mean I realize that my friends love me anyway and certainly aren't coming over here for the food. They're coming for a reunion. But I have to serve them something. I can't just hand them a bag of chips and a Coke and say "enjoy!"
Which leaves me wandering aimlessly through recipe sites and cookbooks. And wondering why I missed getting the chef's gene. Some people (Finny, I'm talking about you.) seem to naturally be able to imagine how food will taste. "Hey," she'll say, "let's combine home-grown tomatoes with bacon and pine nuts." And voila! she's got a yummy salad/bread/main course that looks and tastes delicious. "Hey," I'll say, "I'll follow this recipe exactly and voila! it looks and tastes like doggy poopy."
So in addition to the fact that I really (REALLY!) need to clean the house, I have a week to figure out what to cook, how to cook, and what the hell this little shiny thingy is in my utensil drawer. It's gonna we a long week...