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Snack Stress

My pulse quickens as the sign-up sheet circles the room. It approaches and I notice the other ladies are talking and laughing. They seem so unfazed, so unruffled by what they are being asked to do. They use their pens like swords and claim their day with bravado–their day to bring the snack.

The woman next to me has just finished writing down that she will bring her snack to the next meeting. It is finally my turn. My heart is galloping as I scour the sign-up sheet for some distant date, far into the future. Or maybe I should chose a close date, to get it out of the way? I surrender my name, and my fate has been sealed…I must provide a fabulously delicious snack. It is weeks away, but the panic has set in.

I suffer from a syndrome known as “Snack Stress”–the panic and worry that comes when I belong to a group where food is part of the activity. Because the burden shouldn’t rest on the few, a sign-up sheet is circulated and the members are asked (or in my case, practically held at gunpoint) to provide the treats for one session/meeting/gathering.

It isn’t that I am cheap. It isn’t that I am lazy–okay, we’ve established that I am. The true reason is that I am terrified my snack will, at best, be mediocre, and at worst, kill a few people.

This issue is weighing heavily on my mind today because tomorrow is MOPS–my day out to hang with the other mommies, no kids. And I signed up to bring a “breakfast casserole.” What in God’s Green Earth was I thinking? Why didn’t I put down “bagels” or “muffins”? I must have some sick subconscious need to terrorize myself with cooking for people other than my family. I am not a stellar cook. I still need to call my mom to have her remind me how to hard boil an egg.

For tomorrow’s meeting, I dug out a recipe called “Zippy Egg Casserole”. A friend of mine made it for a MOPS meeting about a year ago. It was very good, good enough for me to ask for the recipe. She is a great cook, however. The idea behind this breakfast casserole is to mix it up the night before. It sits in the fridge all night and is baked in the morning, like a prisoner on death row that waits to be executed via a 350 degree oven.

I hope the egg will firm while cooking. I hope the cheese doesn’t curdle. I hope the sausage doesn’t spew too much grease into the mixture. I hope the croutons don’t get too soggy. I hope it doesn’t burn. I hope it isn’t raw. I hope that my oven works. I hope I make enough. I hope I don’t witness anyone taking a bite and then making that face–surprise, fake smile, and then saying, in a strained-enthusiastic voice: “it’s interesting!”

I hope that no deadly bacteria find their way into my Zippy Egg Casserole and kill my friends.

3 comments to Snack Stress

  • Momofmopsy

    Don’t worry Mopsy, even Martha, I’m sure has had her share of flops even on camera. Of course she could yell at her staff and edit it and start over. I’m sure your casserole will turn out just great.

  • Kathy

    Goodness Gracious Gretchen! I thought I was the only one who suffered “snack stress”!
    I panic and stress out about “what to make” for family events also! My favorite Aunt lets me
    bring cheese to Easter dinner – Swiss/American/Chedder! I love her, she understands me!

  • Kathy

    Forgot to add that at our neighborhood block party last month, i was to bring dessert! I made two!
    Apple crisp and a regular old batch of brownies (the brownies were in case the apple crisp
    didn’t turn out– at the end of the day the brownies were gone, the apple crisp wasn’t! sigh!

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