Tuesday, March 25, 2008

On Your Answering Machine?

This could be a long story, so I'll tell you the punch line first:
She called me up and left a message saying, "Remember that smoked salmon pasta we used to make? Could you tell me how to make it? If I'm not home, just leave it on my answering machine."
Yeah, this was an old friend, but it had been years since we'd spoken.
In the old days, she and her beau (later husband, and then ex-husband) used to spend New Year's Eve with me and Cranky.
We would make homemade fettucine with smoked salmon, crème fraîche, chives, crunches of black pepper, and maybe green peas. (In the old days I didn't realize peas were out of season.) It was simultaneously an ambitious, naive and elegant meal, given the state of our skills back then.
It seemed as if all four of us were pitching in, mincing, turning the pasta handle, opening, boiling, stirring, whatever... And a lovely meal made it to the table just before the illuminated ball came down in Times Square.
It turned out years later that this friend couldn't cook. She faked everything. She wanted us to believe she was a natural in the kitchen, and would pound huge welts into her husband's frail frame if he accidentally blurted that a recipe had been consulted for a dish she theatrically trotted out of the kitchen. (Really, she couldn't cook, but she seriously lied about it. It's too weird and complicated; let's just say she had a negative relationship with truthiness in every respect.)
Once she and her bruised husband separated, she landed in the bronzed, overmuscled arms of a conceited blond plumber. Not the kind of guy she'd be hammering on much. But she wanted him to believe she could cook, pronto.
So she called me out of the blue.
"Remember that smoked salmon pasta we used to make? Could you tell me how to make it? If I'm not home, just leave it on my answering machine."
I mean, would you have called her back?

24 comments:

kudzu said...

No. Truthiness is next to godiness.

peter said...

Yes, but the ingredients might include half a cup of cayenne, and also possibly some quaaludes.

Anita said...

luckily you run with a nicer crowd now.

*and* they all know how to cook :D

Sharona May said...

That is a funny story. Love it. Sounds like a good recipe too.

sharona may

Dagny said...

Actually I probably would have called her back. (Don't let it out but I can be a doormat at times.) Maybe also because on my dad's side of the family, I am one of the few women who proclaims to be a cook. Somehow the others were not paying attention when my grandmother was dropping pearls of wisdom.

And I'm guessing that she is one of those people who follows a recipe exactly. Even down to measuring everything exactly. *shudder* Because I will often refer to cookbooks but I have an almost extreme dislike of measuring. Then again, I have developed a pretty good eye over the years.

dancingmorganmouse said...

Probably not, I'm not inclined to help those who aren't full of the truthiness. And really, was she just saying "I don't want to chat, catch up, just gimmie the how to"? How horribly rude.

Shelley said...

Meh. Sheeple.

jen maiser said...

Hilarious. I wouldn't have called her back.

Sometimes when people ask me for recipes it's embarrassing because some of them are just totally complicated. Mom and I both make a chili that has wayyyyy too many steps for the normal person, but damn it's good.

Anonymous said...

Oh, so not. Or maybe I'd take Peter's advice and toss in an oddball ingredient... "one of these things doesn't go together, one of these things just doesn't belong..." If she figures it out, good for her.

Greg said...

I think many of our politicos have a negative relationship with truhtiness.For reals!

alison said...

hell.....i mean heck, no!

cookiecrumb said...

Kudzu: I say we're all entitled to a fib here and there, but a lifestyle of lying is so UGH!! Last time I saw her she said she was attempting to be "more authentic." What? I finally figured out she knew what a fraud she was, but didn't have the cojones to say so in normal language.

Peter: You devil! I shoulda.

Anita: I am in friendship heaven.

Sharona May: "Recipe," heh, heh. Even you can see how easy it is.

Dagny: I've been taken advantage of too many times. It took years to learn not to call back.

Morgan: That's exactly what she was doing. Oh, did I mention she is selfish and narcissistic?

Shelley: Hah! Funny.

Jen: Can you imagine talking into a phone, rattling off a recipe, when there's no one but a machine to hear you? I would have been mortified. (And then she'd have me on tape!!)
Let's have a chili party.

Anonymous: She never called again, by the way.

Greg: You know the saying: What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive. Right, Hillary?

Alison: You are correct!

namastenancy said...

I'd tell her to google it and don't call me again.

Michelle said...

No. Good for you! Obviously you made a good decision leaving that one behind...

Zoomie said...

Such crust! Heck, no! (But it makes a great story!)

Lannae said...

LOL! She makes a good story! She may not be authentic, but at least she is consistent, and you know what you are getting. If it were me, I probably would spend a few days stewing over it. Then I would consult Matt, and stew some more. Then because I am kind of a softy, I would call her, perhaps with sketchy details on how to make it, then kick myself because I don't want her to have the fabulous pasta secret.

Heather said...

I agree with kudzu. Peter(aka Jubilation T. CornPwn)'s idea is a little too "Little House on the Prairie" for my liking.

You can't front on Truthiness.

Stacie said...

nope. besides, all she needs to do is get on the internet and google "food blogs that rock" and she might come across something mighty close to the recipe she's looking for on Im Mad and I Eat...

nelson_lamp said...

I'm with Peter (but the color of the cayenne might tip her off that something is not right; I'd recommend white pepper). Recently someone I hadn't spoken to in nearly a decade asked me to be a job reference. Sure, I'll do that. But for a recipe you can pass off as your own? HELLS NO.

cookiecrumb said...

NamasteNancy: We all had made this recipe together at least three or four times. I thought she knew how it went! But apparently she was busying herself opening the champagne.

Michelle: Yeah, well, thanks. It doesn't feel good, but being used feels worse.

Zoomie: Heh. I gots lots more stories! ;)

Lannae: If I had volunteered to go to her house and cook the food, she'd have gladly accepted... and she'd still not have learned how to make it.

Heather: The best result of not calling her back was her eventual disappearance!

Stacie: Would you believe this event happened pre-Google? Eep!

nelson_lamp: She was welcome to the recipe. I just refused to sit there and chatter it to an answering machine; the ultimate indignity.

Catherine said...

makes me think there should be an cooking/life lessons anthology with this story in it.

Rachel said...

My rule of thumb, other than, don't intentionally cut the bagel toward your throat is: if you can dance, you can "end up in the muscled arms of a blond plumber" so to speak. But I'm with ya, I wouldn't have assumed that if you can $%^& you can cook. Leave her hanging- she'll crumble like withered fruit on his vine when he realizes she can't find a way to his heart through his stomach!

-The Creatrix

Passionate Eater said...

Just direct her to a great recipe source: "Google." But Cookie, there are times though that I want to call you up and leave messages on your answering machine for recipes!

Alice Q. said...

I think the most offensive part of this is the "leave it on my answering machine" - no pretense of even wanting to talk or caring what you're up to, just wanting the recipe - and like you said, not caring about the indignity of having you leave it on the machine. I don't talk to those people anymore either.