“You’re going to what?”
“I’m going to bring refreshments to the next DGNTFS meeting.”
“I thought this group was supposed to get you off your pathetic addiction to setting the house on fire?” Stij asked.
“Oh, come on. That only happened twice.”
“Aren’t you forgetting the taffy creation you came up with that turned out to be C-4 with sugar?”
“Ah, but that was an explosion, not a fire.”
Stij just gave me THE LOOK. Since THE LOOK is usually followed by THE REMINGTON, I deftly changed the subject. “So how is work going?”
“Gerry and Liz invited us to a pot luck supper.”
“Oh, that’s great! What shall I bring?”
“I told her you’d bring the pot.”
“Tee hee, it is to laugh. But getting back to my support group…”
“Oh, yeah, I meant to ask you—what’s with the paper I have to sign?”
“It’s a permission slip for me to make the refreshments.”
“Permission slip! It should be an injunction!”
“Well, let’s see what this thing says. ‘I (your name here) am aware that (lousy cook’s name here) will be attempting to prepare refreshments for the cooking support group for the next meeting. I attest that my fire insurance is paid up and that a living will is in place. I agree to hold the group harmless for any emergency skin grafts, amputated limbs, and any and all singed nostril hair. If you are planning on tasting the cooking effort, we encourage you to have a stomach pump at the ready and the Poison Control Center on speed dial.’”
“It does not say that!”
“Well, it should,” Stij grumbled. “So what, if I may ask, are you planning on besmirching our happy home with this time?”
“I thought I’d make cannolis.”
“Out to bring the wrath of the Italians down on our heads, then?”
“Hey, I have nothing against Italians! I had an Italian teacher for one of my cooking classes…before the school burned down.”
“I remember. He’s still in hiding somewhere in Sicily…probably trying to hire a hit man.”
“All right. Then what do you think I should make?”
“Why don’t you try a pie. Pies are pretty easy, right?”
“Not for me. Remember Thanksgiving eight years ago?”
“Oh, yes. That was the first time I was ever served mince pie in a glass. And by the way, it’s ‘mince’ pie—m-i-n-c-e—not m-i-n-t-s.”
“Oh. It took about four dozen York Peppermint Patties to fill that pie.”
“Yes, it was the only dessert to make my breath minty fresh just before all my teeth instantly rotted and fell out of my head.”
“So what else, then? And how are the dentures, by the way?”
Another dirty look. "How about sugar cookies? Those are pretty basic.”
“Sugar cookies it is!”
I found a recipe that I thought would work. Not many ingredients, and it sounded easy. I wanted to add green food coloring, just for something different, but we didn’t have any, so I melted a crayon and added it to the flour, sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla extract, baking soda, and baking powder, all of which was carefully measured and mixed together. I then put rounded teaspoons full of dough on the cookie sheet, put it in the oven, and sat back to wait.
After about six minutes, I turned the oven light on to check progress.
The entire inner surface of the oven was covered in a green pulsating slime, which had eaten every cookie on the sheet!
I dashed out to Stij’s shop. “How do you get rid of green slime?”
“Call the Ghostbusters?”
“Big help. The oven in full of what appears to be a sentient slimer!”
“I’ll bet that was what was left when you lime jello baked Alaska exploded,” Stij said. “Add some heat and protein and God knows what genetic mutation you’ve created in there! Lemme see.”
We entered the kitchen cautiously. There was a huge green face smashed up against the oven window and it didn’t look happy.
“What should we do? It ate all my cookies!”
“Just wait,” Stij said.
And sure enough, after another moment or two, there was a muffled scream, a gurgle, and it slid down the inside of the oven, ending up lying motionless across the empty cookie sheet.
“How did you know that would happen?”
“It ate your cookies, didn’t it?”
I think I’ll skip the meeting this week.