Submitted by Kathy Haselmaier
My sisters-in-law are all fantastic cooks. Eating in their homes is always a treat and fun to anticipate.
I, on the other hand, don't really cook at all. It's not that I'm not willing to cook, it's just that when my husband and I were first dating, I made my three best meals for him, and then he said, "How about if I make dinner next time?" That was 32 years ago and ever since then, when I offer to cook, he says, "That's OK, I'll make something." Apparently those first meals I prepared didn't impress him and neither have the others I've made since.
Many years ago we were invited to his parents' home on a Friday evening for dinner when both of his sisters and their families were in town. It was agreed that we'd bring dessert for the group. Things had been especially hectic for my husband at work that week, so I told him I'd take care of the Friday evening dessert. I had every intention of doing that, but things also became busy for me, and somehow the dessert prep was put on the back burner (so to speak). On the day of the dinner, as I finished an all-day meeting at a local hotel, there was barely enough time to jump into the car and race across town to arrive at his parents' home in time for dinner. The reality of having no dessert in hand was impossible to ignore any longer. No dessert for this family of great cooks.
I really had no other option than to purchase something from the hotel restaurant's dessert tray. So I selected "two of each", the hotel put them in a box, and off I went to the dinner with the total dessert failure sitting on the car seat beside me.
The funny thing was, when the box was opened, rather than being ridiculed for not being able to make dessert, everyone acted enthused about the selections from the Marriott dessert tray. Who knows if they were just being polite, but the thing I learned that night is that sometimes, rather than trying to keep up with the sisters, it's best to just play to your strengths and do what you do best. Even if it is just picking desserts from a tray.
organized by publication date and category