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One Lump or Two?

I can make that dish in three minutes – NOT!!

While every woman in America harbors a secret longing that she can produce (i.e. “whip up”) tasty treats from scratch with no mess and within the timeframe listed on the recipes, it is in fact a lie, and a damned lie at that.

When a recipe says
Prep: 30 minutes, Cook: 30 minutes, TOTAL:  1 hour

a more accurate plan would be:

  • Thinking about what to make

2 hour

  • Deciding which recipe to make

30 minutes

  • Reviewing list of ingredients and trying to remember if you’ve got any of it

15 minutes

  • Going to the grocery to buy stuff

45 minutes

  • Getting home and putting away the stuff you bought that doesn’t go in the recipe but was on sale

15 minutes

  • Measuring dry ingredients into little cups to dump into bowl and feel like a television cook

11 minutes

  • Rinsing, peeling, cutting, chopping other ingredients (including running sliced finger under cold running water to stop the bleeding)

30 minutes

  • Sautéing

10 minutes

  • Washing up the little bowls from which you dumped your dry ingredients

6 minutes

  • Adding too much of the other ingredients and having to stir constantly in hopes of actually sautéing things instead of steaming them

20 minutes

  • Adding final ingredients

15 minutes

  • Getting dinnerware ready to eat off of

5 minutes

  • Plating cooked items

7 minutes

TOTAL: Most of your waking hours

I realized early that I was not going to be able to make everything for the tea party. I decided I would make the tea sandwich fillings, I would make the scones, I would make the mini Black Forest Soufflé cakes but I would buy the little fruit tarts.

Having (finally) learned a lesson or two from Wan, who puts on an amazing Chinese New Year’s party for a lot of people every year, I came up with a plan, and started early. I did slightly veer off plan towards the end, but I pulled it back and more or less stuck to what I came up with, and the results were actually really nice, and I wasn’t the crazed hostess I have been in the past.


A realistic timetable


“Little sandwiches” does not mean “little work”


Irish scones at an English Tea


I’ll have one of those, one of those, and one of those (please)


How ‘bout a cuppa?


Thanks so much for coming


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