Yesterday in the early afternoon, I appeared at my daughter’s preschool to pick her up. She ran up to me, gave me a big hug, and then said, “Daddy! Daddy! We’re having a holiday party today! Can we go? Can we go? [repeat six times with jumping].” “Sounds gooooood to meeee,” a preschool teacher standing nearby helpfully said. Oh, dear. I’d planned to spend the afternoon doing something else with my kids. “It’s a potluck!” chirped the helpful preschool teacher as my daughter batted her eyes and did a happy dance I didn’t want to squelch.
Bat, Bat. Happy Dance, Happy Dance. Potluck. Bat, Bat.
Moment one: smile.
Moment two: “sure!”
Moment three: world’s biggest hug, received.
Moment four: panic. The potluck party was in 40 minutes.
I ran home. 30 minutes. Searched the shelves wildly. 25 minutes. Banged head on counter. 24 minutes. Held head. 23 minutes.
With 23 minutes to go, I pulled out my bananas.
Here’s my quick holiday potluck fix:
1. Empty one of those boxes of baker’s chocolate into a glass bowl and microwave it for 2 minutes.
2. Peel bananas. Cut the fruits in half.
3. Spread out wax paper on something — anything — flat. OK, not cheese. Or a wall map.
4. Dip the bananas in the melted chocolate and put them on the wax paper.
5. Run out the door.
The whole thing took me 10 minutes. OK, so it wasn’t a holiday themed dish. Pardon me, Martha! If you have five extra minutes, use white chocolate instead and paint the suckers with a smiley face in red food coloring and tell everyone it’s Santa. Stick a straw in it and tell everyone Santa’s got a heroin problem! In better homes and gardens, you’d julienne some carrots and do something freaky with a honey glaze and pitted cherries while wearing some goofy looking sequined sweater. In the homes and gardens you and I live in, sometimes you’ve just got to throw something together. The bananas got me there on time, people said, “oooh! chocolate!,” and juvenile holiday disaster was averted. That’s good enough for me.