Last week, before going to Guam, we hosted a cooking night at our place for the church kids.
20-something hormonal teenagers showed up. 20-something.
Strangers, have you ever had 20-something hormonal teenagers all come to your house at once? By the end of the night, I felt like I had just done meth for 3 straight hours. Not that I know what that is, mom. But really, 20-something hormonal teenagers, all crammed together and screaming for attention. The night was exactly like an episode of iCarly. Not that I know what that is, everyone else.
We were in charge of getting the boys to prepare some kind of elaborate dish in the kitchen while the girls stayed mostly in the front room putting together appetizers and desserts. Initially the leader over the girls offered to have them prepare the entire meal themselves, but the feminist in me protested this. And then vowed to teach the girls how to fix cars if I ever learned how myself. And then scolded me for assuming they don't already know how to fix cars just because they're girls. And then vowed to ask the girls to teach me to fix the cars.
So instead we agreed to do the main course and let the girls do totally whatever they wanted because who am I to tell them what to do? Which ones were the girls anyway? I don't even see gender.
Daniel and I had the brilliant idea to choose the one thing we know how to make that involves the greatest and most technical use of sharp knives.
Note: I should never have children.
We taught them how to make Ukrainian Borsch, a soup that requires exactly 200,000 different ingredients. Special bonus, this blood-red stew stains everything. Even stuff it doesn't touch.
Look down. There is totally a borsch stain on your carpet from reading this.
Borsch is far and away mine and Daniel's very favorite food in the entire world. Whenever we make it, we usually fill several large pots, intending for it to last a week. Usually we make it 24-48 hours. And then we cry. Both because we just ate enough food to sustain a small village for 2 weeks, but also because there's no more borsch.
Borsch and I very much have an abusive relationship in that way. All it does is hurt me. Yet I just can't let it go.
So one dozen hyperactive boys between the ages of 12 and 17 crowded around us while we handed out knives and food items and told them to chop, peel, and grate to their hearts' content. The good thing about borsch is that since it's already red, you can't tell when someone chops their finger off while cutting up a potato. It's totally the most convenient meal to prepare with teenagers.
Seriously, future judge who is trying to decide whether I should have custody of my own children, please read the prior paragraph.
Chaos ensued the moment we began and we never did really get things back under control. Although I tried. I wandered from person to person, saying in a panicked voice things like, "please be careful!" and "that's not a toy!" Not because they were playing with knives or acting inappropriately in any way, but just because that's what Bob and Cathie used to always say to me when I was holding dangerous objects and, well, I'm still here so obviously it worked.
Most of them just stared back at me like I was the biggest idiot they had ever met. Which was too bad because I really thought we were going to hit it off a lot better than this. I mean, we're all going through puberty at the same time so we have stuff in common.
But guys, preparing food for that many people is more stressful than unarming a nuclear bomb. Also, way more pressure. The whole thing reminded me of last year when, while still in law school, I was assigned to make gourmet mac and cheese for 400 people until 2:00 in the morning. We had to mix it in 50 gallon buckets. Because there was no spoon long enough, I had to stir it with my arm.
Guys, if ever you feel like you are at an all-time low in your life I want you to picture me sitting on the floor and stirring mac and cheese with my arm at 2:00 in the morning while simultaneously studying for law school finals.
And if that doesn't make you feel better, I want you to think of the people that ate that mac and cheese.
I'm pretty sure that I single-handedly caused the Swine Flu.
Anyway, eventually the borsch came together and actually turned out to be pretty tasty. Also, nobody lost a finger in the process so I knew that that was totally a potato I bit into.
Despite the chaos, having the kids over for the evening was ultimately a success. Queue the i-Carly theme song.
Whatever it is. I don't know. Don't look at me.
~It Just Gets Stranger