There’s a saying I’ve liked since I first heard it: “Revenge is a dish best served cold.” It applies to many things, cooking among them.
When last I worked in a large office, they had monthly departmental pitch-ins. Every month I’d bring something a little different from Midwestern standard, every month my co-workers would look at it sidelong, and every month I’d take home my contribution, minus the serving I’d taken for myself. While it served a purpose in assuring there was at least one non-dessert dish on the table I could eat, it still got old. I mean, it wasn’t like I was bringing in chilled monkey brains a la Indiana Jones. I was bringing in things like tabbouleh or kugel or lentil salad with feta cheese. Not something you’d find at the neighborhood Golden Corral, but not anything all that weird either.
Finally I decided I’d had it, and set out to make the most chemically laden, egregiously sweet concoction I could assemble from the contents of my kitchen. Freezer contained a tub of Cool Whip someone had brought over that hadn’t been used because, well, I don’t ever use it. I can taste the chemicals. Bleah. Cabinet contained a box of pistachio instant pudding, purchased for a cake I didn’t end up making. I had a sleeve of Thin Mints that had melted in the car before I got it home, and had fused as the chocolate hardened. The light bulb went off.
I mixed the pudding with milk per the instructions on the box. Before it set I stirred in the thawed Cool Whip. Then I broke the cylinder of mint chocolate cookie apart enough for the blender to be able to grind it, reduced it to crumbs, and folded them in. It had, to my way of thinking, no redeeming features. It was my cold, creamy revenge.
Which backfired completely. The bowl was empty in under 10 minutes. People who missed it heard about it from people who’d gotten there in time. I got asked for the recipe by half a dozen different co-workers. They loved it.
It went a long way toward explaining why they wouldn’t even try my normal cooking.