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I hate to do this but ...

ehBeth's picture

<sigh>


it's potluck season at the office. gotta do it. hate it. gotta do it.


they show me the list of what's already being prepared - about 8 versions of fried rice, the infamous meatballs with grape jelly in the sauce, the fruit and jello concoctions (gawd, i know it's popular and i know you all know it's popular but it's still weird to see pineapple/orange/jello on the food list), broc and bacon salad and all the regular suspects. Oh yeah - the 9 layer taco thing is there too.


just looking at the list makes me realize that the things i'd like to bring are just not going to make it for this crowd, so i write down the classic chili under cornbread thing that i've been making for football parties for about 20 years. 


sooooo, what's the question? I'm looking for ideas to rev up the chili/cornbread thing (which the organizers think sounds awfully exciting) without turning off the jello lovers in the crowd. help help help. i'd like to keep my self-respect by making something that isn't just throwing together the contents of a couple of cans and boxes AND i want them to eat it. help help help.


 


If you can't play a sport, be one.
If you can't play a sport, be one.
kai230's picture

(post #27619, reply #1 of 161)

What's shameful about chili and cornbread? (Your peers clearly are already excited that you will bring this dish.) If you add chipotle, some might love it, others might not. What is your general recipe for this? Perhaps you could use different cheeses and herbs/spices, and place them on the side?


My sense is that if the majority is excited about jello, you probably don't want to expend a lot of effort on anything that might be appreciated by [edit: only] those w/finer palates.


Speaking of this, if anyone is ever in a situation and someone is passing out garbage sweets or something, instead of refusing, take them home, put in a plastic bag and freeze. If you are ever in a sugar fit, take a bite or three.


Edited 4/22/2003 10:59:00 PM ET by kai

ehBeth's picture

(post #27619, reply #2 of 161)

kai, thanks for the chipotle reminder.  I normally toss some finely sliced jalapenos into the cornbread but I know that would be too much.  A little chipotle in the chili itself would give a hint of heat without hurting anyone.


I like the chile and cornbread meal - it's always a success. It's just that this will be my first potluck at my new job - I was kinda kinda (kinda a lot) hoping that the taste buds here would be more like the place I was a few years ago than my last job.  At the other place I could bring my Northern German herring/beet salad with pumpernickel on the side and get rave reviews - others brought venison, stringhoppers -  all kinds of interesting ingredients and preparations were the norm. At the more recent employer, one potluck was noted for having 5 versions of the layered taco salad showing up - and all being polished off - as well as 2 crockpots worth of frozen meatballs in bbq sauce and grape jelly.  I gave up there and just brought bags of salad, spinach, shredded cheese, Bak-o Bits and bottled dressing (which everyone liked, but it didn't really feel anything like cooking - it was barely food preparation).


I would like to do a bean only chili - but the jello crowd won't go for that - so it will be a ground turkey/beef mixture with CHIPOTLES, onions, tomatoes, flavourful but not  hot spicing, a package of soup beans hydrated ( i like the way all the colours and shapes look ), a tiny bit of celery and some potato starch if the texture is too soupy.  There will be a layer of good shredded mixed cheeses - 1- 2 year old cheddar for flavour, some good havarti for stringiness - maybe something mild if i see something nice at the market - on top of the chili. The cornbread on top (this is the next debate - make my own or dig into my Martha White stock?). Bake it, and take it in with little containers of butter, sour cream and honey (some people always pick off the cornbread layer and eat it with butter and honey - is that normal?).


 


 


 


If you can't play a sport, be one.
If you can't play a sport, be one.
Jean's picture

(post #27619, reply #3 of 161)

Chili and cornbread is good, but MC's Texas caviar with those little scoop shaped chips are always a hit too.

Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves for they shall never cease to be amused.  Image

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
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ehBeth's picture

(post #27619, reply #5 of 161)

Thanks for the suggestion, Jean. I did a search and found the Texas Caviar. Looks like something I'd like, and serve at a party here - but the jalapenos take this out of suburban Toronto office food (and i saw that one version had cilantro and olives - definitely not happening at the grape jelly meatball potluck - we're talking people who think mild chicken wings are too hot!)


I've saved the Texas Caviar to my favourites - easy AND edible - a definite winner in my book.


If you can't play a sport, be one.
If you can't play a sport, be one.
Biscuits's picture

(post #27619, reply #4 of 161)

You know, EH - I worked with crowds like this, and I say - why cook "down" for them?  I wouldn't, and didn't.  I always cooked things MY way, with MY ingredients.  And you know what?  The bar started to rise at work - people started making better things and bringing more adventurous items.  It was like they needed someone to show them it was okay and they got onboard.


I HATE those damn meatballs with grape jelly!  (shudder...)  They just taste all sweet and just really odd to me.  Blech...


 


 


wtf    - Biscuit

Ancora Imparo -

ehBeth's picture

(post #27619, reply #7 of 161)

Biscuit - these people are going to be revolutionized when i reveal there's ground turkey in the mix AND i'm using a 9 bean blend - this is already verging on shocking territory. I think they're used to chili that involves canned baked beans, ground beef and a can of tomato paste - edible perhaps, but not cooking. I'll be cooking - the bar will be moving up - they just won't see it yet.  The chipotle and real cheeses involved will be our little secret!


 


If you can't play a sport, be one.
If you can't play a sport, be one.
kai230's picture

(post #27619, reply #6 of 161)

Beth, I wish you well w/that dilemma. It hurt me to bring something "edible" to the majority that was inedible to me, so I rebelled.


Here's an example: I would bring Brie, and maybe 4 of us would scarf it down. Someone else would bring Velveeta, and 20 folks were carrying it off.


Guess there is something to be said abt being unemployed--no fake lunches LOL!


 

ehBeth's picture

(post #27619, reply #8 of 161)

kai - i like to cook (d'oh) and i'm lucky to have friends who enjoy it too.  Work potlucks are just such an interesting challenge. Yeah, that's it, interesting challenge.  Chili/cornbread for the flavour-sensitive - this week's challenge!


Paying the mortgage - that's why we do these things - work, that is. It's also why there are pix of the dogs and the house at my desk - to remind me that til the dogs can pay the mortgage ...


If you can't play a sport, be one.

 

 

 

 

edit to increase sense of post


Edited 4/22/2003 11:56:56 PM ET by ehBeth

If you can't play a sport, be one.
PeterDurand's picture

(post #27619, reply #9 of 161)

I wanna to see pics of the dogs. Here are our resident loves.

Cheers

Pete

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hambiscuit2's picture

(post #27619, reply #13 of 161)

Great looking dogs, Peter! Aren't they a joy? :-)

ehBeth's picture

(post #27619, reply #41 of 161)

Gorgeous dogs, Peter! I'm learning to 'manipulate' pix now - so that I won't post 16" x 20" glossies of my dogkids.


This is my first real crack at posting Cleo and Bailey's 'portrait'.  They had just finished a serious amount of romping in a puddle-heavy park.


The cinnamon teddy bear is Cleo - she was rescued after spending 2 years living in a basement isolated from the 2 dogs her owners liked.  The blonde manly-man is Bailey - rescued from a parking lot at 7 months while he was being kicked.  Life is definitely better for all of us since we joined forces.


 


 


If you can't play a sport, be one.
If you can't play a sport, be one.
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PeterDurand's picture

(post #27619, reply #43 of 161)

Awwww..

It makes my blood boil when I think of the way some people treat their pets. Grrr. Good for you for taking them in. Our three are also rescues.

Cheers,

Peter

hambiscuit2's picture

(post #27619, reply #61 of 161)

You know I can't resist posting a picture of two more rescues. On the left is our male, Bud, who is a therapy dog. he was a stray. On the right is grand-dog, Jackson. He was on a chain for all of his 17 months of life until DD and her family adopted him. He just had his 2nd birthday. Three cheers for rescue!

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PeterDurand's picture

(post #27619, reply #62 of 161)

Warms my heart. Still cannot understand why some people.....rant,rant.

Thanks for the pics.

Cheers,

Peter

hambiscuit2's picture

(post #27619, reply #63 of 161)

Yes, rant...rant here too.....

Wolvie's picture

(post #27619, reply #70 of 161)

another rant rant - I have had a few rescue dogs, and with no exception they have all been great. I don't understand our species, either.

Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time - Abe Lincoln.

 

APonKP's picture

(post #27619, reply #96 of 161)

Love all these doggie pictures!  If I lived out in the country and had a big barn I think I'd have some of everything.  My rescue kittie rules the roost here.  She is lounging on the livingroom sofa on a paisley shawl as we "speak".  She has forgotten all about her humble beginnings. 

One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.  A.A. Milne

One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.  A.A. Milne
ehBeth's picture

(post #27619, reply #64 of 161)

ohhhhhhhh more gorgeous dogFriends! Bailey has completed his AKC CGC in preparation for being considered for a therapy dog program.  At an OSPCA fundraiser Bailey participated in (as a demo of what a beginner agility dog can do - he was the ringer) we met a Rottie who does therapy work at a nearby rehabilitation hospital - wonderful, big, drooly love of a dog.  


Love dogs who have been rescued. Love therapy dogs.


Can't tolerate people who are unkind to dogs. Nope. No tolerance. None.


 


If you can't play a sport, be one.
If you can't play a sport, be one.
MadMom's picture

(post #27619, reply #65 of 161)

There should be a law that people who mistreat dogs should be subjected to the same treatment they give their pets...bet that owner would not have enjoyed being chained up for 17 months.  Those goldens are so beautiful.  Love dogs.  Hate people who are unkind to them.  'Nuff said.

Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.
Lily Tomlin

KitchenWitch's picture

(post #27619, reply #66 of 161)

The best news is that there are still good people willing to open their hearts and homes to rescue.


I just received some pictures of a Bull Terrier that was in our rescue group - all we knew is he was from the Carlsbad shelter, and very thin.
The editor of our club newsletter sent me the pics, and I told her they would be up on the club website that evening. A few hours later, I received another email from Carla, telling me he'd already been matched with a family in Las Vegas, who'd been waiting months for a rescue as a companion for their dog. I was very happy, as he is a handsome boy, though he still has the sad eyes most rescues seem to have. But I also know the sad eyes will be replaced with happy, shining (if squinty) ones.


~RuthAnn

~RuthAnn

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hambiscuit2's picture

(post #27619, reply #90 of 161)

Awwww, so sweet! Are you considering another rescue, RuthAnn?

KitchenWitch's picture

(post #27619, reply #91 of 161)

mmm - probably not for a while. Horus is 11, and that's pretty old for a Bullie, and with a new baby on the way, I don't know...plus, with Bull Terriers, many rescues have to be in an only dog home, because they weren't raised and socialized properly. many are animal aggressive.
We were lucky with Horus, as he wasn't a true rescue - he had a wonderful, loving home, but his owners were moving out of the country due to illness and couldn't bring him along. And we had been trying to find a rescue as a companion for Cassie for nearly a year at that point.


so, maybe in a year or so, we'll see if any of our breeder friends have a retiree looking for a home.  Or look into a rescue at that time.


~RuthAnn

~RuthAnn

hambiscuit2's picture

(post #27619, reply #92 of 161)

Wow, I missed another thread!  I didn't know about the new baby. How exciting, thrilling, happy, wonderful etc, etc, etc,....When is new baby due?

KitchenWitch's picture

(post #27619, reply #93 of 161)

November 18th.


=)


~RuthAnn

~RuthAnn

anneelsberry's picture

(post #27619, reply #94 of 161)

"November 18th"

And I'm sure you'll be making a Thanksgiving dinner to die for the next week.

If not, it might be fun to do a potluck T-day dinner for your family (Jill, Kai, Samchang?)

Somebody put a stop payment on my reality check!

Somebody put a stop payment on my reality check!

Jillsifer's picture

(post #27619, reply #150 of 161)

(Sorry for the late response but . . . ) YESSSS!!! That would be WAY fun.

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.

-- Washington Irving

hambiscuit2's picture

(post #27619, reply #95 of 161)

Please accept a big cyber hug from me. :-)

chiffonade's picture

(post #27619, reply #105 of 161)

..and with a new baby on the way.....


Congratulations!  Perhaps a little warlock to go with your little witchlet? ;)  Cool!!


P.S.  My daughter was born 11/11/88 - and T-Giving was about 10 days after she was born.  No, I didn't go crazy cooking - which tipped everyone off that I was embarking on a whopping post partum depression. 

*You're a REAL person, eat REAL food."

Chiffonade

JoanneB17's picture

(post #27619, reply #77 of 161)

Hambiscuit, forgive me, but I didn't look to see if you were part of the favorite comics thread (which hijacked--in a pleasant way--the French thread). Anyway, you MUST look at www.muttscomics.com to see Patrick O'Donnell's passion for rescuing animals. Many of his comic strips have to do with the animal shelter and this little cat named Shtinky Puddin', who wants to save the world's aniimals. Very cute without being sappy.


You are wonderful for rescuing these lovely dogs.

ehBeth's picture

(post #27619, reply #82 of 161)

Mutts is fabulous! I get it delivered to my home e-mail - it's a great treat every morning.  Definitely for dog, cat, bird and bee lovers 


 =: D


If you can't play a sport, be one.
If you can't play a sport, be one.