Last weekend, I cooked for about 15 people to celebrate 3 birthdays. It was actually pot luck, but my contribution was to be the only one that's home-cooked on the table, so there's some pressure. That and the fact that people actually asked for that-dish-I-make-that-they-like-so-much-but-they-can't-remember-the-last-time-they-ate-it pasta dish. I also decided to make dessert.
The pasta is a cinch to make. So is dessert. Before I started doing anything, I already had my game plan squarely in my head, because I was already planning for this for the past 3 days. I visualized myself doing everything seamlessly, from the marketing and groceries, to the food preparation, to the cooking, and to the final presentation. I saw myself with about 2 hours to spare for fixing the table, the place, and myself up before everyone arrives. It was hardly a challenge.
This was NOT to be the case.
That fateful morning, everyone who's supposed to help with the grocery shopping and other errands was either sick or had an emergency to attend to, there was no parking at the wet market, 3 trips had to be made to the supermarket for "additional ingredients," people had to wait about 30 minutes for my pasta to be served, and the dessert, although yummy, didn't quite make it and died on the plate due to lack of refrigeration.
Everyone had a GREAT time, they all loved the pasta, they can't get over how yummy the dessert was, even if it looked more like porridge than anything else--and there I was, trying hard not to wail and sleep, smiling but dazed, smelling like garlic and bananas.
Everything that could go wrong DID go wrong. But that won't stop anyone from enjoying good food & great company.