Please welcome Caroline to the sofa.
When their disaster in the kitchen ruins the party I smile just a little. I don’t know when I got to be so mean. I was raised in the south with all the rules and manners of a proper southern girl, please and thank you were the name of the game. My family owned a popular inn and were famous for their hospitality and true southern cooking. I, being the oldest child of a large family inherited all of the family recipes and tricks of perfect entertaining. My talents in the kitchen do not go unnoticed as I am very well known for being the perfect hostess. Family and friends quite often ask me for the family recipes and secret tricks. Instead of being a gracious southern girl and handing over the information, I always omit something crucial or add an ingredient that will ruin the dish. This dirty little trick has ruined many dinner parties and family meals. I tell myself that I will quit but it never fails every time I do the same. I once sabotaged an entire rehearsal dinner that I was attending by leaving out the details for the secret sauce, to the mother of the groom. When the dinner was a complete flop I comforted her and said I can’t imagine what went wrong. I told her that maybe she should just leave the cooking for special occasions to me.
The legacy of a great cook and hostess are all I have and the fear of losing my status forces me to lie. This behavior totally defies everything I’ve learned while growing up in a proper southern family. I’m not proud of my behavior but I don’t see a change coming anytime too soon.
Junie: I don’t think you would lose your culinary notoriety if you gave the correct information to others. I can follow the very same recipe for a dish my mother makes and still never even come close to the great taste of her food. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few of your friends are already aware of your dirty tricks. Miss Manners would say being a good hostess goes much futher than the kitchen.