A couple years ago, while living in Arkansas, I hosted an October Bunco party. I planned my menu for weeks. I chose foods that would fit with a Halloween theme, witches fingers (vienna sausages wrapped in puff pastry), coffin dip (pumpernickel bread cut like coffins with dill dip) and a blood ball (shrimp ball drizzled in cocktail sauce). I made sugar cookies in the shape of pumpkins and witches hat cookies. Everything fit my theme and my only stress was the “day of” execution. I always get stressed on the “day of” and once in a while, Evan and I will get in a tiff because of it. Evan had made a Pumpkin Roll and wanted me to serve it at my party. I was irritated because it didn’t go with my theme and I wanted the menu to be things that I had prepared. I had worked so hard to plan it out and prepare everything. And to be perfectly honest, I wanted the credit when the guests oohed and aahed. By the time the first car pulled in the driveway, I had kicked Evan out and let the Pumpkin Roll stay. Big mistake.
Guests arrived and grazed through the spread of food with the regular, “how cute” type of polite comments. That is, until they came to the Pumpkin Roll. These ladies went crazy over this Pumpkin Roll! There were extraordinarily loud “MMmmmms” and they were all dieing over the filling. Three people asked for the recipe and one woman suggested that I email it out to the whole Bunco listserv. Then the conversation went on and on about how difficult it is to make “rolls”. It was everything I could do not to lose it when I had to announce that I didn’t make it. I think some of the crowd was genuinely disappointed or worried that I didn’t have the recipe to give. So the party went on and I didn’t mention much about it. The week following the party, I received two phone calls asking for the recipe since I did not send it out.
Fast forward a couple weeks to Thanksgiving and I was planning a potluck with two couples in Arkansas. Both women were in the Bunco group and asked me to ask Evan to make the Pumpkin Roll. That stupid Pumpkin Roll would haunt me forever. I swallowed my pride and told him to prepare it, but I could no longer keep my feelings to myself. I had a couple glasses of wine and spilled my guts about my Pumpkin Roll animosity. That only set the stage for everyone to moan loudly and go way over the top when he served it as the finale of our Thanksgiving feast. And now looking back, I can’t even remember what I brought to that potluck.
The teasing is ongoing, but these days I have come to terms with the Pumpkin Roll. I know I can’t compete with it and have just accepted the fact that it is the best dessert at every party we take it to. This year was no exception. One of the guests at our Thanksgiving dinner had, not one, but two pieces of Pumpkin Roll, leaving no room for a piece of apple pie that his wife made special for him. Another women defeated by the Pumpkin Roll. I know her pain so well.