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Culinary Con Artist

October 20, 2010

There’s this guy who works in my office.  Let’s call him “Dwight“.  Dwight loves dessert.  More than loves it, I think.  Borderline obsession I would say.  Doesn’t matter what kind – pumpkin pie, chocolate cake…as long as it contains sugar.  And Dwight is always trying to flim-flam people (and by “people” I mean me) into making him some sort of dessert and bringing it in to work.  He’s very good at what he does: I’ve brought birthday cakes, cupcakes, pies, and cheesecakes (both homemade and bought from the Nuns of New Skete).

He’s also very good at scamming other types of food.  In the past year or so, I’ve made an entire Caribbean lunch of Jerk Chicken and Red Beans & Rice for eight people, and probably my stupidest precedent-setter ever: “Breakfast for Lunch,” including waffles with homemade fruit compote  and a custom omelet station.  He’s presently working a long con on me, in the form of an Indian feast for ten.

He’s also been known – on two separate occasions – to get his interns to bring in farewell cakes FOR THEMSELVES on their last day of work.  In the flavor of his choosing.  Boy’s got a gift.

But this time he’s outdone himself.

About a month ago, Dwight started pitching the entire 6th Floor on what he dubbed a “Pie Contest”.  He personally invited select individuals to participate, and entrants would prepare a pie (or other special dessert) of their choosing and bring it to the office on October 20.  He never mentioned anything about judging, but I figured at first that he must have a plan.  Of course he had a plan.

October 20 is his birthday.

I figured this out quickly (thank you, recurring Outlook events), and warned everyone about the potential scam.  But no one seemed to care!  The suckers were going to go along with this anyway.  At least five (!) people have agreed to bring in a dessert for the “contest”.  Sadly, I am one of those suckers.  I made a Tarte Tatin.

Well, at least I’m going to get a blog post out of this.  Here’s what everyone in the office brought:

My Tarte Tatin. A tad overcooked, I have to say.

A Personal Cupcake, brought in by Pam. This is adorable.

From Patti. Not a cake, but it *does* have a candle.

Icebox Cake, made by Dwight's current intern Kaleigh.

Chocolate Torte, from Jackie

Peanut Butter Brownies, made by Ursula. I'm sorry that I did not take a photo of these when they were cut. These were dropped off in the morning, along with a note that said, "Don't let Dwight eat everything!" Silly Ursula.

Chocolate Pudding Pie from Ashley

We all gathered around 1:45 for the “judging”, which really was just Dwight tasting everything.  We also halfheartedly sang Happy Birthday to Dwight, chagrined that we’d been hoodwinked into supplying a birthday party for the Sultan of Sugar.

There were about 12 of us who sampled the desserts, and pretty much demolished everything.  It was all terrific (my favorite was the icebox cake, which was just so amazingly awesome).  Though he declared everything to be good, he refused to announce a winner.  He instead issued the following statement in an attempt to encourage us all to keep up the good work:

“Everyone should enter again next year.”

And so it continues.  Happy Birthday, “Dwight”.  I think all of your wishes have already come true.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jackie permalink
    October 20, 2010 8:25 pm

    Lovely post as always. Love that you named him “Dwight” but am even more so excited by the fond memories of everyone singing the most sleepy version of “Happy Birthday” I have ever heard. I agree with you about the Icebox Cake. Can’t wait to see what Kaleigh brings in for her going away party 🙂

  2. October 26, 2010 6:32 pm

    I really enjoyed this. Perfect mix of sincerity, sarcasm and self-deprecation!

  3. October 26, 2010 6:34 pm

    Crap, that comment sounded like total spam. Sorry.

    • October 26, 2010 7:22 pm

      I did not think it sounded like spam. To me, spam is “Ghost ride that whip” or “Do you like car rims.” – two actual pieces of spam I received this week.

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