That’s what I said.
I love my mom more than anything. I really do. Where some mothers stop evolving past their role as “mom,” Hope has somehow recognized that, if she wants to continue being a part of her kids’ lives, she has to move on, treat us as adults, and help us tackle our adult problems with respect and support. She never ceases to amaze me in her capacity to love me and encourage me, in spite of the many mistakes I have made. I could go on and on about that, but this is not the place.
What also never ceases to amaze me is my mom’s complete and utter enthusiasm for what I call “gross-good” food. What is gross-good? Boiled down (ha) to the essence, it is food that sounds truly wretched on paper/in concept, but in execution lands on so many levels. Most often, these recipes are made up of processed ingredients that I rarely eat, require little to no effort, and are an overall affront to good cooking. My mom loves these recipes. LOVES them. Not only that, she relentlessly talks about them until you love them, too.
It starts something like this:
“Oh, I made this recipe you will love.”
“Really? What is it?”
“You take a package of cream cheese…”
She goes through the recipe, which usually takes all of 3 minutes, and then punctuates it with something like, “it’s wonnnnnnnderful.”
I then dismiss the conversation because that recipe is gross and I will never make it. Gross.
Over the next few weeks:
“Did you try that [disgusting recipe] yet?”
“No, I haven’t had time, sorry. Maybe for my next get together with friends.” (har, har)
“I made that [disgusting recipe] again on Saturday, have you had a chance to try it?”
“No, it’s not really my thing, mom. Sorry.”
“Oh, I know you will love it if you just try it. Do you need the recipe again?”
“No, I got it the first time, thanks.”
“Sally’s having a little cookout on Sunday and I am gonna make that [disgusting recipe]. Everyone loves it and keeps asking me to make it.”
“You should really try it. I know you think it’s weird, but if you just try it, I know you will love it.”
Eventually, I wear down, because this goes on and on and on. Her enthusiasm gets the best of me and I crumble like a graham cracker pie crust. Much like the one you will need for her latest gross-good conquest:
You take a package of cream cheese, put it in a bowl, and get it to room temperature before mixing in one can of sweetened condensed milk with a hand mixer. Add one envelope of unsweetened Kool-Aid (any flavor you like – lemonade is particularly good, and black cherry is pretty much TDF) and mix until completely combined and smooth. Then, with a rubber spatula, fold in one container of thawed Cool Whip to combine; make sure there are no streaks left and that the mix is a single color. Press mixture into a prepared, store-bought graham cracker crust and chill for a few hours.
To serve, slice with a sharp knife run under hot water (this will help to make picture-perfect slices*) and top with additional Cool Whip, if desired.
Is it gross? Yes. Will you love it? Almost guaranteed. Welcome to a new category of “cooking” on Shallots Web. Thanks, Hopey.
*Image quality is shite for this post, but I promise it will get better as I learn to use my new camera better.