I was in a discussion about who had been to the most disastrous dinner party and I won. I won with the Peanut Butter Stew Affair.
After a pre-dinner cocktail of a sweet brownish concoction which, after one sip, I hid behind a shrunken head strangely shaped ornament, we all sat at a table, three couples and our hosts. With great flourish our hostess brought out a soup tureen.
“I hope you all like peanut butter stew,” she announced. “Our kids just love it.”
I’m thinking this is a joke, like boiled hockey puck, until she ladles brown liquid into bowls and they are passed down the table.
Peanut butter stew, it seems, is what it sounds like -- hot, watered down creamy peanut butter with lumps and seasonings that I didn’t even want to guess. As soon as I tasted it, I knew I had blown it. I should have told them about my allergy to peanuts and what one peanut could do to me.
Could I fake an allergic reaction? I could grasp my throat and fall out of my chair, but how could I get body parts to swell up and turn red?
Don’t misunderstand. I love peanut butter. It is my comfort food of choice. I have a jar of peanut butter on my kitchen counter that I never even bother to put away. So I’m thinking, how bad can it be?
It was bad, very bad. Slowly and painfully I spooned the evil mixture into my mouth. Our hosts kept up a jovial banter throughout dinner. The rest of us were silent.
When we had all finished, the hostess said the awful words we could not believe.
“All right, who’s ready for more?”
We were doomed. Peanut butter stew was not just the soup course, it was the entrée. It was it.
I kept waiting for someone to say, “You expect us to eat more of this slop,” but no one did. Only the hosts took a second helping however.
Everyone left the party together and abruptly as soon as it was polite to leave the table. Words like “...baby sitter,” “…have to let the dogs out,” and even “…may have left the iron plugged in” accompanied our hasty departure.
It was a while before I could even look at peanut butter. I challenge anyone to a worse dinner party.