Fourteen Passive-Aggressive Appetizers
by Yoni Brenner July 21, 2008
1. Top thick slices of country bread with fresh goat cheese. Sprinkle with herbs and bake until crusty; serve to everyone but Jeff.
2. Vegetarian friends? Try veggie rumaki: wrap a strip of imitation bacon around a water chestnut, spear with a toothpick, and broil—but instead of imitation bacon use real bacon, and instead of a water chestnut use veal.
3. Steal Cheryl’s famous potato-salad recipe. When Cheryl asks, “Why did you steal my recipe?,” say, “I don’t know, Cheryl, why did you break my heart?” Then laugh so she knows you’re just kidding.
4. Blend fresh crabmeat with diced avocado, scallions, and a dollop of mayonnaise for a canapé topping so delicious that it will take your guests a full minute to realize that they’re eating it off dog biscuits. Once they catch on, act mortified and stammer that you must have “mixed up the boxes,” until everyone calms down. Then start crying because the biscuits remind you that today marks exactly eight weeks since you had to put down Buster, and you just miss him so much.
5. Tell Marissa that you appreciate her concern, but in the two years since Cheryl broke off the engagement you’ve grown up a lot, and you’re really in a much healthier place now. Then say, “Speaking of fiancés, how’s Peter’s alcoholism?” (Note: This is not technically an appetizer.)
6. For a taste of the U.K., fry up mini-servings of fish-and-chips. Take it to the next level by wrapping them in small pieces of newspaper, which, oddly enough, all seem to be printed with unfavorable reviews of Jeff ’s novel.
7. Have you ever noticed how sun-dried tomatoes and top-grade peyote look exactly the same? Not a suggestion, really. Just saying.
8. Another one for the vegetarians. If they think they like tofu, wait until they sample your delicious mock tofu—all you need is chicken fat, puréed pork loin, and five cups of piping-hot tallow. Cheryl will never know the difference.
9. Tempura makes great finger food, and the batter locks the flavor of just about anything in a savory, opaque crust. Impress your friends with creative choices, from squash blossoms to mislaid car keys to the two-carat engagement ring that Cheryl gave back to you after she “reassessed things.” Surprise!
10. Guests getting antsy? Head them off with a big bowl of steamed mussels. No one can resist mussels, not even emotionally stunted ex-fiancées and their new poorly-received-novelist boyfriends. Besides, disappearing into the kitchen will give you a chance to collect your thoughts and also to go slash Jeff ’s tires.
11. Homemade sugared almonds make the perfect sendoff, sure to please all your guests, even the ones who would be bludgeoning you with a tire iron if Peter weren’t standing between you. Good old Peter. He may not be the brightest or the handsomest person, but he’s very large.
12. As the party disperses, your guests might seem a little ungrateful, calling you an obsessive sociopath or pelting you with sugared almonds. Don’t worry, it’s probably the peyote talking. Just stand on the porch as their cars pull out, your eyes brimming with tears, and shout, “You know, I try, I really do . . .”
13. Add, “My dog died! He died! And he’s never coming back!”
14. Hepatitis! (Note: This is not technically an appetizer.) ♦