One of my favorite roles to play in life is that of the Third Wheel.
So it works out really well that one of my new friends here lets me come hang on with her and her boyfriend in their great apartment, and that when I show up after yoga, they cook me dinner.
Of course, I’m totally grateful for the fact that they not only give me dinner, but meticulous prepare two meals so that one of them is vegan AND don’t care when I pull out my computer and start playing with my Metrics Dashboard mid-meal. They will listen to me talk about iPad apps all night and laugh really politely at all my jokes.
But I like to think of myself as a relatively well-brought up person, and even though I have a tendency to swear in front of small children and ask intrusive questions, I know that you can’t show up at someone’s house empty handed, especially if they’re making a habit of cooking you dinner (and not even criticizing the fact that you don’t eat dairy.)
The first time I came I brought wine, which was graciously received, but apparently not an ideal choice because they have cases of wine already. The last time I went, I was determined to bring a fabulous desert. Unfortunately, it was late when I started planning, and when I went to the deli for my first choice-strawberries-they were out. As a default, I bought a lot of apples and decided to try and find a bakery. Sadly, nothing is open late in San Francisco so when I showed up, I only had apples.
Determined to demonstrate my gratitude with an after dinner treat, I assured my hosts that there was “something cool and delicious” I could create out of the apples, did a bit of googling, and went to work.
I found a recipe for sauteed apples and convinced my hosts that sauteed apples would be fantastic–especially if they let me borrow the oreo ice cream they had in the fridge.
The recipe is easy–which is probably why I didn’t screw it up:
1/4 Cup Butter, melted in pan
4 large apples sliced
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 Brown Sugar
Cinnamon to taste
Cook apples in butter until tender
Get ice cream out of the freezer
Dissolve cornstarch in water. Add water to pan. Add Sugar and cinnamon. Cook/boil/whatevs.
Fill bowl with apples. Top with oreo ice cream. Chew nails nervously and wonder if your friends are only being nice when they say, “this is really good, thanks.”
A few days later, I was still feeling uncertain about my cooking expedition. I joked to my friend that I would offer myself up as third wheel to another couple that lives in her building in case she and her boyfriend were only pretending to like fried apples.
“No!” she assured me. “We loved dessert. Don’t do that–you’re our third wheel.”
How about them apples!