Nov 28

You know where to stick your competitive pies

Comments (16) by Clare Macnaughton November 28, 2011 - 7:02 AM

There are two aspects of being married to the military that I struggled to get my head around - firstly, the competition and secondly, the perfectionism. Having just returned from screaming my lungs raw at the U9 football tournament like a crazed banshee, I know I am competitive, but a perfectionist...not so much.

Everything about my husband's training centred around Time On Target (TOT), arriving at the objective as the clock turns zero - this is what success looks like to him. I operate in TOT plus 10-15 minutes, which drove him insane. Yet in civvy street, it's impolite to ring the doorbell the second the clock turns onto the hour when arriving at a party.

The competitive perfection spilt over into our domestic life and as I am fiercely competitive, I found myself getting sucked in, when really I should have known better and walked away.

A couple of years ago, when my son was a mere 18-month-old insomniac nightmare, we were invited to a mince pie and drinks party by another military couple along with a flock of other military couples. But there was a twist - it was going to be a mince pie bake off. I very foolishly thought this was actually meant as a tongue cheek, slightly camp gesture until I received instructions that each of the wives were expected to bring their finest examples of mince pie bakery.

Thirty minutes prior to departure, I cut up some filo pastry (that I had bought and defrosted earlier) into squares, shoved in a tea spoon of mincemeat (that I had bought earlier), turned into a parcel, repeat 20 times, bake for 10 minutes at gas mark 6, (I cook everything at gas mark 6) and the dust with icing sugar, stick on plate, bundle son and husband into car, attend drinkypoos.

To my horror on arrival, I discovered it was a very serious competition. The women were instructed to stay in the kitchen, whilst the men folk adjourn to the dining room to judge the mince pies, according to the set judging criteria. I am still pretty horrified at the hideousness of the occasion. Thinking about Jerry Hall's famous quote 'A women needs to be a cook in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom'. I mumbled something along the lines of, ‘Next year instead of mince pies, why don't the husbands just take it in turns to fuck each one of us' - a worthier attribute then our bake-ability, but I don't think anyone heard, as they were all twittering lard and flour.

The judges returned and the results announced the filo parcel pies were second.

Later, when we got home, I received a text telling me that after some deliberation, it was decided that the filo parcels were disqualified as I bought the pastry. Not that I was bothered, my son had just chucked his ring up all over the hall floor and quite frankly I couldn't give a flying fuck.

by Clare Macnaughton November 28, 2011 - 7:02 AM

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Comments (16)

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  • Report Sun Dec 18, 2011 - 11:31 pm
    OOOOOH I am so competitive. In fact, as an adult, I rarely get invited to do things involving competition, but if I did, it would be a disaster If there is a prize to be won GET OUT OF MY WAY! Yeah, I'm a real blast at bridal showers when we play the games!. I would soooooo disqualify someone for buying their pastry! If it was a competition, of course. Otherwise, you can bake me whatever you want in bought pastry. Just dont' bake me any packaged brownies or cakes!
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Clare Macnaughton on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 11:40 pm
  • Report Sun Dec 18, 2011 - 11:40 pm
    @sparkling74: You should marry someone in the military - you would be in heaven!! Everything is a competition.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Tue Nov 29, 2011 - 11:07 pm
    by  parjai
    the U9 football tournament like a crazed banshee, I know I am competitive, but a perfectionist...not so much. vps hosting
    Reply Delete
  • Report Tue Nov 29, 2011 - 6:23 pm
    Dear lord - really? REALLY??? Had you slipped into another realm by accident? I wish all guests had heard your retort - not only because it's bloody funny but to shame the bejesus out of them.
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Clare Macnaughton on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 7:07 pm
  • Report Tue Nov 29, 2011 - 7:07 pm
    @mammasaver: Alas they don't have the insight to understand the implications - they are even now still in the race with each other. It's a strange land the British military community. They have no shame - because they are so self-centred.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Tue Nov 29, 2011 - 2:27 am
    by  Liz Dawes
    LOVE it. Next time PLEASE turn up with shop bought ones and LIE that you made them. They will of course know immediately but it would be hilarious! Please? I'll PAY you to do it. Put it on youtube. What a complete bunch of knob-cheeses. Sorry. But what kind of sick minded layabout has time to make their own filo pastry?????
    Reply Delete
  • 4 replies, Last reply by Clare Macnaughton on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 6:20 pm
  • Report Tue Nov 29, 2011 - 3:31 am
    @Liz Dawes: *OMG A little bit of wee came out I am laughing so hard* Funnily enough I am a persona non gratis - especially as I have posted this article very visibly on Facebook so all the curtain twitching, breast pushing, lemon sucking judges can kiss my lardy ass. It's one way of getting out of the running!
    Reply Delete
  • Report Tue Nov 29, 2011 - 3:33 am
    @Clare Macnaughton: Ps: Most pertinent use of the words knobcheeses too - highly commended :) Did you make that up yourself? I might disqualify you by text later if I discover that you have half inched it from elsewhere.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Tue Nov 29, 2011 - 5:17 pm
    by  Liz Dawes
    @Clare Macnaughton: No no, knob-cheese is my very own home made insult. When it comes to things being home made, insults is something I have lots of time for. I also made up wank stains. As in "he's a complete wank-stain". My kids favourite is "sticky poo heads". That would apply here too.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Tue Nov 29, 2011 - 6:20 pm
    @Liz Dawes: I heart you
    Reply Delete
  • Report Mon Nov 28, 2011 - 7:58 pm
    by  Lerner
    They disqualified you LATER?! I'm sorry, but that's hilarious. Wow. Way to take themselves way too seriously! I don't bake, I cook savory stuff like a mo'fo, but I don't bake. I'm impressed you got anything together.
    Reply Delete
  • 3 replies, Last reply by Clare Macnaughton on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 11:51 pm
  • Report Mon Nov 28, 2011 - 8:23 pm
    @Lerner: Apparently - there were some that did three batches of pastry to get it right. I was working full time as well - I thought it was a joke but then I realised I was in The Twilight Zone!! I am not a baker either - I cook stuff like dinner and breakfast and lunch. But only because it's a parenting obligation and nobody else is willing to eat cucumber and salad cream sandwiches and salt and vinegar crisps for every meal.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Mon Nov 28, 2011 - 11:04 pm
    @Clare Macnaughton: Have you tried crisp and salad cream sandwiches btw? Yum. Disqualified by text though, oh man but that's HARSH.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Mon Nov 28, 2011 - 11:51 pm
    @Heidi_Scrimgeour: I love crisp and salad cream sandwiches on white bread. The whole thing was wrong on so many levels. Do you think I sound like a sore loser? Sometimes I find myself in competitions I didn't choose to enter - is that a girl thing?
    Reply Delete
  • Report Mon Nov 28, 2011 - 9:26 pm
    I'm impressed that you put the pie together so fast. I can't even imagine how weird that night must have been.
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Clare Macnaughton on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 9:37 pm
  • Report Mon Nov 28, 2011 - 9:37 pm
    @Janie Emaus: Frozen filo pastry and make little mince pie parcels it's the lazy person's cool. They are like mince pie canapes - I have fucked them up a few times.The mince pie stars aligned that night for me. or did they?
    Reply Delete

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