Food and Events in Cubicleland

Photo by Denisse Leon on Unsplash

Hello? Anyone out there in cubicle land? I got cookies here… Is that an echo I hear…I hear…I hear?

At the office back in the day, we would bring in something to share with the group. It was fun. Sometimes the treats were leftovers from a party. Other times we gave from our hearts. The fun was: NO RULES! It was always a surprise! And our offerings were greeted with pleasure.

It didn’t have to be pretty. It didn’t even have to be something you liked or maybe you should eat…It didn’t matter. The point was to have a break with your colleagues.

I enjoy sharing. However, when I cook its more about taste, my stuff isn’t decorated, plated, and pretty. I look for recipes that pack a down home punch of flavor. Cooking shows are not in my future. My guys want to enjoy what they eat as we grab and go.

Take my little pumpkin chocolate-chip muffins (not minis, they’re about three or four bites each). Now these little muffins look rock hard but, with the pumpkin puree and applesauce inside they is densely moist. Oh my! I may need to make some this weekend! Then if they’re warmed, the 60% dark chocolate chips melt in your mouth.

Ten years ago the guys at work would spy my muffins on the breakroom table. It was funny to watch them. Typically they would pick up the muffin. Look at the chunk of bread, weigh it in their hand. Hey I did say they were dense. Heavy little suckers actually. They almost always shrugged then popped the entire muffin in their mouth and chewed. Their eyes would pop wide while they swiped another one from the container.

The ladies would eye the muffins. Circle the table. Too polite to ask they would find a knife, cut the muffin in half. Then warily watching the muffin my ladies would pinch off a corner. Placing the piece gingerly on their tongue savoring the flavor.

Once they determined the muffins were good enough to eat, I would share my secrets. They are actually lower in fat because, the applesauce replaces the oil. And they are better warmed. Get that melty chocolate effect. {wink}

I really enjoyed when someone would snatch a muffin to warm in the microwave or went back to retrieve the other half of her muffin to enjoy “later.”

Sadly things shifted in the last five years. I no longer bring in cookies, muffins, breads, or even a meatloaf disguised as a cake. Oh! Oh! An aside:

About twenty years ago, I saw this in a magazine somewhere. For April Fool’s Day I made two square meatloaves, filled and “frosted” them with creamy mashed potatoes. Then wrote Happy April Fool’s on the cake in ketchup (the 1st clue). I unveiled it about 11 a.m. I told everyone in the office to heat and eat the cake before they ate lunch (their 2nd clue). They knew something was up but played along anyway! It was one of my best office fun days ever.

But now when I bring stuff in, I’m asked for ingredients and how it was made. It doesn’t matter if it meets their dietary requirements or not they usually turn their nose up to the offering. Rather than saying thank you and enjoy each other’s company we express complaints about the food or temptation. A few years ago I brought in my “almost famous” pumpkin muffins for the company bake sale. Not one muffin sold. When they were unceremoniously returned to me, I was told they weren’t pretty enough. I haven’t donated to a bake sale since.

We’ve lost a little something. We’ve found ways to divide rather than pull together. This week I realized was as guilty as everyone else, I decided to make an effort to enjoy the offerings. Today we had a celebration for a colleague’s career achievement. I couldn’t have the ice cream. But there was fresh fruit. I grabbed one of the containers of fruit and enjoyed a break with my co-workers again. I didn’t explain, complain, or defend. I just enjoyed. In my own little sphere I hope to bring a bit my Joy back to my world.

Photo by Andrew Loke on Unsplash

What got me thinking about this? The Christmas…er…holiday…oh scratch that! I’m so politically incorrect Oh! My! The “off-site meeting” is tomorrow…Cubicleland mayhem is sure to follow; they are actually letting us outside of our hermetically sealed cubeland. Yikes! I’ll fill you in this weekend!

I’m bringing my Joy tomorrow…Enjoy the JOY in your realm!






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s