Handwritten page of a diary dated December 25, 1970
… can’t afford to go home for Christmas and New Year’s, but I’ve got a whole week off. Ran into Jolene in the laundry room and it turns out she’s stuck here for Christmas too. I saw my big chance with her and said I was cooking a big dinner that day anyway, did she want to come over. Sounds like the best idea on earth EXCEPT I’m not one of those guys who can cook. AT ALL! So I somehow had to learn to cook in the next few days.
I had a few ideas for the meal, but that night I dreamed about strawberry mousse, I mean the kind of fluffy pink thing any girl would love. So I went to the library and searched the card catalog till I found 641.86 — the number for cookbooks. Searched the books, found the one that had a picture that looked closest to the way my dream looked, and copied the recipe.
For the rest, I cheated and ordered some turkey dinners at the restaurant my mom liked when she used to live here. Borrowed a portable mixer, made the mousse and started cleaning the apartment. Picked up the food, took a shower and everything was coming up roses. UNTIL I opened the refrigerator. Not only was the mousse NOT light pink and fluffy like the picture. But I guess I left the bottle opener in the refrigerator because it had fallen right onto the center of the bubbly tomato soup-colored jello.
Luckily I kept my cool, put on a stack of records to play, and now I’m just waiting for Jolene to knock. Maybe if I cover this with Cool Whip, it will taste OK.