Alrighty. Since I sent the brownies off to work with friend Thomas, I have learned a Pivotal piece of information that Thomas Failed to Relate. His work's Thanksgiving Pot Luck Deal is actually a contest. Yes, friends--everyone apparently competes for bragging rights for the whole year by bringing in the most intriguing/unique/upsetting/tasty food Item. And I was duped into believing that I was being a Helper. Instead, it turns out I was a Ringer. An unintentional ringer, but a ringer, nonetheless.
First, the good news, for those of you who have been holding your breath: the Autumnal Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirlie Brownies (or whatever I called them yesterday) won the taste test. Hooray! The story goes that everyone sucked them down and thought they were Amazing. After sampling such splendors as moose and roasted nutria (I really wish I were kidding about the nutria), the People spake and said, "Verily, those brownies tasteth Most Excellent. We declare them Winners."
And, yea, the People descended upon friend Thomas, slapping him on the back and carrying him around on their shoulders while chanting "brow-NIES brow-NIES brow-NIES." And then, the more suspicious people (those being the ones who know him best) sidled up to him after his Victory Lap and were all, "You didn't really make those, did you?" He said no, and then--here it comes--they wanted to know if they had bought them at the store. I'm sorry, but only if the store is in Brownie Heaven. Ain't no grocery stores makin' brownies like These Guys.
Anyway, he Refused to divulge his brownie source, until his coworkers covered him in honey and staked him to a Very Large termite mound. He then crumbled and said that his neighbor is a hot Swedish babe, who also happens to be a chef, and that she made them for him. Friends, just call me Gunilla the culinary Battle Maiden.
While Thomas swigged down a bottle or two of Benadryl and coated himself in calamine lotion, his coworkers held a PowWow to decide his ultimate fate. There was a lot of discussion about the rules--although Thomas says that there are no rules--and one lady accused him of using a "performance enhancing chef" to help him win. Friends, I guess that means my full name is Andriol Gunilla the culinary Battle Maiden.
At long last, the coworkers spaketh thusly, "We alloweth friend Thomas to keep the trophy, but onto it will be scribed an asterisk indicating Fishiness."
So, Thomas gets to keep the trophy, and I get the satisfaction of having one of my Baked Goods win a trophy, even if it is scribed with an asterisk.
As to the rest of the menu, Thomas hasn't gotten back to me on an exhaustive list**, but I know that they dined on moose, bear, beaver--yes, beaver--and, drum roll please........................roast nutria.
Here's a video of a nutria trapper in action in Louisiana:
And here are a couple of up-close-and-personal Photographs of a pre-roasted nutria and his beaver friends trapped right over the county line in Johnston County. I guess I'm still proud that the brownies won, but I think I might rather have had them win against something a little less....toothy. Oh well, an asterisked win for Andriol Gunilla, culinary Battle Maiden is still a win. Right?
**Update: Thomas said that there was also a Cheerwine cake in the dessert category, a grits casserole, chit'lin's and fried okra, hog and hominy soup, tomato casserole and an Indian dish that was so hot that it, according to Thomas, tore everyone a new, ahem, you know.