Friday, November 21, 2014

Trashy Recipe Recommendation: Party Pinwheels

One of our very favorite family memories, one that we love to revisit over and over again at every family gathering, is of the first time my older sister’s boyfriend (now husband) met my youngest brother.

It was before any of us had kids, and we were on a float trip, which is basically a code name for getting drunk for two days straight, hopping into canoes, and trying not to drown.

It’s great fun.  It’s been almost 10 years since we’ve gotten to take a float trip—responsible adulthood kind of gets in the way—but we’re looking forward to when our kids grow up and move out of our houses so we can all become drunken float trippers with no responsibilities again.

Anyway, on a float trip, everyone knows that you fend for yourself.  You stock your coolers to the brim with beer, alcohol, mixers, food—anything you’ll need for a 48-hour bender.  People on float trips don’t often share their supplies, you see, because the nearest stores are always several miles away—and all of the drinking being done means that nobody drives.  So when you’re out of something…you’re just out.

And it’s okay; it’s not impolite because everyone knows this is how it works.  If you run out of beer—sorry asshole, better luck next year.  Take this as an opportunity to learn better planning.  In the meantime, sit back and watch me drink mine.  No, you can’t have any.

Well, that year, my youngest brother came along, and he brought absolutely nothing.  And when I say nothing, I mean nothing.  It wouldn’t have mattered if he had actually brought beer or lunchmeat, though, because that bastard hadn’t even brought a cooler to put it all into. 
Who the hell forgets a  cooler on a float trip?

I should amend that last paragraph:  My brother actually did bring two things.  He brought a dickwad friend (who also brought nothing) and a koozie with a neck strap so that when he mooched a beer from someone else, he wouldn’t actually have to hold it.  Instead, he could wear it around his neck.

My husband and I laughed.  My youngest brother is loads of fun, so we were glad he was there, but he also understands how selfish we are.  He knew with absolute certainty that we would give him nothing, so he didn’t even ask.  It was a really great mutual understanding that worked out quite well—on our end, anyway.

My older sister, however, has a soft heart when it comes to people going hungry for two days.  Because of this, on the second morning of the float trip, her new boyfriend offered to make my brother a peanut butter sandwich.

“What the fck?” my brother replied.  “No jelly?”

My sister’s boyfriend explained that they hadn’t brought jelly because he and my sister preferred regular peanut butter sandwiches, and they hadn’t been aware that they would be feeding anyone else. 

My brother shrugged.  “Alright, that’s cool,” he said.  “I’ll take a peanut butter sandwich.”

My older sister’s boyfriend walked back to their tent to put together my brother’s sandwich.  He returned a few moments later and held it out to my brother.  My brother was in the middle of a conversation, but he did manage to flick his eyes in my sister’s boyfriend’s direction and offer a “Thanks, man.”

The showing of true appreciation, however, came only moments later, when my brother took a bite of the sandwich and immediately spat it onto the ground.

“Holy shit, that’s terrible!” he said, swinging the arm holding the sandwich back.  “It’s all bread!  There’s hardly any peanut butter in there.”  With that, he chucked the sandwich—sans one tiny bite that was currently lying at his feet—into the woods.

My older sister’s boyfriend looked at her.  “Your brother’s kind of a dick,” he said.

My brother is kind of a dick, but then, we’re all kind of dicks, and at least my brother’s hilarious, so we can overlook a lot of his dickiness.  And besides, it’s really only when it comes to food.

Once, my husband and I were visiting my dad’s house back when my brother, the youngest of the five of us, still lived there.  Suddenly, as if an inner timer had gone off in my dad’s head, he jumped from his seat at the kitchen table, where the three of us had lost track of time as we chatted.

“Oh, no,” my dad said, his brows knitting together in a look that could only be described as fretful.  “Your brother will be home from work any minute now.”  He scurried to the stove.

“Okay…” I said slowly, eyeing my husband questioningly.

My dad wrung his hands.  “It’s just that…well, he likes his dinner on the table when he gets home at 5:15.”

My eyebrows shot up and my husband’s jaw dropped.  “Holy shit, old man,” I said.  “I’d forgotten that this was 1951 and you’re an unappreciated housewife.  Would you like me to fetch your apron for you?”

“No, that’s okay,” my dad said, hurriedly opening a drawer.  “I have it right here.”

Luckily, my dad had had the foresight the night before to whip up a batch of deviled eggs for my brother to snack on while he made something more substantial.  When my brother walked into the kitchen with his new girlfriend after a hard day at work, his eyes lit up as they landed on the eggs.

Just as quickly, though, his face fell.  “Where the hell are the bacon bits?” he asked my dad.  “I told you to put bacon bits on these bastards.”

My brother still found it in his heart to shovel an egg into his face, but when he went for a second one, he accidentally dropped it.  It fell facedown onto the floor with a big splat.

“I’d have been more careful with it if it had bacon bits on it,” he said.

I looked at his girlfriend.  “Gee, I hope he proposes to you soon or you might miss all of this.”

But seriously, it’s all in good fun.  The act between my dad and brother has us all—including the two of them, but except for maybe my now brother-in-law, the peanut butter guy—squealing so hard with laughter that we end up crying.

That is, until that little assclown brother of mine messed with my party pinwheels.

First off, as I explained in this Trashy Short, everyone is sick of my party pinwheels.  But I don’t give a shit, because those bastards are the ones who make me prepare something to bring to family events, and my pinwheels are one of the easiest options.  They require a very little amount of effort, which is how I roll when it comes to cooking, my peeps. 

Like I always say, if it has more than 3 ingredients, suck a ball because I’m not making it.

Anyway, I had brought them to our annual Easter celebration, and my brother was being really kind by reaching for one when nobody else would.

“Aw, thanks, bro,” I said, my eyes misting up at the sweetness of the gesture.

“You’re welc—" he started, bringing the pinwheel to his mouth.  And then: “What the hell is this piece of shit?  It’s HOLLOW!”

I guess he’d grabbed one of the end pieces, where the filling hadn’t made it all the way to the edge of the flour tortilla before I’d rolled it up and cut it.  I’ve since learned to throw those pieces out.

But at this point in time, I’d learned no such lesson, and I was sick of being fcked with about my pinwheels.  As he brought it to his complaining mouth, I smacked the side of his face so hard that it turned a little bit, causing the hollow pinwheel to go flying from his mouth halfway across the room.

We all laughed so hard that our sides ached.  My dad was the loudest.  I guess he was sick of my brother’s shit, too.

I hope that this beautiful story of love amongst family members has been inspirational to you in this month of Thanksgiving, when often times we're required to bring appetizers or side dishes to gatherings.  If so, here’s the recipe.  It does break my “More than 3 ingredients, suck a ball because I’m not making it” rule, but I allow it because it’s just so damned easy:

Party Pinwheels
You’ll need:
A block of cream cheese, softened
1 small can of chopped black olives
1 small can of chopped green chiles
1 tiny jar of finely chopped pimentos (equivalent to about 2 tablespoons)
1 packet of ranch dressing
8-10 flour tortillas

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.  Spread onto flour tortillas and roll up.  Leave in the refrigerator for several hours (I always make mine the night before) to harden a bit before cutting.  Cut into small “pinwheels”; remember to toss out—or snack on—the end pieces before serving so that no jerkface family members complain about hollow pieces.



  1. I actually like pinwheels. Maximum scarfage in the shortest period of time. Plus, I'm always late to family dinners and the pinwheels are usually all that's left of the pre-dinner snacks.

    1. Thank you, Vanessa! I'll have to bring you to the next family event so you can eat them all for us, because I get sick of taking them home and having to eat like 60 all by myself. Haha

  2. Hilarious. My brother & I were both asshats like your brother, my sisters wore me down. I will bring a small amount of boiled green beans to a family party. And beer. But I drink most of it so not sure if that counts.
    I will try this pinwheel recipe. It should fill in the hole left behind by my sister's former favorite dish: Rolled ham w/cheese. Pinwheels are way better than effing rolled ham. Love your "Suck A Ball" rule. That would make a GREAT title for a cookbook!