This past weekend was three whole days long thanks to labor day. I never really appreciated labor day until this year, because this year is the first time I have truly been a part of the American workforce. Labor day is fantastic. I literally got paid to not go to work. I realize this is a thing that occasionally happens to most people with full time jobs… but it’s a new thing for me and I find it incredibly bizarre and thrilling.
My roommates and I were headed to brunch (getting paid to go to brunch is amazing) when we bumped into our next door neighbor, whom we have had fairly limited contact with in the past year or so. (The story of our past interaction probably deserves it’s own post as it involves breaking and entering as well as penis cookies) He mentioned that he was hosting a party later and that we were more than welcome to stop by. Cool, we thought as we headed down the street, maybe this will be a good way to get to know our neighbors.

So After brunch, I decided to make a dish to bring to our neighbors party because I am a really great person. Guys… It’s time for made-up recipes with Browyn AKA Baking With Bro…

Improvised Trifle

I am not sure what a trifle is… but if you make this dish and tell people it’s a trifle, they won’t question you. This method has worked for me on at least two occasions. This made-up recipe looks very patriotic and tastes like joy. It is also incredibly healthy as there are two entire fruits involved.
Step 1: Bake an angel food cake
From the box of course. Unless your grocery store sells pre-made angel food cake. Then obviously opt for the easier option.
Step 2: Cut the cake into one inch squares

If you can’t figure this one out on your own, stop now.

Step 3: Fruit
In a bowl, combine sliced strawberries, whole blueberries, and a few spoonful’s of sugar. Mix it up and chill in the fridge.
Step 4: Trifle- It’s a verb
In a serving dish, layer half the cake squares, half the fruit, half a thing of cool whip. Then repeat
* It’s best to use a clear serving dish for this. I am not classy so the closest thing I own to a clear serving dish is my salad spinner… minus the spinner of course…
Now you are ready to scoop heaping piles of desert onto your plate. It won’t look pretty anymore, but it will still taste like joy.
Before I took my ‘trifle’ to the neighbors house, I remember thinking, “perhaps I should bring a serving spoon or maybe I should grab some paper plates? I bet they wont have a way of serving this…” Clearly I was not expecting the mind altering craziness that was our neighbors home.
 I already knew that gay men were the classiest people on earth. I knew that they were the best at hosting parties and telling stories and pretty much all other things in the world. I live in a really, really gay part of Chicago so I am used to feeling inadequate. Compared to everyone around me, my life is dull and déclassé so I thought I was prepared. But I was not prepared for this…
We headed over to our neighbors backyard with a couple 6 packs and our salad spinner trifle, expecting a casual BBQ. Instead, we stepped into another world…. There were 50 of the most beautiful men I had ever seen… All with perfect hair, tiny shorts, and colorful tank tops.  They were all smiling and socializing and happy (even the man with the fashionable puppy and resting bitch face). They were gracefully sipping wine coolers, cocktails, and craft beers. These gentlemen greeted us with warm welcomes and invited us into their gay wonderland. We were led into the apartment and told to help ourselves to anything. They had a disco ball and a fog machine, so the overall vibe was gay club, and it was the classiest place on earth.
Their building, from the outside, is almost identical to our building. So we assumed that the interior would  be comparable. We were so, so wrong. The dichotomy was astounding for at least 36 reasons. Here are a few of them…
They Had Air Conditioning
I have spent the past few nights tossing and turning, wearing nothing but bags of frozen peas, while my fan blows warm air in my face. The only thing that motivates me to go to work most days, is knowing I will achieve some relief from the sweltering humid nightmare that is my home. These people could just afford to blow cold air all over the place.
The Patio Was Better Than Our Entire Apartment
There were fans OUTSIDE. And a sun roof. Their outdoors was more comfortable than my bedroom.  They also had a PA system, a full sized gas grill, and comfortable seating for about 20 people. I’m talking padded benches. They even had a closet full of extra folding chairs to accommodate the overwhelming influx of gorgeous homosexuals. The patio was tastefully decorated and adorned with a large number of flowering potted plants. I have a patio at home too. It’s a barren, concrete, spider ridden hell behind our apartment complete with a 10 inch charcoal grill and a rapidly decaying herb garden.
They Had A Full Bar Set Up In Their Kitchen
And I don’t mean a sticky table littered with souvenir shot glasses like some of my classier friends have. There was a shelf in the kitchen. Atop the shelf sat a matching set of glass bottles. Each bottle was equipped with a pouring spout and a label so you could see that every liquor imaginable was available to you. (These people clearly owned a label maker and that is freaking impressive.) They had all of the mixers and drink fixings that exist in the world, lined up in a very organized fashion, right next to their fridge (that boasted an ice maker!), along with plastic cups WITH LIDS AND STRAWS.
When people come to my house, I hide our cheap tequila in the pantry because our events are strictly BYOB. We don’t have mixers unless you count the unrefrigerated bottle of concentrated lime juice that we squirt directly into our mouths after drinking cheap tequila.  I recently chased a whiskey shot with wine… The few cups I do have are stolen from bars, so it is pretty normal to drink wine or some freakish jungle juice concoction, out of a mug.
There Was A Coffee Shop In Their House
An espresso machine. An espresso machine with a steam wand. An espresso machine with a steam wand that sat on it’s own counter top next to the assortment of syrup flavors available. I have a Keurig? I hear they’re terrible for the environment.
My friend had gone inside and when they came out, they told us we HAD to go to the bathroom, just to see. We all ran… It smelled like the inside of a bath and body works, the shower had a bench, and then there was… the toilet… IT HAD BUTTONS. LIKE 20 BUTTONS. It was a robot toilet from the future. There was a setting called “female turbo” What would that even do? I mean I assume it turbo washes your undercarriage in some sort of glorious and hygienic cascade of toilet water? But nobody can really say for sure. We knew that none of us were worthy of testing this robot toilet. Our toilet only flushes once every thirty minutes if you’re lucky…. That is not a joke. We have occasionally wondered whether or not we should report this to the landlord? But a year later we have taken no steps to resolve this problem.
Then Suddenly There Were Two Kitchens
We started talking to our neighbor and he mentioned to us that this whole area we were standing in. What we thought was our neighbors apartment… This place that had it’s own living room, bathroom, bedroom, and kitchen… was JUST HIS BEDROOM.
I guess this whole building had been renovated so that what used to be a three apartment complex, like ours, was now one large communal living space. His bedroom kitchen was used solely for drinks…Upstairs was an even larger, classier, very well furnished, second apartment.
They Served Freaking Appetizers
I’m talking mini quiches on serving platters people. and that was the least of it.
In the kitchen kitchen, they had all of the food in the world set up in this very classy LABLED buffet, complete with both vegetarian and vegan dining options. There were hot dogs, veggie dogs, burgers, veggie burgers, brats, veggie brats, pulled pork sandwiches, mac and cheese, 15 kinds of salad, sweet potato fries, THE LIST GOES ON. All whole foods quality. I MEAN COME ON.
I was impressed by the air conditioning. I came to this place expecting there not to be enough plates for the food I had brought. I had not anticipated something so… majestic and glorious. These people were LIVING. My friends and I CLEARLY did not belong. We just sat, astonished, observing these people. Watching how the other half lives… This casual BBQ was officially better than any other event I had been to ever… My wedding reception doesn’t stand a chance.
A friend suggested that maybe this is just what people are like once they turn 30? I’m not so sure. Though I know very few people over the age of 25 so… I guess I can dream that someday I will turn 30 and some modicum of class will just fall out of my ass, gracing all who enter my home for eternity.
I hope your labor day was as unexpectedly delightful as mine 🙂