A friend of mine was recalling the story of her parents’ first Thanksgiving. She writes that nothing is more enjoyed in her family than the ‘memory of someone else’s memory’, the cementing of her family’s oral history through repetition.
It makes me realize how important it is to capture one’s own tales of culinary disaster, triumph and hilarity, from Thanksgiving and other memorable mealtimes.
For instance, the early dinner party that my husband and I gave, in our first little “Mouse House” in Palo Alto, California. And the brilliant idea we had to invite his godparents… We were such cooking neophytes that we had no idea how long it would take us to make the meal. Or that our more adult guests might actually arrive on time. So that My Husband was in the shower, and I was in the kitchen re-stuffing the baked re-stuffed potatoes, still in my running gear as I recall, when our first guests, his godparents Uncle Charlie and Aunt Linda, arrived. Uncle Charlie, dapper in his blue blazer and tie, took one look at my bare feet and t-shirt, at my hands full of potato skins, and said, ‘Point me to the bar. I can take care of myself.” Good guests, those two.
The time I made the mistake of telling my dinner guests what I was serving ahead of time. So that, when I burnt the Strawberry-Rhubarb Meringue Pie (and Gourmet promised it was a snap), I had to start from scratch, all over again.
Or Thanksgiving a couple of years ago, when the boys took an anxious look at the offerings on the dessert sideboard, and asked whether Grandmommy had a stock of “Emergency Pie”?
Or this Thanksgiving, when my sister extracted a promise from her husband, Uncle Frank, that he would NOT fall asleep on the living room sofa after lunch as in most years past. And he didn’t. Because he couldn’t. Because The Boy was already napping there…
What are your tales of culinary disaster, triumph and hilarity?