Thursday, November 23, 2006
I’m sure I’ve said this before, but Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. I even enjoyed it a great deal as a child, although Christmas presents used to beat everything else.
Monday at work, we had our “work family” Thanksgiving meal and among my contributions was potato salad.
Finishing the potato salad up Monday morning brought on some serious deja vu.
I was sprinkling a dusting of paprika across the top and almost dropped the container when I started laughing.
One Thanksgiving eons ago, my mother had made a large bowl of potato salad for a church dinner that evening. She made the mistake of making it early and leaving it in the refrigerator while we went to church that morning.
Mama had sprinkled paprika all across the top of the potato salad, which was in a large orangy glass bowl. It really did look pretty.
She threatened my dad’s life if he touched the potato salad while we were gone and he, of course, said he wouldn’t dream of it.
That evening at church, several of the ladies commented to my mother that they’d never tasted potato salad with cinnamon sprinkled on it — “it sure is different...” was the most common remark.
I thought the top of my mother’s head was going to come off! My dad caught all kinds of grief when we got home! Seems like, being a non-cooking man, he didn’t realize that it was paprika and not cinnamon after he scooped a good bit of the potato salad out and sprinkled the cinnamon back across the top so she wouldn’t notice any missing.
• Cornbread is an essential part of Thanksgiving dressing in the South. Thirty-five years later, I can make a pretty good pan of cornbread, but when Pop and I first married, I could barely boil water.
I used to sit beside my mother while she was sewing almost constantly, but I had no interest whatsoever in the kitchen — only the eating part was interesting.
But really, how hard can cooking be? Well, years later, I can laugh...
My first pan of cornbread was an unmitigated disaster! And we had company!
One of my husband’s friends had come for dinner. I made tuna casserole, which was the only thing I knew how to make, and a pan of cornbread. The friend was very polite and just didn’t eat the cornbread.
My brand-new husband, who had not learned the fine art of not making fun of your new wife’s cooking, was not so polite.
Unfortunately, neither was our dog — a hound who would eat literally anything.
Tyrone buried the cornbread.
It was at least 10 years before I tried making cornbread again!
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