It’s funny how we talk sometimes, and when the words are typed out onto the screen…it looks funnier.
“What are you fixing for Easter dinner?”
When I was a kid, I knew pretty much what the line-up would be.
Ham, scored with cloves studding the diamonds, and decorated with pineapples and cherries. Pineapple-raisin sauce to go with it. Mashed potatoes. Salty ham gravy. Sweet potatoes. Some kind of vegetable, likely peas with pearl onions. Baked beans (my grandma’s recipe…she always made them and brought them to dinner.) A fancy relish tray. Probably we’d have a cake…and it would be my birthday cake. It would likely be decorated to look (kind of anyhow) like a nest, using coconut. My birthday and Easter often fell too close together, so I’d be celebrating with the extended family on Easter.
We’d also have the boiled eggs from the egg hunt, and for dinner, they would be turned into pastel streaked deviled eggs. My mom made good deviled eggs, and she rarely bothered with the sprinkling of paprika that most moms did. In my opinion, deviled eggs were way better than any boiled egg anyhow. I liked to smear the yolk filling over the top of the egg, so that I had a bit of the filling even with the thickest part of the boiled egg. I hated egg whites, they tasted like nothing and felt like rubber in my mouth.
I guess now I consider that “yuck” sensation to be part of the whole boiled egg scenario. Nope, I still don’t like a boiled egg, hot or cold, in a whole form.
Oh there would be hot cross buns too, only they were apt to not be so hot. More cold cross buns studded with currants and with a cross of white frosting on them.
This year, I’m forbidden from eating ham, it’s totally off the list. I’m not sure how I’m going to handle that when we have dinner tomorrow. I was hoping I could convince my daughter to step away from tradition…but no go. She’s in charge of dinner and I guess I get what I get, right?
I know it’s got ham in it, and no turkey breast (my favorite) as an option. There will be deviled eggs too, because my mom is there to make them. Baked beans were listed, but she doesn’t use my grandma’s recipe (none of us do…we found out how much sugar was in them!) I inquired about dessert, and got the forbidding glance on that too.
I can’t help but wonder if I was that much of a control freak when she was growing up and I was “fixing” holiday dinners. According to GM, it is impossible to deny that she learned it from me. Personally, I think he’s wrong. There is no way I was THAT bad, is there?
Even so, I’m half glad to let her do it. I’m tired these days, and not really in the mood to play merry homemaker and happy holiday chef. I guess it was time to pass over the reins, at least for some holidays. I’ll probably host one or two yet, but just not this year.
This year is the year of the Grand Baby.
There’s something special about a baby’s first year, especially when its a long awaited first grand child/child. She’s beautiful, intelligent, and almost as perfect as her grandma. I can admire her, along with my mother, while the perfect child’s mother slaves away in the kitchen.
Oh yeah, we got it all figured out. For one thing, we know the routine. Nearly thirty years ago, I was the slaving one, with the baby, proving to myself and the world that I was all grown up. I was a bit younger than her, so a bit more insecure and uncertain of my new role as a mother…and found anything that indicated that maybe, just maybe, I couldn’t do it all as well as anyone else and better than most…terrifyingly threatening.
So…we’ll let her handle it, prove whatever she’s got to prove to herself…and we get to enjoy that perfect baby and eat deviled eggs made the same way they were when I was a little girl. They even dyed the eggs so we’d have the perfect pastel streaked Easter deviled eggs.
It’s what has kept American families dysfunctional and happy for centuries. Never mind that each family shapes the tradition a little bit differently…that’s okay.
I wonder…if she’s making hot cross buns?
And what she intends for an Easter breakfast too.
She’s an excellent cook…however, I can’t stand her coffee. It’s hilarious, but I can’t wait to get home and have a cup of coffee brewed in my el-cheeepo drip pot. Even when I make the coffee, it doesn’t taste right. I resort to drinking tea or instant coffee, strangely enough.
So, I’ll enjoy dinner tomorrow…and might even be nice and not rattle her cage too often. She still stresses immensely over holiday meals–they have to be PERFECT.
She still remembers things like the day she drooled into one of the unbaked pumpkin pies.
Or the time that stray cat got into the house and attacked the defrosting turkey…
Or the occasion when the candied carrots went from perfectly done to what-the-hell-happened-hard.
Or Grandpa & Grandma showing up for dinner 2 hours late…(he was always late, and I do mean ALWAYS! I had told him to be there 2 hours earlier than the turkey would be done, and he was STILL two hours late!)
Or the Thanksgiving that I had had a tooth pulled the day before, and had had serious bleeding issues with it, resulting in being unable to even eat dinner myself…
Or the Christmas that I was so sick that I couldn’t taste anything, and if I sat down, I was afraid I’d pass out, so I stood through the entire dinner, leaning against the counter with a smile pasted on a pasty face…
Aren’t holidays grand?
She has NO idea what she has gotten herself into!