My family tends to be pretty normal during most of the year, but getting closer to Christmas time, I see a transformation. Now I am not talking about the fact that during the holiday season, everyone is a little bit nicer to each other, or that maybe we slow down just enough to be grateful for what we have…. although that is nice, that is not what I mean. As we get closer to Christmas, my family transforms into the Griswold family from “National Lampoons Christmas Vacation”. Let me present my case, which will be demonstrated by a few short blogs over the next two weeks and you can be the judge.
Christmas 2005: My family has always embraced the traditional holiday meal, with Turkey, Mashed Potatoes and oh my, the pie! As members of our clan come together, we all bring a dish to share during the feast. This year, I was in charge of the mashed potatoes, which I was super excited about seeing as I was planning on making them from scratch! Ummmmm, yeah, this is huge, seeing as my claim to fame in the kitchen is the fact that I can order a mean pizza!
I spent the afternoon peeling the potatoes, which is a super waste of time, because instant mashed potatoes come already peeled, but I was determined to create my culinary masterpiece the unnatural way…from real vegetables. After creating my tater cubes, I drop them in a pot of boiling water and yell “Bam!”…. I felt so smart doing my best imitation of Chef Emeril Lagasse, but then it got me thinking, what if vegetables could feel pain? Those Vegans may just have it all right! I bathed my new friends in warm water and made them feel safe until I peeled their flesh off one by one making the others watch as they huddled together on my counter top. Then I chopped them up and tossed them into a pot full of boiling water! I can almost hear them scream…I shudder at the thought…but I must push forward on my quest to mashed-utopia.
Now the key to this dish is to mash or blend the boiled, skinned… ewwww, don’t remind me… potatoes, while drenching them in butter, milk or for the health nuts, chicken broth. As I am I mixing my delicious concoction, I begin to see black specks within my white, fluffy creation. I thought to myself, “I didn’t put pepper in yet…. that’s weird”. I lean forward to further investigate, when I realize that it’s the Teflon coating on my pot that is being scratched off as I mix my potatoes. What started off as a few specks of black, turned into a handful within my mixture. Just as I was preparing to admit defeat and start over, I hear my Dad say, “Time to eat”. In a panic, I dash some salt and real pepper into the dish and carried it over to the feast. “No one will notice” I kept reassuring myself.
Everyone loved my Teflon laced potatoes that night, and I thought that I was in the clear until the following day, while returning some gifts to the mall, my mom disclosed to me that my Aunt and Uncle, who came to dinner the previous night had been sick. I don’t need to go into any messy details, but you can use your imagination. I felt so guilty for giving Teflon poisoning to my family… I had to confess that I was solely responsible for any disturbed bowels and I alone orchestrated the mashed potato scandal. Now for any holiday meals, I am only allowed to bring the canned olives to dinner.
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