Quirky family traditions

family-clipartI love blaming things on family. It takes the pressure off.

We have a family tradition and I am the standard-bearer. I take this responsibility seriously.

We screw something up at every food gathering.

It can be large…like forgetting to defrost the turkey.

It can be small…like lumpy gravy, burning the biscuits or forgetting special pickles.

My niece had a huge picnic and as everyone was leaving, I helped carry stuff into the house. The oven was on and there were 10 lbs. of smoked chicken legs warming in there. Never served. Oops!

I had a friend who dropped the entrée on the floor right before the guests walked in the front door. Pizza anyone?

Burning the biscuits was my mother’s favorite screw-up. She had timers up the wazoo but the problem is that the biscuits get done last. (Stay with me now. It’ll make sense in a minute…or not.)

You pop them in the oven while you are plating up stuff. You are right there. No need for a timer (and if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you!). By the time you get the mashed potatoes in the dish, gravy in the bowl, salad on the table and corn out, you can bet that the biscuits are turning from a golden brown to an ashy black.

You can’t cut the bottoms off either. (Tried that!) That burnt flavor goes through the whole damn thing and it doesn’t taste like smoked ribs either.

I am not as intrepid as my Mom. I set a timer. That doesn’t stop the screw-ups. I’m just starting new traditions.

At thanksgiving I served the entire meal plus coffee and dessert without the cranberry sauce. No one said anything (although they were wondering). This level of politeness doesn’t run in my family so I was stunned to open the fridge and find a beautifully plated cranberry sauce after everyone left.

We had a game night with sandwiches. Again it was after dessert when I found the plate of cheese lurking in the fridge. *bangs head on desk* Boogers!

Fortunately I stopped buying special stuff (that’s anything we don’t normally eat) for guests. I’ve been stuck with things we don’t eat too many times. The cheese is our favorite and we’ll eat it…eventually.

Easter is coming up. I can only guess at what I will forget for that. I love a good challenge.

58 thoughts on “Quirky family traditions

  1. I find this humorous because we have our own small tradition during the holidays as well. Every time my mom or grandma prepares food for family gatherings they defend it by saying “Oh it’s probably not very good.”
    It’s funny because my grandma owned a restaurant for many years and her food is always sensational. She also taught my mom how to cook so the rest of the family can’t help but laugh when they use that phrase. My mom taught me how to cook when I was younger and it has proved to be helpful now that I have been living on my own for three years. I also see myself becoming more and more like my mother as each day goes by so by the time I have a family of my own to cook for they will most-likely hear me say the same thing about my cooking and the tradition will live on.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. HA! How many times did mom cut off the bottom of biscuits? (she wasn’t a cook)We thought that was normal. Usually because the went in last, the over was far too hot from other stuff, and that all the the time off. Honey. We got honey with those – the ONLY time we got honey, so we didn’t care.
    More recently all the close relatives are in medical field and usually on call so we’ve started meeting at restaurants who are quick at boxing up food for them if they have to leave.
    Other than that, we grill/boil shrimp add corn/potato and salad. Or make taco salad/chicken enchiladas. Simple,easy but keeps everyone happy….or maybe it’s the beer/wine that’s the charm?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Most everyone is retired now so we don’t worry about work schedules. Honey? Sounds good. I got honey with pancakes when I was a kid. Loved it. Your celebrations sound wonderful. Better than turkey with all the stuff.


  3. As you can tell by now, I work through my reader backwards. But there is still time for me to give you some good Easter dinner advice, assuming your traditions are anything like ours.
    Don’t forget to slaughter the pig!
    Perfect hard boiled eggs – 11 minutes.
    Put the grated horseradish in an airtight container until the very last second – unless, of course, you don’t want a bunch of crying guests.
    Hope this helps.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. When I stay in the kitchen, it’s easy to watch over what I’m cooking. I don’t know why I think I can leave the room without getting distracted with something else and totally forgetting what’s cooking until I smell it burning.

    I know I’ve forgotten to serve things, but now I can’t even remember what I’ve forgotten.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I relate to forgetting to put something out! Sometimes I create a list that functions like a menu and then I can at least review it before we sit down. I’ve just had to do that since I’ve left things in the refrigerator or the oven too many times. Nothing worse than burned biscuits, though, because everyone looks forward to them! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I still have shudders about the first time I roasted a turkey (thankfully not for Thanksgiving) and despite it being in the oven for a few hours, it was still rock solid undercooked because I never defrosted it beforehand. Yep, just tossed it in the oven from the freezer. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Forgetting to serve one of the prepared dishes at a holiday gathering was my mom’s tradition as well. I swear that it happened at ever single major dinner event. The good thing was that mom was (and still is) a great and generous cook…so no one has ever missed the absent dish.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am sure there have been other things that have happened but what stands out in my mind was when CH and I had been married just a few months I made a tuna noodle casserole and you see where this is going… I forgot the tuna. I make a really good tuna noodle casserole if I do say so myself… taught by Mom. How difficult can it be, right? I would like to be a fly on the wall at your house for Easter… well, maybe not. Do the kitties chase down flies and hoover them down?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Recently had family visiting for more than a week. Made ahead a rather large cheese and cold cuts and raw veggies with dip snack tray. Even added fresh fruit and pecans and walnuts. Forgot to put it out. Of course. We ordered pizza. When my sister went to put the leftover pizza in the fridge, she found the snack tray. Duh!!!!

    We managed to put a small dent in it the last day they were visiting, but just barely. So I’ve been having “snack tray items” for breakfast, lunch, and dinner the past several days. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Disasters happen in the kitchen to everyone. Very few can make it as entertaining as you. i wish I could define your style — choice words at just the right spot, interesting sentence structure, a slant that is slightly askew. No, it is indefinable. You are tops, and I always look forward to reading everything you post.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Oh, I don’t feel so bad for forgetting to bring something out of the refrigerator! We have an extra one in the garage which is useful for a holiday overflow. Perhaps I should make notes. And I have burned a few things too. Your posts always make me smile, Kate!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The first time I made a pork roast (and, of course it was for a dinner party) I failed to notice that the cooking time indicated on the recipe was “per pound,” not the total time. Oops. The main dish was served quite late that night. The good news is that we got to eat dessert first.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Ha, your family is so much nicer than mine. We live to point out each other’s screw ups. Last Christmas, my brother drove all the way from North Carolina to New Hampshire with BBQ in his car. We were supposed to eat it the night he arrived — even had the oven at the perfect temperature to heat it up. Only the coolers were packed a little too well and it stayed frozen for the two day trip. So the microwave did overtime defrosting and dinner that night was a little late and we gave him a hard time for his poor planning while we ate appetizers.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I knew a woman who believed that the only way to make sure that a holiday meal was a success was to ruin one of the side dishes. She believed this so wholeheartedly that she intentionally would ruin something so that her family would be comfortable with the tradition. I kid you not about this.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. That happens on a regular basis around here. My mother-in-law cooks using the smoke detector as a timer. When it goes off it’s done. She is a speed cooker, (half her stuff is under cooked). She puts on bacon to fry then she walks in the living room and talks to me till the detector goes off and she trots back to the kitchen a few feet away. Everything is cooked on too high of a setting, burning it before it is done.

    Liked by 2 people

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