Onion Casserole, Bean Loaf, and Whitney Houston’s Birthday Party

31 10 2009

Yesterday my super-organized-party-planner friend, Jill, sent an e-mail to a bunch of college friends who will gather in December for a Christmas party. She wanted us to all go ahead and select the recipes we wish to bring (perhaps because she expects us to shop for ingredients in early November?). *Insert mental exclamation mark here*

This morning when I opened my e-mail, my sister had responded that she will bring an onion souffle. Oh, the memories that rushed upon my barely caffeinated brain when I read those words! You know how The Force is strong in the Luke/Leia/Daddy Darth Clan? One of the irrepressible powers in our family is self-amusement. We can’t resist it. So, it should come as no surprise that, when Grace was in high school she often employed her “gift” in the delightful practice of sabotaging my life. (I loved it, by the way.) Once she wrote a fake bio for me, prominently featuring the fact that I was “locally famous for my onion casserole.” Of course, this was the recollection first sparked by “onion souffle,” but my frolic in the Flashback Fun House didn’t stop there.

One year Church Lady Cookbook Disease attacked our local congregation, and the secretary sent out a request for recipes. I sent in a couple of good ones, but Grace also decided to submit one in my name. It had the appetizing title “Specialty Bean Loaf” and only got worse from there. Basically the instructions said to cook a pot of beans, mash them, dump them into a loaf pan, and leave it out on the counter until a crusty surface forms. She (I) went on to say that my family didn’t much care for it, but I usually ate the whole loaf in one sitting, and that it’s best served heavily spread with mayonnaise.

Along with our recipe we were supposed to include a story about it–something along the lines of “My grandmother always made this pie at Thanksgiving.” Grace’s (my) story said, “This recipe came to me in a dream I had about beans.”  (I can’t think or type that sentence without laughing hard.) When the church secretary read it, she called me because she “wasn’t sure” this was a legitimate recipe. We shared a good laugh, and she almost included it just for the joke, but opted not to. If someone had tried it and died, we both would have felt a little sorry.

Grace also amused herself by adding events to my calendar, often having something to do with cabbage or goats. “Buy cabbages for Whitney Houston’s birthday party” is one I remember. Oh my goodness, how I love that girl. How fun that I get to see her tomorrow and spend the non-speaking portions of The Great Northwest Speakathon with her and Curtis and my first grandbaby, who is no doubt already cracking him/herself up in Grace’s womb. What a cutie! While I’m there I’ll have to make a specialty bean loaf with extra mayonnaise and my famous onion casserole to celebrate his/her adorable in utero pranks. And, since Grace is eating for two, she’ll get double portions! Fun times. So much to plan. Maybe I should ask Whitney Houston to bring the cabbages.

DSC_0320Jeanne and Grace in Seattle. (Not pictured, Whitney Houston.)


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8 responses

31 10 2009
jenny b. jones

That made me laugh out loud. I loved :Church Lady Cookbook Disease. But it makes me sad that your bean loaf wasn’t included in the recipe book. Because let’s face it…those things need some life. The ones I have not only have no life (or bean loafs), but they have 10 variations on hash brown casserole, poppy seed chicken, and meat loaf. Because one is never enough.

31 10 2009
Terri Frazier

Can’t wait for the party and all the interesting dishes that will be served! Onion suffle’, corn casserole with mystery ingredients…it will be a good time!I’m glad you are getting to spend time with Grace, Curtis, and baby Romjue. Great picture….I see the glow on both of your faces….I guess grandmas to be can glow too!!
Love you!

31 10 2009
Kirsten

“This recipe came to me in a dream I had about beans.” Oh. My. Goodness. I am so glad I was not still eating my breakfast when I read that because the ensuing guffaw would have coated my laptop screen with Rice Krispies. HA! That is so awesome. And having attended various churches when the church lady cookbook disease hit, I found this post rather therapeutic and helpful in my recovery process. Thank you. Enjoy your Great Northwest Speakathon!

31 10 2009
Elaina Avalos

Cute stories. They made me laugh. Ya never know…Grace might start craving just such a thing. 🙂

The church I grew up in did a cookbook for one of the big anniversaries of the church (can’t remember which anniversary now). There were several “joke” recipes in it including one for Elephant Stew contributed by one of the pastors. When I was a kid, I thought that recipe was the height of great humor.

31 10 2009
Lynn Mosher

LOL! Oh, what a hoot! Thanks so much for the laugh of the day! What a great post! What fun you two must have together…and apart! I think I detected a devilish twinkle in Grace’s eyes!

Not from Whitney Houston!

31 10 2009
Sherri Woodbridge

What a fun memory – hope you’re making twice as many today!

1 11 2009
sharon d

This whole post is making my face hurt from smiling so much, but I think the funniest part is “Not pictured, Whitney Houston.”

3 12 2009
Operation Star Keeper: in which our heroine converges with country music in Pineland, Texas « The View From Here

[…] little cutie who is smiling in her ultrasound photo–no doubt because she’s already plotting to sabotage Grace’s calendar with random errands involving cabbages and goats and Whitney Houston. Let the self-amusement […]

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