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