The holidays always bring with them their own special version of fun. This year was no different, as I had both new memories created and others revisted because they're just so fun.
One aunt and uncle who live on the south side of Chicago (meaning south suburbs) requested that my mom reimburse them for their gas to drive to her house (we're in the north suburbs). Forget the fact that my mom provided all the food and drink for the meal and sent them home with leftovers and happily hosted them and they brought nothing. You've got to love family. The best part is that I'm pretty sure my mom gave them money for gas.
When cooking the rolls, my mom asked me to look at them and check on them. I noticed that the rolls on the right side of the oven were getting a little too toasty, so I flipped them around thus giving all rolls the opportunity to get overly brown. When my mom took them out a few minutes later, she had to throw away eight of the rolls because they were slightly too burnt. She commented to me about how there was someting wrong with her oven and that it was burning things on the right side. A little while later, I was in charge of taking out the ham (which was cooking on a lower rack). That's when I discovered the smoldering paper towel in the oven. I really have no comment beyond that.
We went back to an old family tradition from when my parents were growing up and even a bit from when my grandmother used to host Thanksgiving and Christmas for friends and family but couldn't quite afford enough food to feed everyone. We had an old-fashioned FHB. What's this, you may ask? It's a Family Hold Back. That way the family starves but all the guests are able to eat their fills.
I made a really cool looking dessert to bring to my parents' house. I read on Kat's blog about her Pumpkin Gingerbread trifle. Mmmm, sounds good, doesn't it? When I got to their house, I stuck it in my parents' freezer. About a half hour later, one of my cousins walked in carrying, you guessed it, a trifle dish. Soooo, what'd you bring? I asked innocently. It's a gingerbread pumpkin trifle, he replied. Reeeeealllly? That's the same thing I brought! What are the odds? Well, first what are the odds that this cousin would bring anything to dinner, as he never has before. But really... how likely is it that two of the three people bringing dessert would make the exact same dessert? We ate his. I ate mine last night when I invited friends over to have dinner with us.
Today was the C.A.R.E. Faire for the animal shelter where I used to volunteer. I always am the cashier for the cookie walk, and the woman in charge of it reminded me of the lovely man we had come through the line last year. At the end of the cookie walk, I weigh the cookies and charge by the pound. It's $8 per pound, and we round to the closest quarter-pound. He wanted to know how much weight I took off for the bakery box the cookies were nested in. When I explained that this was a charity and that we just weighed the boxes and all because all the money went to charity, he asked again how much weight I took off for the box. I reiterated sir that all the money raised went to charity so we didn't remove the box's weight. He asked again. Sir, I explained, this is for charity, and we don't account for the miniscule amount of weight the box takes up when we weigh them. He huffed off but filled up one of our large boxes. I charged him for an extra quarter-pound. Oh, and then I weighed a box after he left. It weighs a fraction of an ounce. I was sort of disappointed that he didn't come this year... but not too surprised.
And also at the C.A.R.E. Faire, we have pet pictures with Santa. Last year, my husband, parents and wee ones came (driving the hour plus to get there) to hang out at the Faire for awhile. Little Miss was two at the time. While my mom was looking at the wares of a vendor, Little Miss spied Santa and ran up to sit on his lap. When my mom turned around, she was asked for $10. Ummm, what for? she asked. For the picture, came the reply. What picture? my poor mom asked. They showed her the picture of Little Miss happily smiling away hugging Santa. My mom forked over the money. Really, what two year old voluntarily runs to Santa without even being asked? My children are weird.
Oh, and I almost forgot my absolute favorite one. My mom asked me last week to look at Costco for a Bailey's drink she got last year. It came in a half gallon bottle and was really good, so she wanted to get some for Thanksgiving this year. I asked if she by chance meant the Christian Brothers Egg Nog. Nope, it was definitely made with Bailey's. I found nothing of the kind in Costco. My husband on Wednesday tried going to the bigger liquor store near us to find it for my mom but wasn't having luck. He finally called her to get a better description. Oh. Whoops. Yeah. She called her cousin who had introduced her to it the first time and discovered that she actually meant -- wait for it -- Christian Brothers Egg Nog. And that's my mom.
I hope you had as many fun and entertaining memories created this Thanksgiving. What were your favorites?
PS My feature on Betty Confidential is up now. Make me feel cool and go check out the article? Thanks!