A couple of days ago I received a note from my niece, Susi:
“Can you do an article on green bean casserole? For 10 years I have been making it and for 10 years it does not turn out. Now it's a running joke to everyone that I'm going to bring this casserole that no one eats. This year is the year for me, I can feel it.”
So I asked The Kid if there was anything I should include in this week’s column; Thanksgiving with an emphasis on food safety. My little chef wrote this informative discourse:
“This holiday season, please don't kill your family.
I recently received a master’s degree at Duke.
It’s not really that impressive. It was obtained at the medical center, and the degree was in survival of the long-term hospital visitor.
Petey’s been a patient for a while at Duke. Every day he’s getting a little better, but for now, this is his home.
We’ve had dogs, hermit crabs and even a pet rock or two. But there is a standing rule -- no rodents allowed.
That’s because two giant, voracious mice already live here — Petey and The Kid. They can never, ever, get enough cheese.
Maybe it’s the dump truck-sized dog, or maybe it’s the two weird looking old people that live here, but in all the years we’ve owned our house we’ve had a cumulative total of about six kids come to our door, trick-or-treating.
I’ve got ’em all snowed.
When my mom is planning a special dinner, she asks me to prepare it. When I make it for Petey, he thinks he must have been a very good boy.
The thing is, my twice-baked potatoes might impress, but couldn’t be easier to produce.
I’m not a fan of Hemingway.
Growing up, I was something of a tomboy, and I still enjoy climbing the occasional tree. But Papa’s work is so testosterone-drenched that by the time I finished reading one of his short stories I’d have a 5 o’clock shadow, and need to get my prostate checked.
From start to finish it was a complete exercise in too darn much. Kroger had 10 boxes of Barilla whole wheat pasta on sale for $10. So I bought 10 boxes. Then I made dinner for Petey and me, using an entire 1 pound box. I don’t know what I was thinking.
As a kid when I was sick, my mom did the coolest thing. When we went to a drugstore to fill a prescription, my mom would buy me a small treat. Usually I would pick colored construction paper.
As an adult, I keep this tradition alive. If anyone in the family is sick, a small token for the patient is added to any medicine purchase.
It’s a fashion term. If in early September you’re sweltering in suede boots, turtlenecks and sweaters, you might be rushing the season.
As much as I love our Bull City, summer here is a Dante’s circle. I’m over it and yearning for fall by the day after Memorial Day. Summer is hot and sweaty, but the fall’s a smorgasbord of delights.
Orecchiette is a small, round, cup-shaped pasta. It means “little ears” in Italian. I don’t see it. I think it looks more like a stocking cap for Hipster Barbie.
It doesn’t matter what kind of childhood you had. It might be eating ice cream for supper or watching TV in your boxers, but every kid has something that they vow they will do differently once they get their own home. My best girlfriend Bo absolutely refuses to flip the top sheet upside down when making her bed, so when folded over the blanket it’s right side up.
Like many other little boys, this one likes action movies, amusement parks and peanut butter cookies. He always wears baseball caps, and you can divine what he had for lunch by interpreting spots on his T-shirt. He’s a charming, typical little boy. Except this little boy is Petey, my 54-year-old husband.
Don’t ever go shopping on an empty stomach.