My Friday Friend Cookbook Countdown #246
My favorite Mother-in-Law's French Dip
and you know all the whys and wherefores of this countdown, right? Homemade cookbook, friends contributed, Handyman said I couldn't/wouldn't do it, I'll show him, yadda yadda yadda....
...and the rest is cookbook history!
Just remember, the countdown is not all about pretty food and food design---it's about the people and the stories.
And (the most important thing) proving my husband wrong--and that I can and WILL make every recipe in this cookbook
I've told a few stories about her. There are so many.
But since this is a cookbook countdown and we are trying out the recipes---I thought I would include a couple funny things that happened at her kitchen table.
Back in the good old days (I'm being sarcastic as nothing is ever as good as we remember---you can never really compete with nostalgia) when everyone ate dinner together at the table---well this, this is where my brother-in-law, Scott learned about Santa Claus--the hard way.
The Handyman and his gazillion siblings were sitting down to eat and his mother and father late one November evening in 1969 when his mother announced, Since you all know the truth about Santa Clause, he's not bringing so much this Christmas so your father and I finally get a gift.
All the kids were like--yeah, yeah, yeah (because we, as mother's try to tell them every year that we are cutting back on the gifts--as if we ever really do?) and just kept on eating, but Scott, who was only 6, got real quiet and said "What do you mean? There is no Santa?" and then he started to cry.
One other dinner with the family, Scott had something red and round hanging out of his nose. He had stuck a button up there and couldn't get it out! But he didn't tell anybody because he didn't want to be in trouble.
His dad had to get the tweezers out a do a mini-surgical retraction.
My dinner story with the family?
I was very young when I started dating the Handyman. Young and shy--which was such a contrast to this loud and chaotic and fun family. Scott must have been 14 at the time--as far as I can remember there was no button in his nose and he was finally privy to all the family secrets during this particular dinner.
It had just been on the news that a man working in one of the local dairies, had sliced off the tip of his thumb and it was packaged in the milk carton, so they had to recall some milk.
Now, picture shy me sitting down to dinner with the gazillion siblings and my future-in-laws and they pass around a carton of milk.
I'm a milk lover--and their cartons of milk were good and fresh and so so SOOO cold, I wanted some so bad!
Well, at my turn to pour my milk into my small cup, a plop came from the milk carton.
I stopped, looked around -- no one noticed or said anything and I was too shy to say "I think there is a thumb in my milk!"
So, I proceeded to drink it during dinner! I thought "oh my gosh, they are going to be so shocked to see a thumb in the bottom of my cup" and "this is really going to gross me out!!"
But--again--to shy to say anything.
They used little Dixie cups so mom didn't have too many glasses with those gazillion children, so I couldn't actually 'see' the thumb in my cup. I just kept drinking and cringing. And cringing and drinking, until finally I was almost to the bottom of the cup with one last swallow to go---I prayed the thumb wouldn't come rushing up and bop me on the nose (as ice does sometimes) and....
… there was nothing there!
Relieved? Yes, but also I couldn't believe it---there WAS a plop in my cup when I poured the milk.
And then--I WAS TOO SHY TO TELL THE STORY!
So, they had to wait years for me to tell them the story of the thumb at their dinner table and how stressed I was throughout the whole dinner.
No, it wasn't a button stuck in my nose, nor were the images of my childhood heroes dashed, but still-- it was a pretty harrowing dinner for me to sit thru!
I am guessing that a small chunk of ice from the cold, cold milk plopped into my cup.
At least I hope so.
Dinners at my mother-in-law's house have always been an adventure!
And these photos below were all taken at various 'dinners' and 'BBQ's'
My father-in-law, Phil sometimes drove her crazy.
and sometimes he couldn't believe what she said or did
But all the time, they had fun together.
Well, okay, not ALL the time. The first picture is more apropos for their relationship.
How about--they loved each other all the time.
*telling Scott stories so he can laugh! He is doing most of the care-taking of his mom right now and sometimes that's just not fun at all.
My friends I bring to you recipe #246
Only 121 left to go!