Sunday, November 18, 2007

Fun Monday - Do You Have to Tell That Story Again?

This week’s Fun Monday is hosted by Karisma. She wants to hear “The Story”. You know, the story that gets told and retold and embellished and told some more - at every family gathering.


The story that gets told and retold about me at my family’s holiday dinners is “The Gravy Story”. I was not really a child, I was 15 when this happened and it was not during the holidays, but there you have it.

My sisters are 10 and 13 years older than I am. When I turned into an obnoxious child, back in the day when preteen was not yet a word, my parents would send me to my sister’s house for the summer, or at least a good portion of it.

My sister was an uber-housewife. Her house was clean, her child was clean and his clothes were pressed, as were her tablecloths. She actually, and I kid you not, trimmed her lawn with manicure scissors. She ran a perfect household.

When my brother-in-law got home from work, his home was his castle. His queen had fresh makeup, her hair was perfect, dinner was cooking and there were NO problems.

So, the year I was 15, my nephew was 2 and my sister was pregnant. I was spending the summer there to help with my nephew and because my parents did not trust me at home. I truly was a horrible person at that age.

My sister went to the hospital and had a beautiful baby girl. I was at home with the 2 year old and my brother-in-law went to work.

I set out to be my sister. The grocery store was within walking distance of their house, so shopping was not a problem.

I decided to cook a roast beef dinner with all the trimmings. No problem. I cooked the roast, peeled and cooked the potatoes, mashed them, made a salad, and heated up some green beans. I washed up the kitchen, set the dining room table, washed and changed and ironed my nephew and made sure that everything was perfect.

The problem arose when I decided to make gravy. My mother is an EXCELLENT cook. She just doesn’t like people in her kitchen and, to be honest with you, by the time I came along her patience and desire to teach another person to cook were nil. But I HAD watched.
So I took the plastic container thingy and mixed the water and the flour and shook it just right and stirred some into the pan drippings. It looked OK, but a little thick. I added some more. Still a little thick. I added just a scoche more and decided to quit while I was ahead. I put the gravy into the then traditional gravy boat and served dinner.

My brother-in-law is a very kind man. He tried. He honestly tried. When the spoon stood in the middle of the gravy straight up, he told me as kindly as he could that he just couldn’t eat it. He carried it out to the kitchen and turned the cup over.
The gravy slid out in one piece, landed in the sink, and stood there quivering exactly like a jello mold.

We went out to eat.


And I still do NOT make gravy!

38 comments:

Peter said...

I bet you got points for the rest of the meal though? and specially for the washed, changed and ironed nephew?

laurie said...

wow. you knew how to do all that when you were 15??? i still can't do that.

and i have a hard time believing you were a truly horrible person. (maybe that's the story i need to hear!)

Swampwitch said...

She trimmed her lawn with manicure scissors? I don't even trim my nails with manicure scissors !
That's a story in itself.
Someday I will share my TWO gravy stories. One involves it being tracked back into the house. The other involves powdered sugar.
Your story caused a giggle and some great memories of my own. Thanks.

Robocop said...

The rest of the meal sounded great. I am willing to bet you average 15 year old girl could not pull such a meal off, unless it was already pre-made, and involved a microwave.

AnGlOpHiLe FoOtBaLl FaNaTiC said...

Holy Cow! I still couldn't make that for dinner. Your sister? Sounds like one of Robinella's Stepford Wives. The very thought of being that June Cleaverish frightens me.

Sandy said...

Peter - I did get brownie points! and my nephew is still very buttoned up!

Laurie - I'm not sure I could do it now either but then I was SO focussed!

Swampy - you are welcome. I think we ALL have gravy stories.

Robocop - I hate to admit my age but there weren't any microwaves when I was 15! We had to learn to cook - there was very little prepackaged food, either.

AFF - I think it was the "diet pills" she took. That house was immaculate while I was still sitting on the couch with my first cup of coffee.

Serina Hope said...

LOL
I can't do gravy either. This was funny.
Happy Monday!

karisma said...

Sounds like you cooked up a feast. I would have whacked him for not eating the rest of the food. My daughter has a similar gravy story, except in her case, the gravy was more like lumpy water.

I cant believe you still don't make gravy though. You do know it comes in instant mix these days? You just have to boil the kettle! (Don't tell my daughter though, we just love watching her attempts and tantrums, its priceless)

Pamela said...

you should have told him it was pudding. (:

Maria said...

That was so funny! I cracked up. I couldn't imagine that happening in real life. And if it did, it would be hard to keep a straight face. Kudos to you on all the other stuff, though!

Maria
www.jubileeonearth.com

Hootin'Anni said...

So this could be a good subject for Rosie to talk about on the View if she were still there!!!

Jello molded gravy...I'm laughing.

Mama Drama Jenny said...

Ha! Love this one!

Kaycie said...

Hilarious! This made me laugh out loud and wake up the puppy.

Sauntering Soul said...

Too funny! But I'm with other commenters...at 39 I'd have to be forced to make a dinner like that or it would at least have to be a holiday.

I had a great aunt who was known to sweep and vacuum leaves off of her lawn. I did not get that gene at all. I can barely make myself vacuum my floors.

Beckie said...

You tried - you should get major points for trying!

My gravy is not so good either.

My Husband Calls Me Weird said...

I once made oatmeal cookies and forgot to put the oatmeal in it.

Queen of the Mayhem said...

That is too funny! See....stories like these are why I refuse to cook! :)


I am all about the brown gravy from the packets......the only way I roll! (hee-hee)

Robin said...

I was thinking along the lines of AFF...very Stepford Wife-ish. But an impressive ploy to go OUT to eat!! Well told :).

Making GOOD gravy is an art form (thank goodness my MIL taught me how to do it...we only had "fake" gravy growing up--out of a jar).

Robin from Pensieve

Junebug said...

You "ironed" your nephew? I'm laughing...Sounds to me like the rest of the meal was good even without gravy. My mom's sisters were older than her and she got sent to help them with their new babies too. She said her sister made her iron her sheets and pillowcases. They were very particular.

Karmyn R said...

Thick gravy! I can't make gravy either - it's too thin or too lumpty.

Robinella said...

So the gravy was a bust. What about the rest of the meal? It sounded great.

I also loved that you ironed your nephew. I bet that was tough getting in all the crevices. hahaha :-)

Emma in Canada said...

I laughed at the ironing of the nephew!

I can't make gravy to save my life, I just did not pay attention to my mother at all. It comes out of a packet at my house.

Tiggerlane said...

I imagine the rest of the meal was as bad as the gravy? Surely, it wasn't!

And swampy - I've actually DOCUMENTED people trimming their lawns with scissors on my blog!

kitten said...

Not bad for a 15 yr old!

Alix said...

brilliant! As everyone has said at least you tried. I think could have messed up scrambled eggs at 15, never mind a roast dinner while caring for a 2 year old!

The Rotten Correspondent said...

My southern family aside, I seem to make gravy the same way you do. I cannot get it right - EVER.

It's nice to not feel alone...

Blue Momma said...

I do gravy, but it's always lumpy.

I'm hoping you got some brownie points for trying!

Bren said...

Wow, you did a lot! I don't do gravy either. It's always terrble.

Amanda said...

Hey! All that when you were 15 is a great accomplishment. I'm not sure if many 15 yr olds these days would attempt cooking all that.

Willowtree said...

HA ha ha that's a great mental image! So, you ironed your nephew, that's attention to detail. Must be interesting to have Bree VanDerkamp as a sister.

Dawn said...

That is a great story. You should attempt gravy again in your life, just to say you conquered it. It would be hard to live up to the standard of a sister like that. Kudos for trying.

alisonwonderland said...

i think you should get a lot of credit for the rest of the meal! :)

Sirdar said...

Went out to eat? Just because the gravy wasn't that good? I bet the rest of the meal was fantastic...and he had to give you an "A" for effort.

Sounds like he was a great guy for not making you feel bad.

Gattina said...

Hahaha ! That must have been the best gravy ever ! I don't like it at all and fortunately it doesn't exist here in Belgium and in Italy neither. You see one should never try to be perfect !

Alta said...

And that is how jello was invented. LOL

JunieRose2005 said...

:)

I LOVED this story!!


Junie

Jo Beaufoix said...

Blimey, you did all that at 15. And you thing you were a horrible 15 year old? You sound amazing.:D

Debs said...

:O You mean gravy is NOT suppose to be thick like that? *LOL*

I am not a cook. My mom had no patience with me in the kitchen. I can bake, but regular cooking, forget it.

 
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