Grandma DottieGrandmas cook. It's what they do. Well, a lot of them anyway. Not my mother — my kids have a grandmother that could burn a pot of boiling water. But that's an entirely different story.
Usually grandmas cook, and though not all of them are amazing cooks, the love that goes into their preparation outweighs the terribly bad slightly "off" meal every now and again. And a lot of grandmas have their dish. You know the one ... the one the grandkids clamor for.
But as children and grandchildren get older, they figure out how to cook and may just try to move in on grandma's territory, especially around the holidays. This is exactly what happened with my husband, when he was 22. And it could have really been a disaster!
He told his grandmother he wanted her to take a year off from the turkey, that he really wanted to try to make it that year. Being the competitive family they are, she asked, "What, you think you can make the turkey better than me?"
Oy ... really? She had to go there?
Challenging my husband, even if you are his grandma, will always result in serious competition. And she LOVED every minute of it. She talked up their turkey battle for weeks before Thanksgiving. She even started the lighthearted trash-talking (which definitely scored her a few points with the judges).
They both worked furiously that Thanksgiving. The Boshnack blood ran strong that Turkey Day. My husband had soaked his turkey overnight in orange juice and pineapple and good ol' grandma watched as he basted that thing every 30 minutes — like clockwork. Grandma, on the other hand, looked like she had it all under control, acting cool, calm, and collected. After all, she was cooking the same turkey she'd been cooking for 60+ years. She laughed every time her grandson got up to baste, but after a little while, you could see her start to sweat. You see, grandma was just as competitive as her grandson and — oh boy — she did NOT want to lose.
Fast-forward a whole bunch of hours and the birds came out of the oven. Grandma still thought she had it in the bag, until ... they each began to carve. It was then that she realized she might have taken the competition too lightly. Her turkey was dry and bland while the competition was juicy and sweet. And she knew it right away.
The winning turkeyThe family lined up to taste and each person reserved their judgement until we sat down at the table. Grandma was the first to speak ... to a room completely silent ... and we were anticipating her every word. And then it happened: grandma lowered her head and said her grandson had won. She was passing the torch on to him ... and she was going to eat his turkey instead of the one she had made!
Later on she pulled him aside and told him he could cook for her any time. It was a good Thanksgiving.
And for this year, I hope you have a very happy, relaxing, and turkey-filled day.
Who's doing the cooking in your house today?