This month’s Let’s Lunch theme is Festive Side Dishes. Mine may not exactly be a side dish. Then again, maybe it is…
Remember Y2K? When at the stroke of midnight our computers were going to stop working, air traffic would run amok, ATMs would run out of cash, and we’d all have to head for the hills in survivalist mode? So quaint were those worries, in the days before smartphones, the Cloud, or Status Updates.
Well, I remember that particular New Year’s Eve. Not for the supposed blackouts, food shortages and general mayhem that ensued. Well, maybe the food shortage.
To ring in the Year 2000, my husband and I (no kids yet) went to Lake Tahoe, where a couple dozen of his closest relatives would be celebrating in style. We were staying at a spacious mountain home owned by a newly divorced uncle. This house had everything you could possibly need: ready access to ski slopes, a hot tub, a big screen TV… well almost everything.
The snow was falling and the roads were icing up as guest after guest showed up, suitcases in hand. After the hugs and “How are you?”s, we all looked around at each other.
“What’s for dinner?” someone asked.
“Help yourself to anything in the fridge,” the uncle replied. Only the shelves held just a few leftovers and some expired bottles of salad dressing. Outside the snow kept falling, coating the steep mountain road.
A couple of the aunties hurried to nearest grocery store for frozen lasagna, while the toddlers whined, and the hungry college students glared.
Maybe it was the sudden silence, or perhaps it was the disappearance of the uncle into the kitchen that gave it away.
What did he have in there? With a pop of a vacuum-sealed tin, he plopped a fruitcake onto a plate and began cutting it into slices.
Everyone — young, old, vegetarian, low-carb — flocked to the kitchen and grabbed a slice of the Technicolor goodness.
Seeing as how he had redeemed himself, the uncle disappeared into the pantry and returned, arms laden with fruitcakes– some still in cardboard shipping boxes which were summarily ripped open.
Then, mouth still sticky with maraschino cherry, someone asked, “So where did all of these fruitcakes come from?”
The uncle mentioned the name of a distant relative. “He sends one every year. But nobody ever wants to eat them.”
I’m hoping to bake my own rendition of fruitcake this weekend.
Maybe I’ll even share my story of how David Leibovitz saved me from post fruitcake stress disorder.
More Festive Side Dishes from Let’s Lunch:
A Tiger in the Kitchen: Singaporean Potato Gratin
Joe Yonan: Holiday Dishes at the Maine Homestead
Patrick Glee: Baby Pecan Pies
A Cook and Her Books: Not My Mama’s Black-Eyed Peas & Greens
Cowgirl Chef: Lime-Chipotle Carrots
Burnt-Out Baker: Eating Butterflies: Festive Treats for Ordinary Days
Spice Box Travels: Trinidadian Baked Pastelles
Free Range Cookies: Bake Me a Salad
Monday Morning Cooking Club: Potato Latkes
Zest Bakery: Gluten-Free Coconut Date Balls
The Kitchen Trials: Sweet Potato Casserole
Wok Star: Easy Festive Stirfry
Free Range Cookies: Bake Me a Salad
Savor the Taste of Oregon: Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Delicata Squash
Maria’s Good Things: Grandma Dorothy’s Deviled Eggs
Grongar Blog: Martha’s Potato Kugel
Also, follow #LetsLunch on Twitter for more great posts from my lunching buddies!
(16) Readers Comments
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These totally make my mouth water. So simple but soooo good. Dinner to
These Chinese fried eggs sound delicious in its simplicity. Thanks for
Sounds like you and I read the same books as children -- I thought abo
Interesting share! We wonder why they specify "Non-Hispanic Asians" co
When you describe the trajectory of the Asian male character, it does