At Passover every year someone in the family quietly places a spoon on their nose. A cousin, or an aunt sees this and quickly follows suit. Soon, we are involved in an unspoken, but-never-the-less extremely cutthroat competition until my grandfather has had enough of the sacrilege and cries “Dayenu!”…

My grandmother has cooked every meal – every Thanksgiving turkey, Passover brisket, birthday apple pie – in this tiny wall oven that they’ve had since building the house in the 1950s. She only recently allowed a microwave into her house. But the shame is so great one must venture to the back of the hall closet where the microwave is hidden behind the hanging laundry in order to pop some popcorn – or God forbid, reheat the chicken Marbella…

Every year someone brings chocolate turkeys to Thanksgiving. I’m not sure how this started or why the tradition is kept up since I’ve never actually seen anyone eat said turkeys…

When I was little there were several cousins and somewhat-removed family members who would periodically escape to the front porch of my grandparents’ house during holiday celebrations to smoke together. It smelled bad and I knew from school that smoking was bad for you. One Thanksgiving I accidentally stumbled upon my cousin, Fran Lebowitz, who was about to light up. She looked me in my adolescent eyes and offered me a smoke. I’ve been scared of her ever since…

My grandmother, who by all accounts is a gourmet cook, loves to please her grandchildren’s less-refined palates. Every year she brings us great joy when she brings out the little hot dogs we so adore. These tiny wieners, smothered in grape jelly and mustard, stay warm for hours because of this wonderful chaffing dish, which I still think is so cool.

Published by imworriedmytherapisthatesme

I'm a history-PhD-turned-stay-at-home-mom of three. When I'm not microwaving Trader Joe's meals for my kids, breaking up fights and wiping butts, I like to paint and write. To cope with the endless hours I'm spending with my son doing virtual school, I've abandoned my gouache paints for the more portable, less messy tried but true, paper and ink. While he learns to read to 20 floating heads on his screen, I sit on a tiny chair, at a tiny table pretending to be a productive adult.

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