That name should be enough to strike fear into the hearts of anyone who likes food and depends on it to live.
Lex and I were in the den when the phone rang. Lex put it on speaker since the caller ID said it was my sister phoning. “Hi Jeannie, what’s up?”
“Um, I know that I have a poor track record in the kitchen, but I was wondering if I could help prepare something for Thanksgiving dinner this year?”
Lex took one look at my reaction and promptly put her hand over my mouth. “Be nice,” she whispered. “She only wants to help.” Then Lex removed her hand, cautiously.
“Sure, Jeannie. We’ll think of something you can make.”
“Um, well, I was thinking maybe I could make the stuffing this year. I found a recipe online that looked like I could do it.” We could hear the pleading to be forgiven for past cooking disasters and it touched my heart.
“Stuffing? I love stuffing.”
I glared at Lex when she said that. Nice job, sweetheart, let’s encourage her to make something that could cause us all potential indigestion, at the minimum. So I asked her, “What kind of stuffing?”
“Cornbread. I saw a recipe for cornbread that called for using real corn. Not just cornmeal.”
Why, oh why, don’t I just beat myself over the head with a cast iron frying pan right now, rather than encourage my sister to take on a potential disaster? “That sounds interesting.”
“It does. And I found a really great bargain online for the ears of corn.” She seemed so proud of herself when she said that.
“And I’d be proud to try it out,” my dear demented wife said. I love you Lex, but I will kill you in your sleep for this.
One week later, we were all gathered around the dining room table. Martha brought her wonderful pumpkin and mincemeat pies. Shelby and Rebecca joined us and brought apple salad, which, I may say, was delicious. The kids helped to make cookies the day before, since they were all out of school. And Lex’s cousin, Ellie and her partner, Kyle, brought home baked rolls. Go, Kylie! I thought she was only good with car engines and tools. But the woman can bake!
Jeannie and her family arrived and she proudly unwrapped the stuffing for us all to see. We took a whiff and decided that, while unusually colorful, it didn’t smell toxic, so we’d go with it.
When dinner began, I was curious and had to taste my sister’s stuffing. It really did smell good, so I didn’t hesitate to take a nice sized bite.
I screamed. Lex jumped out of her chair. Jeannie immediately started apologizing. Martha got a cold, wet towel from the kitchen. The kids frantically started asking if their mommy was okay. I was crying, nearly hysterically, when my hand came away from my mouth with pieces of my two front teeth in it. And Kyle immediately got her keys to drive us to the hospital.
My diet, until they can put the implants in, is tea, Jello, and baby food. I talk with a lisp, and my poor wife has been completely sorry and sympathetic and has taken all the blame for encouraging Jeannie to cook.
I guess I should mention that the bargain that Jeannie got on corn was for the decorative kind that can be used either for decorating a Thanksgiving table, or for smashing bricks.