Holidays at our house were always an adventure.
My house was the gathering place for Thanksgiving meals. My family, my sister and her family, my parents, step-parents, and of course, our pets would gather for way too much food, and to create stories for the future.
I would like to preface what I am about to write with the fact that I am a good cook, it isn’t my fault that one year I cooked the bird upside down (which did not change the taste), or that another year a cracked heating coil wasn’t detected until the half-cooked bird was sliced.
…..And, it isn’t all that hard to confuse dried catnip for dried parsley.
“Just for the record, catnip is a mint, if it’s washed, it’s like any other herb, you will not have any side effects,” Much maligned hostess
This Thanksgiving was particularly special – it was six weeks and four days after I had given birth to my third child – a son who thought sleep was an option. I don’t recall anyone saying, “Hey, we can have it at our house this year.” No, they all showed up, right on schedule.
My first tip that perhaps the dried green leaves in the zip lock baggie wasn’t what I thought it was, should have been the cat’s attentiveness to the food preparation. Never one for jumping on the kitchen counter, Catra finally had to be put in another room. I was worried he would singe his paws on the stove. (It worked that year).
As everyone sat down to eat, they RAVED about the stuffing. It was wonderful they told me, and many were going back for seconds.
My husband, Mark asked why I had added mint to the recipe this year. He does not like mint.
I said I hadn't, but I did add dried parsley from our garden.
“We didn’t grow parsley this year,” he said.
Forks froze in mid-air, hovering between open mouths and practically clean plates. The accolades were stunned into silence.
"Sure we did,” I insisted. “The baggie was in with the spices.”
“Show me,” he said.
As I walked to the kitchen to get the bag, and defend my culinary skills, forks were slowly lowered to the plates. Did I mention this was a second helping for most of them?
Mark opened the bag, sniffed, and said ….. "this is catnip.”
Well that was it for the stuffing. Everyone was ready for dessert ---wait…who made the pie?