Meet our writers

 







Reflections November 2015

The Raven Lunatic

We Gather Together Over Green Bean Casserole

By Amy Abbott

This morning he was up again early, preparing some of the items needed for the big day. In his spare time, he made banana bread with the aging bananas I was saving to make penicillin.

For days now the Gourmet Cook in our house has been planning his next moves. I see the fire in his eyes —Thanksgiving is days away. He is Indiana Jones seeking the Ark of the Covenant, which he then bakes into a tasty holiday casserole.

I’m an everyday cook, and I worked up to the title. After years of not cooking, I took over the Monday through Friday routine. I’m getting better, though some recipes still mystify me.

My beloved and I plot out the week’s meals every Saturday morning. I eschew anything with more than 10 ingredients, so when he wanted mulligatawny soup last week, I balked. I prepared the ingredients and materials needed so when he came home from work, it was ready for him to prepare.

This makes me a sous chef.

Mulligatawny is an Indian soup full of curry, other spices, and vegetables in chicken broth, which has a heavenly flavor. Seinfeld fans might remember it as Elaine Benes’ favorite from the “Soup Nazi.” (No soup for you!)

On Thanksgiving morning, I’ll be his sous chef. As I will be downing a few mimosas between watching the Broadway promos in the hour before the Macy’s parade and taking orders from the chef, you may add two tiny letters, an ‘e’ and a ‘d’ to the end of sous.

Call me his soused chef.

My husband is a marvelous cook, with incredibly high standards, a reflection of his late mother. He can be a little intense, though, like when I suggested he could buy a pie crust.

Our previous kitchen didn’t have the counter space to prepare the dough so he spread it out on the kitchen table, which wasn’t ideal. After years, he finally bought the famous “pie crust in a bag.”

Yesterday he reverted to his old ways, using the expanded peninsula we added when remodeling our kitchen last year. He made six homemade crusts, delighted with the Crisco buttery-flavored sticks he bought for pies. Milling his own flour is most likely next.

Earlier in the weekend he made a pilgrimage alone to the store. He wrote a list, organized by category. How has he stayed married to me for almost three decades when my idea of a list is an illegible scribbled note on the back of a used envelope?

This morning he was up again early, preparing some of the items needed for the big day. In his spare time, he made banana bread with the aging bananas I was saving to make penicillin.

We’ve had one small spat during this Holy Time of Preparation. Our son, who lives a thousand miles away, is coming home and has requested a baked potato casserole. I told my husband that I wanted to make it, but he insists on making everything. While I was initially offended, who am I to argue with someone who obviously gets so much pleasure out of cooking?

I get pleasure from eating, so we make a great pair. And lucky for him, there are going to be a lot of other hungry people at our house on Thursday.

 

Amy McVay Abbott is an Indiana writer and the author of three books. Visit her website at www.amyabbottwrites.com.

Meet Amy