A friend and I went out for lunch and coffee last week, which was cool, until we got to 'Bux ... and she said, "Oh, I don't like coffee."
(Insert Brea giving Elli a really sarcastic and unbelieving look here.)
Who doesn't like coffee?? So I asked her, like any kind and sensitive friend would, "What in heaven's name is wrong with you? Who doesn't like coffee?" Luckily, I have a very nice friend, and she laughed and said, "Well, neither of my parents drink it, so I was never around it until college, and by then, I just didn't want any."
Well, ok. I get that. So we started talking about how each family seems to leave out a few traditional things, and the kids grow up all deprived and neglected.
(Not really about the deprived and neglected part. But go with me, mmmk?)
For those of you who live in places that aren't the South or Texas, there are certain things you do. You drink sweet tea year-round, for the better part of every day. You grow tomatoes. You say "yes, ma'am" and "no, sir" so that your momma doesn't tan your hide when you get home, and "please" and "thank you" are kind of ingrained and will never, ever leave your vocabulary, even if you try to not be polite. (I'm so not kidding. I thank people all the time for the most inane things! I can't help it!) You eat bar-b-que with alarming frequency.
And there are a few foods that ... well ... Robert E Lee help you if you don't serve them at a holiday. Ham. Rolls. Turkey. Gravy, preferably two different kinds. Green bean casserole. Yams with marshmallows on top. I mention these last two things because ...
(takes a deep breath to prepare for confession time)
... my family doesn't eat these foods.
(ducks from rotten food being thrown)
I know!! It's awful!! But as far as green beans went, we had so many fresh green beans from the garden that I think we didn't feel the need to torture ourselves with the things from a can. What is with the weird ring of those crunchy faux-onion thingys on the top? And, I mean, what did a green bean ever do to me that I'd want to put it in an oven?? Honestly! And the thing with the canned yams and the marshmallows ... to this day, it freaks me out. I'm not kidding. We grew up eating sweet potatoes at every holiday (still do!), but it was my great-grandmother's sweet potato souffle recipe that we had. (It's better. Trust me. By a million and 38 times.)
Also, I didn't realize until I was in my late teens, maybe ever older than 20, that when the rest of the world eats ribs, they eat pork ribs. Pork ribs!
I'm a Lone Star kind of gal, and as far as I'm concerned (and of course, I'm right) ribs go from the cow to the smoker to my plate. COW. Beef ribs, people. It's the only way to live trust me. Especially if my dad is making that kinda sweet sauce stuff that he brushes over them while they're on the grill ... Man, I still remember sneaking lots of little tastes of that stuff while he was cooking.
(In retrospect, it's kind of amazing that my brothers and I didn't all die of food poisoning when we were younger. However, that's a whole 'nother topic for another day ... and I'm digressing.)
All that to say, I guess I can't fault Elli too much for ordering hot chocolate instead of coffee. She wasn't raised to know better. (Zing! That's right, I said it!) We all have things our families leave out. I don't like potato salad, although it shows up a every. Southern. gathering. ever., and I also don't drink sweet tea. Can't help it!
Anyway, what always shows up on your family's holiday table? Is there anything obviously missing?