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The Quiche Story…and a Giveaway

2 December 2011
Jane Lawton: Eccentric Chef, Delightful Mother.

Jane Lawton: Eccentric Chef, Delightful Mother.

I’ve been gone for way too long, people. I’m getting used to the very short terms Oxford has (just 8 weeks) and the intensity of the studying that goes on during that time. But at the beginning it was all wailing, gnashing of teeth, and sadly ignored knitting needles. And now it has been more than a month since I’ve written here – which, as you know, is like the cardinal sin of blogging. I am so, so sorry, people. As a bribe to encourage forgiveness, I have a special giveaway at the bottom of this post (remember those?). Exciting?

All three of you who have been reading for a while may remember that this is the time of year when I write about my mother. It’s near the anniversary of her death, and writing something about her seems to help me honor her. So my next post will be chock-full of yarn and news and crazy stories, including why our bed only arrived today and how the cat has been settling in, but for now you’re stuck with Jane. [Or you can scroll down for the yarn.]

Jane Lawton passed away four years ago, on Nov. 29, and she left a huge hole in my life (and the lives of others, of course). She was quite the character. Born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, she grew up in Ada, a small but nice town that seems to be best known outside of Oklahoma for its usefulness in crossword puzzles. She was one of those strong pioneer women. Mom had southern charm and crazy, and the story I’m going to tell you this time is one of my favorites. And one of Mr. Trask’s favorites. That’s right…it’s time for the story of…The Sweet Quiche.

Mom in the Kitchen

Mom in the Kitchen (the scene of the crime)

So, a very yuppie tradition in our family is the making of quiche. We did it when I was little, and the book Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche had just come out (my father helped, even), mostly on Sunday mornings. I remember watching my mother make it, and I remember helping her, later. For some reason, I think my father was often in charge of cutting the onions. But I might be making that up. I associate quiche with those lazy Sunday mornings when the Sunday paper would be spread out all over the den and my father would be dancing with the dog to Simon & Garfunkel’s “Cecilia.”

Later on, my mother started making it for Christmas brunch. A fine tradition, combining eggs, pastry, and occasionally vegetables. My sister, a vegetarian, could eat something substantial (broccoli/cheddar quiche), while the rest of us had Quiche Lorraine (one of the best foods ever). [Obviously, this was before I was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity. I am still looking for a good gluten-free quiche recipe. I can hardly talk about it, people.]

Anyway, one Christmas we were all going to my mother’s house for presents and food, and (like a good daughter) I called to see whether I could bring anything. “No, I’m fine!” she said brightly. I mention this phone call because I feel it is important for later on. I wonder now whether she sounded a little strained, but that is probably just the power of suggestion.

Jane Hiking

Here Mom is on one of her many hiking trips. No cooking disasters here!

We all met at Mom’s; we opened some presents; we admired the tree; we decided to have a little food. There was salad; there were bagels; there was quiche.

We all dug in, because there is nothing the Lawton family likes more than a little quiche. This one was broccoli/cheddar, and I think my sister was the first person to get a funny look on her face about it. I know I was the one who said, “Mom, this quiche tastes a little odd.”

She might have answered a little too quickly. “No, it doesn’t! It tastes fine!”

“No…” my father said, slowly. “It’s weird.” The quiche was a little heavier than usual, and a little…sweeter. Except for the aforementioned broccoli and cheddar, one might have taken it for a pie.

“Mom, this quiche tastes sweet,” I said.

“It’s fine!” she said.

“It’s really sweet,” my sister said.

“It’s Oklahoma Sweet Quiche!” she said defensively. “It’s…a southern delicacy!”

Jane Xmas

Here Mom is in a really old Christmas photo. You can see the tree in the background (and that her hair had been highlighted strangely).

Eventually, she broke down and admitted that she’d gotten all the way to the end of the recipe before realizing she didn’t have any half-and-half. And here is where I feel that she got a bit caught up in the moment. You know how it is – you’ve got the broccoli all sauteed, you’ve broken the eggs into the mixing bowl, the oven is pre-heated, people are coming over, and…you get a little crazy.

Instead of going out and buying some, or asking someone else to bring some (see above!), like a normal person would have done, she decided to substitute. Did she sub in milk? No…not thick enough. Did she sub in more eggs? I can’t see how that would have worked, although it would have been better than what she did do. No; all she could find was condensed milk. As in, sweetened condensed milk. And then she tried to pass off the resultant custard-with-broccoli as Oklahoma Sweet Quiche. A blot on a fine woman’s record of entertaining; a slur on the State of Oklahoma.

I ask today: Who are we to judge the actions of a hostess on Christmas Day? Who among us has not found we lacked something at the critical moment of a recipe? Who has not looked disaster in the face, and decided to brazen it out?

All that said, it was with great relief that we sent my father out for more eggs, and bacon. And that was the year that I decided to bring a few cereal bars in my knitting bag when I went out to eat, just in case.

Maybe next year I’ll tell you the story of the exploding turkey.

On to the giveaway! People, the Plug + Play Pembrokeshire Retreat (happening again next year – get more info here) had the best goody bag I have ever received. Three different skeins of amazing yarn – beautiful stitch markers – various other goodies – and everything we needed to design with lace. Today, I offer you: one of the skeins of yarn.

This is gorgeous Alisha Goes Around yarn, Pulchitrude of Peacocks Fingering, in a gorgeous green colorway. It would be exactly right for your next set of handwarmers or even a lace cowl. I am having trouble letting go of it, but you know how much I love you guys, and I want you to have something from my time in Wales! So….check it out:

Alisha Goes Around Yarn

Glorious Alisha Goes Around Yarn (on one of the boxes containing our new bed)

Just comment on the blog by noon UK time on Friday, Dec. 9, and tell me your best or worst cooking story, or knitting story, or – hey! – even a Jane Lawton story. As always, I’ll use the Random Number Generator to select one of you for yarn-y goodness, and I’ll mail you the yarn. If you want to donate to the cost of shipping, you can, but there’s no requirement to. No strings attached; just yarn in one lucky person’s mailbox. What’s not to love?

Next week, a post about knitting – all the cool knitting things I’ve seen this fall – and then a report on my trip to The Hague next week (where I plan to visit any LYS I can find). We’re back, people! Thank you for your patience.

32 Comments leave one →
  1. 2 December 2011 2:25 pm

    I have a really yummy cranberry walnut quick bread recipe that I make at Christmas time. It’s time consuming (walnuts must be chopped and baked, orange zested, temptation to drink cointreau rather than add to batter resisted, cranberries chopped and so on). I have a set of plastic measuring cups for flour, sugar, etc. In the course of many years’ worth of trips through the dishwasher, the labeling on the handles indicating the size has worn off. Not generally a problem, since I can tell the one cup from the half cup from the quarter cup by looking at them. Except three years ago I wasn’t paying attention while making my cranberry walnut bread. It seemed to be taking forever to bake, why was it still so liquidy when it should be done? I started washing the utensils I’d used making it and realized I only had out the half cup measure and not the full cup. I’d only added half as much flour as I should have. Oops. That year I had more of a cranberry walnut pudding than a bread. But it was still pretty tasty. That’ll teach me to sample the cointreau while baking.

  2. Jesse permalink
    2 December 2011 2:37 pm

    I have a similar story! Drat the lack of acceptable milk subsitutes.. This was back in my meat eating days, I was making tuna cheese casserole and was all set to go, ingredients out and oven prepped, when I realized I was out of (of course) milk. I has just returned from the store, and I was not excited about the prospect of going back, so I decided to poke about the cupboards and see what I could use. Long story short, i had powdered Irish creamer/ tuna casserole. So gross. I cannot even describe. My most epic cooking fail.

  3. Brooke permalink
    2 December 2011 2:43 pm

    Hmmm, this is mighty mighty tempting stuff. L just asked for another cowl and this green would do wonders for her eyes. But to divulge a cooking or knitting story on a par with the Oklahoma Sweet Quiche? Well, I think not. Let me just share, instead, a memory from the distant past that forges a small connection with your lovely mother.
    Back when I was a young slip of a thing, just out of college, armed with a degree in English and not much else, I lucked in to a tide-me-over job as a draftsman. All day long I worked with maps and pens and inks and tools and rules and forged my lifelong love affair with fonts and layout and travel. Sadly, all of my maps were of the domestic sort, but that didn’t stop a wandering mind from straying and wondering what various small towns in other places all over the US were like. One of my favorite states to work on was Oklahoma, because of little towns like Tishomingo, and Poteau, and Paris, and most of all, Idabel and Ada. I thought those were the best names for two towns one could imagine. So there, Jane Lawton was on my map when you were just a toddler!! Strange connections forged through string, eh?

  4. Kristin Whittlesey permalink
    2 December 2011 2:48 pm

    I’ll give you a Thanksgiving cooking disaster/ex-boyfriend story!

    I used to work in newspapers, and in that business, Thanksgiving is most definitely a work day. The Thanksgiving Day paper is always the biggest of the year, due to Black Friday ads, so it’s all hands on deck.

    I had to work. My boyfriend was out of work and couldn’t afford to go home (to Duncan, Okla., BTW). And the new couple who had just started at the paper — more Oklahomans — also had to work.

    Nicki and I decided it would be fun for the four of us to go out for Thanksgiving dinner together. The guys decided it would be fun if Nicki and I cooked. At the time I had lucked into an amazing house-rental situation, and the place had a killer kitchen, so sure, why not?

    I was not, however, about to tackle a turkey. Entirely too intimidating. Instead, I would do Cornish game hens. Easy, delicious, vaguely turkey-like — what’s not to love? However, the day before Thanksgiving was a 12-hour work shift, and I did not have time to make the grocery run. So I had the unemployed boyfriend do it for me.

    Realizing the risk involved in such an endeavor, I wrote the mother of all shopping lists. If brand mattered, I specified brand. If there were different ways amount or volume could be calculated, I included all the possibilities. I detailed acceptable substitutions. There was no way anybody could ever get lost or confused with this list.

    Ahem.

    So toward the end of the day, I called the boyfriend to let him know I was headed home and see how things had gone. He sounded a little confused.

    “Well, I found everything on your list,” he began, “but … are you sure you wanted FOUR Cornish game hens?”

    Yes, I assured him, I did. Four people, four little hens.

    “Well, I got ’em, but I’m telling you, these are some big honkin’ hens, here.”

    And yes, I arrived home to discover that the boy had bought four … CHICKENS. Whole chickens. It was a very Blues Brothers Thanksgiving.

  5. Cindy B. permalink
    2 December 2011 3:04 pm

    So here’s a Jane Lawton story for you that’s been told in our family for years – and it’s how my brother earned his family nickname. Bear in mind that I was only about 4 years old at the time (and my brother was 5), so I’m telling the story from having heard it over the years. You and another cousin were just little babies, both of you only a few months old at the time, so you probably won’t have any memory of it either, unless you’ve heard the story as well…

    Anyway, we were all at Grandma E’s house in Chickasha and for some reason or other, my brother gave your mom a kiss and she exclaimed something like “You’ve got some hot lips!” All of the adults thought this was absolutely hysterical and my bro has been called “hot lips” for years. It’s one of those family stories that just makes you smile. 🙂

  6. 2 December 2011 4:38 pm

    Ooooh I have so many of these stories it’s hard to pick just one. Most of them involve me cooking for company and everything going horribly wrong… how about the time I was cooking from my grandmother’s potato salad recipe notecard. She wrote her recipes in shorthand, since of course she knew how to *cook* (unlike me).

    The first steps said to dice the potatoes and add them to the rest of the ingredients. Which I did. My husband noted that the potato salad tasted very crispy and well, gross. He asked if maybe I hadn’t cooked the potatoes long enough? “Cook the potatoes? This recipe didn’t mention *anything* about cooking the potatoes.”

    And that is how I learned to cook my grandmother’s potato salad the *right* way. Which, for the record, I now cook for most all our family functions — and it’s always a big hit. 🙂

  7. Larissa Baker permalink
    2 December 2011 5:20 pm

    I recently made a quiche as part of dinner for a friend who had a tough day. As I loaded the kids into the car to deliver it to her house, I put it on the floor of the backseat so I could strap Katherine into her car seat. Well, she slipped as she was climbing in and put her little foot straight into the middle of the perfectly-baked quiche. So much for that! Luckily it was foil-covered and my friend was hungry and grateful enough not to be cooking dinner that she didn’t care there was a footprint in her food.

    I am going to think of your Mom’s Oklahoma Sweet Quiche every time I eat quiche. So very, very, funny!

  8. Denise Terry permalink
    2 December 2011 6:09 pm

    Here’s a mother-daughter cooking story. Daughter Elizabeth and I used to love to watch the Martha Stewart holiday specials — we would fall onto the floor laughing as she decorated a Christmas tree made of profiteroles with spun sugar. Anyway, Elizabeth decided one Easter to do a Martha Stewart Bourbon basted ham. Neither one of us is a scientist, but we did learn what would happen if you pour Bourbon onto a piping hot ham in the oven. The flames didn’t destroy the ham, but they scared the b-jeezus out of us!!

    Thanks for the Jane story, and I look forward to more.

  9. Jeannie permalink
    2 December 2011 7:14 pm

    My mm mmm carrots with ginger. Tasted like bandaids. We were newlyweds and my husband kept telling me that the carrots tasted good. That is, until I remarked that they tasted like bandaids. 🙂
    I love the sweet quiche story. Made me laugh out loud!

  10. Becky permalink
    2 December 2011 8:07 pm

    What a fun memory of your mom! Cherish the fact that she was a good cook and appreciated good food. That’s a great thing to inherit from your parents. Growing up, my only experience of quiche was the one time my mom bought a carton of “instant quiche” filling (gotta love the ’70s). I didn’t give quiche another shot for a good 20 years after that horror! And don’t even ask about the endless canned asparagus, Spam and vegetables boiled until they lost their shape that graced my childhood table.

  11. Lynda permalink
    2 December 2011 9:49 pm

    LOL! You underestimate your readers. Couldn’t you make crustless quiche, or are you a crust lover like me?

    Your poor mom. If only she’d grabbed the evaporated milk instead! One of my very first cooking experiments was to make quiche with whatever was on hand. That turned out to be Italian sausage and fresh pumpkin. The boyfriend bravely ate half a piece, dumped the rest in the compost, and declared we were going out for dinner. It’s been 25 years, but he’s still suspicious if I’m just making stuff up.

  12. 2 December 2011 9:50 pm

    This is the most beautiful post, ever.

    • 2 December 2011 9:52 pm

      PS: No need to enter me. I just wanted to send love to you and thanks for the post.

  13. Karen permalink
    2 December 2011 9:59 pm

    You’re Mom sounds like a HOOT!! I love that quiche story. It’s great that you have such wonderful memories of her. :^D

  14. Robin permalink
    2 December 2011 10:00 pm

    Glad you’re back!hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving if you celebrated it- as far as cooking stories go, I was making my annual Christmas fudge (a double batch this time) & was using a rubber spatula to stir the sugar marshmallow mixture – stirred in the chocolate -poured one half out & stirred in some nuts – poured the rest into another pan & began cleaning up while the fudge cooled – as I was washing the spatula I realized half of it was missing! I looked for the missing half in the fudge as I was cutting it into pieces but couldn’t find it! As I got to the final 3 inches of uncut candy I found the other half! Disaster averted!
    Love the green yarn & love the memories of your mom – peace

  15. 2 December 2011 11:33 pm

    I have to say, I always love reading the tributes to your mother.

    My worst cooking story isn’t really from my own cooking error. Last Thanksgiving I was hosting my parents and, as any good planner would do, made my pies first thing on Thanksgiving morning. I was sitting at my dining room table, trying to get some work done before the real cooking needed to get started when my husband walked into the kitchen and started shouting my dog’s name. Our lovely Hazel was standing on the counter eating one of the freshly baked pumpkin pies. Of course at 10am on Thanksgiving morning I had no more cinnamon to bake another pie (pumpkin or otherwise) and really just had to laugh.

  16. 3 December 2011 1:13 pm

    Apropos of this morning’s breakfast, I cannot make eggs over easy to save my life. I made a pumpkin pie from scratch -starting with a whole pumpkin; I make up stews and savoury pies on a weekly basis; I love to cook and I will even claim to be good at it, but I can’t get the hang of eggs over easy. This is a problem as that’s how my DH likes his eggs (I like mine scrambled with cheese). If I don’t break the yoke they come out rather more “over hard”, which works out rather the same thing when it comes to eating them.

    This morning I also microwaved his black pudding into a tiny hockey puck (I was trying to defrost it) and burnt his (English) muffin. My breakfast was perfect.

  17. Cguard permalink
    3 December 2011 6:00 pm

    and then in my house there was the famous story of the year my mom decided instead of Christmas Turkey we would have Christmas Goose to impress my grandfather who was visiting. I don’t remember what we ate for dinner but I do remember the firemen coming thru the front door to put out the grease fire and legend has it stopping in their tracks to goggle at all the books on our wall to wall shelves!

    Have missed your blog and hearing of your adventures across the pond.

  18. Karen Fogle permalink
    3 December 2011 7:35 pm

    What a great memory of your mom. I’m sure my kids will be laughing for many years about my kitchen blunders. too . In my harried state to get everything done at the same time one holiday dinner, I didn’t stir the gravy constantly & ended up with a few lumps. So as not to be chided for chunky gravy, I strained it through a mesh colander, but forgot to put a bowl under it. All my silky smooth gravy went straight to the garbage disposal 😦

  19. 4 December 2011 8:45 pm

    Cooking disaster? Seems like my life has been one long cooking disaster – I’m just not good in the kitchen. This is a trait I inherited from my mother. She’s the first to tell you that what you’ve made is delicious, but if you offer her the recipe, she’ll let you know politely that she doesn’t cook. That is where we differ – I’ll gladly take the recipe and give it a shot. Then I’ll take my attempt out back and shoot it.

    My story is about the meatless Stroganoff I made for a pot luck at the office. I’d made the sauce and figured the noodles could be cooked at the office the next day, rather than sit in the sauce overnight getting mushy. I got to work, put the sauce in the fridge and the noodles in the crockpot. I figured once they were done I’d add the sauce, turn it to low, and let the aroma fill the office and drive everyone crazy until lunchtime!

    Let me tell you that even 2½ hours in that crockpot on high did not cook the noodles. I finally just threw IT (by this time IT was just one large, hard lump) out and heated the sauce, which was a big hit anyway. A friend had brought some unfortunately very dry meatloaves, and we used my sauce as Mushroom Gravy.

    So while too many cooks might spoil the broth, two bad cooks can sometimes salvage the meal.

    It’s wonderful to hear from you again, and thanks for sharing a very special lady with us through these memories.

  20. 5 December 2011 12:23 am

    I don’t have any cooking disaster story to share. I am touched by your post. Thanks for sharing the story with us.

  21. Laura permalink
    5 December 2011 12:30 pm

    She reminds me of my mom (the South Carolina term being “a hoot and a half”). Her mother never wrote down recipes, and she apparently thinks that’s okay. So now, as a newlywed, I’m emailing my mom every other week, begging her to make this or that or the other again and actually write down the recipe. The first one was macaroni and cheese. Simple, right? except she didn’t give me ANY proportions. It turned out tasting fine, but i ended up with two full-sized casserole dishes, one smaller casserole dish, and a pie pan (ran out of casseroles) full of macaroni and cheese. Luckily, my neighbors were starved college students. My latest attempt has been to reproduce her biscuits. Turns out, heavy cream is NOT an acceptable substitute for milk. Though at least it wasn’t sweetened condensed milk.

  22. Chelsea wong permalink
    5 December 2011 6:57 pm

    I recently nuked an egg yolk that was leftover from separating eggs. I was thinking of just warming it slightly and feeding it to my baby. I took it out after 15 seconds and poked a spoon into it. POW! It exploded everywhere! Fortunately I only got one small burn on my hand! ButI had to wash a lot of egg out of my hair. Don’t nuke whole egg yolks!

  23. 6 December 2011 12:28 am

    I don’t remember any major cooking disasters of my own (most of the problems have been pretty easy to fix… turning a broken cake into a trifle, for example). My dad, on the other hand, is a little more adventurous. In one memorable incident he burnt some gravy, then tried to cover up the flavour with tarragon vinegar. It wasn’t edible.

  24. Gwendolyn T permalink
    6 December 2011 7:54 am

    I was wondering when we would hear from you again. So if your just getting a bed does that mean holiday decorating is out of the question?
    I can’t think of any peticular disasters, or successes. The closest was tearing my ACL snowboarding a week before Christmas 3 years ago. Walking was not even close to happening yet. I was using crutches, you can imagine how this would compicate cooking. To give you a basic picture I had a folding chair in the kitchen next to the oven and my cousins bringing me what I couldn’t carry.

  25. Njeri permalink
    6 December 2011 8:50 am

    I love the yarn so beautiful, I would crochet myself a scarf. Thank you for sharing your mum’s story with us.

  26. Nancy Vaughn permalink
    6 December 2011 9:12 pm

    Oklahoma Sweet Quiche – what a concept. My father called it scrambled egg pie.
    Note to future quiches _ anytype milk works, just puffs more w. 1/2 1/2.
    Love the posted pictures. What a lovely way to remember her yearly. It’s a “treasured recall” or a “trecall” used in my autobiography course, “Next in Line.”

  27. Teresa permalink
    7 December 2011 5:56 pm

    THat yarn is absolutely beautiful! I love the variegated shades of green. I don’t have a worst knitting story, so I’ll tell you about my latest crochet disaster. I am crocheting a pair of slippers as a gift. After a couple days and without too many glitches, THey’re mocassin style, so I had to do the bottom and sides in one piece, and then add on the top, and then to the edging. I finished the pair. Only then did I notice that the sole was sagging and did not sit the same way as the other one. I realized that I had turned the slipper inside out, and had forgotten to turn it right side out again. I had to unravel the edging, and remove the top so that I could turn it right side out, and I’m still working on putting it back together.
    Simple sounding but so time consuming and frustrating! Thanks for the giveaway!

  28. Tall Blond Knitter permalink
    8 December 2011 10:41 am

    So great to hear from you again… and loved your tribute to your mom. My mom has had wonderful, epic cooking blunders (but, man, on her good days she is a fantastic cook)… seems to think that more cheese will always fix anything. Either that, or she’ll try new recipes when guests are coming over. That always makes me wonder if she left some marbles under her pillow the morning she got that idea (yes, let’s make a brand new recipe instead of the great lasagna I’ve been making for 25+ years!). Oh well. As for me, my nine-year-old daughter won’t let me live down the time when she was two and I cooked a chicken casserole, but the chicken had been bad. Unfortunately she had eaten some before Daddy came home and said — “It’s not good, like in a very bad way, so throw it away.” Needless to say, daughter woke up throwing up in the middle of the night. The one and only time she’s done that in her life. And she’s quick to remind me of that whenever I’m getting “ideas” in the kitchen. Now I have her and/or Dad smell everything before I cook! As for other mistakes, about once a year I seem to forget to add the sugar when making cookies or banana bread. It’s always very deflating to be disappointed after the effort and then the sad results (not to mention the waste of ingredients). Oh well. Luckily, when things are good, they are very good and keep us well nourished. Here’s to cooking blunders everywhere!
    And thanks for any yarn giveaways. 🙂

  29. Katherine from Illinois permalink
    9 December 2011 10:06 am

    Well now…. you didn’t say it had to be our cooking mistake… just our story. It has become a family decision that I am THE ONLY one allowed to make pasties (individual meat, cheese, and potato pies), due to a VERY bad experience. So it goes like this, after much trial and error I found a wonderful recipe for Ham and Cheese pasties (sooooo good!) well I only made them a couple times a year as they require at least 4 hours of very busy preparation. So one day my brother decided that he would make them instead, and I cautioned him to follow the recipe exactly, at which time he informed me that he was going to use a recipe of his own (untested I might add), I warned him (from my own experience) not to, because we already knew my recipe worked. Did he listen? No.
    Well they looked and smelled delicious. But the first forkful…. let me put it this way, when you inserted your fork into the pasty the crust quickly crumbled and on taking a bite you discovered how close it was to eating sand… uck! So my brother was specifically banned from ever attempting to make pasties again and I was told that I was going to be the only one allowed to make them ever again. I felt a mixture of pride at my cooking and disappointment because of the 4 hours of prep. time that I was going to be the only one to endure.

  30. 18 December 2011 1:35 am

    This post suddenly reminded me of the time on my NOLS trip when someone decided to get ambitious and try to make a backwoods cheesecake… it looked delicious, but you know on those trips you’ve basically just got a bunch of plastic bags of powdered food substances that you somehow have to combined into a meal (and if you’re not going to eat something, you have to pack it out with you)… I’m pretty sure they accidentally used mashed potatoes instead of powdered milk. And then they ate it.

    As for Jane stories, don’t forget the ungelable jell-o.

  31. 17 February 2012 1:59 pm

    Also the Thanksgiving Fire(s?), and the two(ish?) times the fire department actually came to our house (you may have already moved away for one of them – turned out that someone had left a sponge under the stove burners while cleaning them). If I recall correctly, the first time the stove got set on fire, I was very calm and collected as I fled out the back door in terror (meanwhile, Mom threw whatever it is you throw onto kitchen fires to make them stop – baking soda? baking powder? I don’t know). And then we cooked the turkey at the neighbors’.

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