At the time they occur, culinary disasters at holiday times are considered just that. Disasters. But they live on in family lore and their retelling year after year provide laughter around the holiday dinner tables, thus helping aid digestion. UM, ok, I'm tring to put a good spin on it. And with good reason as I have my own disaster(s) lurking in my past.
The most recent was the pumpkin bisque. I had enjoyed the pumpkin bisque served at the Oglebay Inn and Resort in Wheeling, West Virginia and wanted to recreate it myself. Two years ago, I had decided that for Thanksgiving that year, we would start off the meal with pumpkin bisque and end it with pumpkin pie.
One thing you need to know about me is that I enjoy cooking, experimenting with cooking and have had good success with those experiments. But the bisque was not one of my success stories. Pureed pumpkin has an appearance and consistency of something that is the opposite of appetizing. I attempted to cosmetically enhance the bowls of bisque with a dollop of softened cream cheese and parsely. It was not helping.
We sat down, dug in and the Ugh's! and ack's! reverberated around the table. That was the year we met my son-in-law's father for the first time. He was sitting across the table from me and his reaction can only be described as comically valiant. He shuddered slightly, his eyes kind of crossed, he took a deep breath and started to take another spoonful. His momma obviously raised him to be polite. I grabbed his bowl before he could get another taste.
Tim was my soon-to-be son-in-law at that point and he declared the bisque to be delicous. He even had seconds. Suck-up. My mother, being a typical mom, said it "wasn't that bad."
My daughters -- being daughters -- gagged, wretched, and declared it to be the most vile stuff they've ever tasted.
My dad was quiet.
The story of Pumpkin Bisque was retold this year around the table and Tim stated he enjoyed it so much he had four bowls. I told him to quit sucking up.
The Year of the Pumpkin Bisque is (in)famous in our family for another reason. It was also the year my mother contributed a v!brator to the festivities. But that's another story for another day.
Everyone has had a holiday disaster; I invite you to share yours in the "comments" section.