We never thought a tradition would end this way.
In 2015, I blogged about my in law's traditional family Christmas. We would all travel downstate, some 190 miles (305 km) to a city near New York City, and visit my mother in law's in laws. But in 2015, we had to move my mother in law (who is now 90) up here to be near two of her sons. We weren't able to make the trip.
A cousin of my spouse's hosted the dinner for years. Even during her two bouts with breast cancer, she insisted on hosting. She made her specialty. She told me she timed it around her bouts of tiredness and other side effects of the medication she was taking.
"I am not an accomplished cook." she told me once. "But all you need to do is learn to make one dish, and make it well. Make it better than anyone". And so, she developed her specialty.
Manicotti. The kind of manicotti that is pronounced "mon-i-gaut" (accent on the final syllable). Perish the thought anyone in my inlaw's family would ever pronounce it "man-i-cotti".
|I hate the lighting in my house sometimes - gives everything a yellowish cast.|
In 2015, the thought of missing her manicotti hurt us almost as much as the fact that we would not see their maker or the other family.
So I begged my spouse to call, and get the recipe from her.
I didn't know if she would reveal the recipe. But she likes us. After some hesitation, she gave the recipe to us She emailed it to us. But first, she cautioned that my spouse (the family cook) really had no business making it. Perhaps she would come up and visit us, one day.
My spouse promised he would not embarrass the family.
He assembled the manicotti. On Christmas Day 2015, he served it.
Now, in 2017, due to a combination of various situations, my spouse won't be making manicottis.
Instead, he will make a standing rib roast. I'm sure it will be delicious.
Maybe one day the homemade manicottis will be back on the menu. But for now, we have to let go of tradition.
Welcome to #FlavoursomeTuesday.
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