To follow up this morning's post, I thought I would tell you about a tradition from my side of the family: the green vegetable.
Five or so years ago, my Mom was preparing Thanksgiving dinner. This was to be the first Thanksgiving dinner she celebrated with her boyfriend (now my step-dad) Bruce. Mom wanted it to be perfect. Whenever she entertains, everything has to be just-so. The crisp linens, the charming decor and the well-thought and balanced menu. A key to this menu is that there has to be something green on the plate, for nutrition and a pop of color - a plate full of neutral colored food is just dull.
On the other hand, Bruce is notoriously picky. The only green vegetable he will eat is canned, french-cut green beans - not plain canned or frozen french-cut. Mom looked all over for his favorite but couldn't find it - apparently this variety of beans is quite elusive and hard to find.
Jump to the morning of Thanksgiving. Mom still hadn't found the beans. Bruce was okay with this, willing to forgo vegetables altogether. Mom would not be dissuaded - "There has to be something green!" In a moment of frustration (I'm sure a kitchen timer was beeping) she sent Bruce and I to the grocery store and told us not to come home until we found something green.
Bruce and I had no idea what to buy. Neither of us wre keen on vegetables. The few I would eat he hated, and I didn't like the few he could stand. Then, wandering through the holiday section, Bruce had a brilliant idea. M&M's were green. We bought a family size bag of red and green holiday M&M's and headed home. Before we showed Mom, we spent a few minutes separating the red from the green, then presented her with a bowl full of shiny, green M&M's.
It wasn't exactly what she had in mind, but it was clever and she does love chocolate. The "green vegetable" was a big hit with all the kids (and vegetable avoiding adults) and has since become a fixture of her Thanksgiving table.