Hummus does not belong in the holidays
“Well, my mom is coming in tomorrow,” I informed Husband-Head. “You ready?”
Husband-Head just laughed.
“I’m not the one that freaks out every time she comes … the question is, are you ready?”
I mentally went over the checklist.
I cleaned the house, I did the grocery shopping and I warned the dogs that if they jumped on Grandma, they would go back to the shelter.
“I think so,” I said to Husband-Head. “Let the games begin.”
I was looking forward to spending time with Mom, who lives in South Carolina, as I hadn’t seen her in about two years. But for some reason, I always stress about it.
“So, Mom is coming in tomorrow … you ready?” my sister called a short while later, laughing. “Enter the theme song from ‘Jaws.’”
Mom arrived and she looked and sounded great.
“Since I won’t be around for Thanksgiving, let’s do it early,” she suggested.
Why not? Who cares what day you do it — it’s just a big dinner, right?
Not for Husband-Head.
“Shame on you — it is not just any day,” he scolded me. “It’s a day we give thanks for football.”
Mom and I took off to the store to go buy things for our non-Thanksgiving Day dinner.
I fully expected to buy the traditional turkey, stuffing, potatoes, green beans, rolls and pumpkin pie. What I didn’t expect was Mom’s idea of Thanksgiving.
“Let’s get these for appetizers,” she said, putting a box of rice cracker thins in the cart. “And this Mediterranean hummus is to die for.”
I raised an eyebrow. Neither of those things screamed “Thanksgiving” to me, but OK.
“And here are some sprouted, gluten-free rolls,” she said, also placing them in the cart. “Let’s have some Brussels sprouts instead of that high-fat green bean casserole, and I’ll go find some organic whole cranberries.”
It occurred to me that my mother had become some kind of health freak. Not that I minded that she was taking care of herself, but we’re talking here about a woman who has notoriously — at least all my life — always had a bag of M&M’s stashed in her purse.
We continued on toward the meat department to find a turkey.
“If she was going to put one of those turkey-shaped tofu things in the cart, I was going to put my foot down,” I told Husband-Head later.
But Mom must’ve seen the panicked look on my face and didn’t say a word when I picked out a traditional Tom turkey.
When we passed the beverage aisle, soft drinks were definitely not an option.
“I gave up Coke,” Mom confided in me, as she loaded the cart with bottled water. “And let’s get some sparkling cider to have with our Thanksgiving dinner.”
We were having the dinner on a Sunday, so Mom tried to strike a deal with Husband-Head.
“If we put the football game on TV, will you eat dinner with us in the house instead of your man cave?” she pleaded.
Behind her, I gave Husband-Head the look that said if he didn’t, he would end up living in the man cave full time.
“Sure, Mom,” he said. “I wouldn’t dream of taking my plate out to the man cave to drink beer and watch the game.”
Liar, liar, pants on fire…
As it turned out, when it came time to cook, Husband-Head was in his man cave and Mom was busy playing on her iPad while I made the entire dinner.
“Aren’t these rice crackers and hummus good?” I heard Mom ask Husband-Head while I was getting things ready.
“Yes, these are great!” Husband-Head answered, and I honestly couldn’t tell if he was lying or not.
But the dinner was nice, as was the rest of Mom’s visit. My sister called to see how everything had gone.
“Good Lord, you didn’t tell me Mom had turned into a health nut,” I said.
“Oh, that’s just a fad,” my sister laughed. “She does whatever the latest craze is. Did she go gluten-free on you?”
After she left, Husband-Head and I decided that we would forego the traditional Thanksgiving date, since we’d already done it.
“But for Christmas dinner, we’re having prime rib, loaded twice-baked potatoes, vegetables smothered in garlic butter and crescent rolls,” I announced.
Husband-Head nodded in agreement as he took the remaining hummus out of the refrigerator and threw it out.
Heidi Rice’s column appears in the Rifle Citizen Telegram and the Sunday Post Independent.
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Last week’s column was about Will Bulsiewicz, M.D., a respected gastroenterologist who wrote “Fiber Fueled,” which came out in 2020. Today’s column is the first in a series of columns based on this book.