Mike, my mom and I set out in a zipcar (bless whoever came up with this business model) on Saturday afternoon for grandma’s house. Our family tends to celebrate holidays on the Saturday rather than the Sunday, both to spare those of us who are farthest the traffic headaches, and also to allow a day for recovery from the 6 hour gorgefest that is the DeMarco hallmark.
Arriving by car instead of totally repulsive NJ Transit bus felt downright luxurious! I guess I’m revealing how infrequently I ride in cars…there are no suburbs in my past, present or future. Anyway, we arrived to my grandparent’s house and the belly and I were greeted with much fanfare. I hadn’t seen my family since Christmas when I was barely showing so this was quite a change. My aunt Pat had arrived the night before to make the stuffed shells since my 90+ grammy can’t really handle preparing 18 course meals for the whole gang anymore. (When there was no celery to be found for the antipasto, my aunt Pat asked where it might be hidden. My grandma looked perplexed and swore that she has never used celery in the antipasto. Um, but…she has. About 10 times a year for the past 30 years. But who’s counting, right?)
We stood around, we sat, we ate, we sat somewhere else, we ate some more, Mike and I took a walk around the lake, we ate 5 types of dessert, we flopped on the couch for a while, we gathered our coats and bags for the trip home.
Everyone had their coats on in the kitchen as we said our goodbyes to aunts, uncles and cousins but no one was allowed to leave yet. Why?
“Grandma wants to show us this soup”
“What? What soup? We just ate. Who’s having soup?”
Grandma: I’m gonna heat the soup.
“No- not to eat. She just wants us to see it.”
Grandma: Here we go. 6 minutes in the microwave… (turns DIAL on prehistoric microwave)
Me: Wait. I don’t understand. We’re going to look at soup? What’s this soup? (I had been in the bathroom when this whole soup thing started) And what takes SIX MINUTES in a microwave?
Aunt Sue: She has this soup. You add water to it and …
Me: Wait- like ramen noodles?
Aunt Sue: Yeah.
Me: Mom? We’re waiting to see some ramen noodles? Is anyone going to …eat them? (time elapses)
Mom: (rolls eyes) Who knows?
Uncle Ray: It must be 6 minutes already. Look- it’s boiling
At this point I reached into the garbage can to retrieve the top to whatever Cup o’ Noodles my grandma was insisting on preparing for us all to see. Clearly on the front of the package it said 3:30 in the microwave.
Me: This only takes 3 and a half minutes.
Aunt Sue: Let me see? Oh yeah. Ma! It only takes 3.5 minutes!
Me: Pat, press stop. The stuff’s gonna explode.
Pat or Ray lean over my grandma to hit the door release on the microwave.
Grandma: NOOO!! NO NO NO!! It hasn’t been six minutes!
Pat: Ma! The package says it only needs to be in here for 3.5 minutes
My grandma pushed the door closed and continued to heat the noodles. Fine.
When they were finally ready we all had to look into the bowl and pretend we had never seen ramen noodles before. We were half way out the door but she once more barred our exit because she hadn’t stirred the flavoring in yet!! Once the flavor was in place and again marvelled at the miraculous soup, we started filing out the front door.
Grandma: Wait!!! No one wants to try it? Just try some of the flavor!
Mom: No ma- we just ate!
Me: I’m a vegetarian!
Des: No thanks!
Mike was already out by the car.