As a young mother I made Thanksgiving dinner with pride. Each year I served the same thing: turkey (my husband barbecued one, and I cooked one in the oven), green bean casserole, sour cream and butter mashed potatoes, sourdough rolls, and Pepperidge Farms Herb Seasoned Stuffing.
One year while our son, Dylan, was nine and our daughter, Marina, was seven, I decided to try a recipe for sausage and apple stuffing. I worked hard on the fancy, new stuffing all day, making all the ingredients by hand.
We sat down at our usual time of 4 P.M. and then I heard it: “What’s this?” Dylan said, his face all screwed up as he stared at my new creation.
Smiling I said, “Try it. You might like it.”
He had never been a picky eater, but had proved himself a lover of tradition and a hater of new things. He scooped the tiniest little bit on his plate and placed it very near the edge and just stared at it. Marina followed her brother’s example, sure she didn’t want to be poisoned by that new yucky stuff.
After we finished eating, and Dylan and Marina had declared the new stuffing recipe horrid, Dylan kissed my cheek and whispered in my ear, “Please make the regular stuffing next year, okay mommy? Please?”
-- Leslie Johansen Nack, author of Fourteen: A Daughter’s Memoir of Adventure, Sailing and Survival