Beans and Weenie! Yes, that means one weenie……..a story that is still told at family gatherings.
Let me start by saying, I never took Home Economics while in school and did not consider cooking a priority and could hardly boil water when I got married. So, why (I think to myself) did my mother ask me to cook dinner? I was 15….(FIFTEEN!) and my sainted mother (we’ll talk about Mimi another time) worked full-time outside the home. She called me at home and asked if I would cook dinner. Nothing fancy, just a big pan of baked beans with “weenies” (hot dogs). Sure! Fine! Whatever…..dang it! I guess she thought I needed to learn how to cook. Didn’t she know I had more important things to do like practice my curling iron technique?
I proceeded to rummage through the cabinets, collecting all the necessary ingredients and formulations for conjuring up this legume wonderment. Beans (check), brown sugar (check), BBQ sauce (check), dry mustard (check), onions (check), Weenies, weenies????..weenies………???????? I searched the refrigerator top to bottom, nook and cranny, and then checked the freezer – NO WEENIES. Then, I checked the bottom drawer of the frig and under the bacon, AH-HA, I spy the corner of the weenie package. I gleefully grab the bag and pull it out from under the bacon. Oh, Crap! There was one weenie in the bag. ONE! Le ’me to es’plain……………….
I have three brothers (I swore they were the spawn of hell at the time………..yep, I was pretty sure about that one). My two oldest brothers were notorious for coming home from school and eating EVERYTHING in sight. Vultures! Wolverines! Grizzly Bears! Oh MY! Yes, they were human vacuum cleaners when it came to food. They have wiped out all you can eat buffets and been asked to never come back to restaurants. My mother had resorted to putting POST IT notes on food in the refrigerator reading “DON’T EAT THIS” (guess the weenie package was fair game in their minds since the Post it was MIA that day) Yep! I had been slammed……….back to the weenie story.
What in the heck was I going to do with ONE WEENIE! (pause – okay perverts, you know I’m talking about a hot dog so get your mind out of the gutter!) Moving on….. I was panic stricken. What was I to do? Should I call Mom? No! We didn’t call Mom at work unless someone had died, or was dying or was bleeding, hmmm – this didn’t qualify. So, I used my fifteen year old reasoning skills.
1. I just wouldn’t cook anything. (No! Then, I would be to blame).
2. Call Mom and cry about what “THEY” did…..(no, I’d just get in trouble for calling and she’d make me cook something else and I wasn’t about to start over – Good Grief! I had to get on with my social life.)
3. The Ultimate, Perfect Solution – Cook the Beans and put the One Single Weenie dead center in that big casserole dish. They would be to blame for the weenie situation. (Remember, this is the reasoning of a fifteen year old).
PERFECT! BRILLIANT! No, this was beyond brilliant……………
Mixed up some killer baked beans and purposefully, deliberately placed the lone weenie in the center of the 13 X 9 casserole atop the baked beans and placed it in the oven to bake. Meanwhile, my Mom comes home from work and upon entering the house, the smell of baked bean deliciocity tells her “my darling daughter” has followed through on my request. All is right with the world! Dear Mom proceeds to prepare other side dishes to accompany my creation while I proceeded to do homework back in my room.
Okay….you know that tone your mother’s voice takes on when she is really “put out”. OMG! She calls my name in a gnarly voice that rivals Edith Bunker! “What Happened To The Weenies?” I was in deep doo-doo – I could feel it – I could smell it! Crap!
My brothers responded to Mom’s outcry and the laughter erupts from the kitchen. I was a laughing stock in the kitchen! Oh, the humiliation – foiled again at the hands of my brothers. I tried to explain “I cooked exactly what you told me to, but THEY ate the weenies”. This did not bode well. (Mom)”Why didn’t you call me and tell me?” – (me)”you said to never call you unless it was an emergency; this is not a food emergency”. Oh, that did it! I had smart mouthed my mother – deeper doo doo! I went to my room to drown in the humiliation.
Since this grand humiliation lesson in cooking, I’ve managed (for 26 years) to cook (successfully and not successfully) for my own family and I have never asked my daughter to cook supper, not once! PS. they always jokingly ask me if I can bring Beans and Weenie to family food gatherings. JERKS!
Please check back with me soon and I’ll post family recipes. Maybe I’ll include a few more family stories along the way. Enjoy!