I am in a bind and need some unbiased advice. I have to make a dinner for my new in-laws and I have never met them (my spouse and I met while he was working on the East Coast for his job, and he is originally from Indiana).
My spouse says his mother is like a mixture of a Jewish mother and an Italian mother, with just a pinch of overbearing, meddling aunt thrown in.
I have no idea what to make for this dinner, and have two weeks to some up with something. What would be your ideal meal for an occasion like this?
Do you have a favorite recipe I should use?
I also have NO IDEA what to talk to them about, I am a nervous wreck about this. I am a comic book loving, Star Trek obsessed, horror movie fanatic, but just don’t think that will fly well. Do you have any suggestions for topics? I want them to know me, but I am terrified his mom will hate me. I am going to have a small 3X5 card with bullet points for conversation with me, so your help is truly appreciated.
I’m being punished, right? That must be it. Somehow, I’ve wronged the gods, and now they’re seeking vengeance upon me. Well, better to rule in Hell, and all that. Anyway, let’s see what we’ve got to work with this week. You’re married and never met his parents? How’d you manage that? What’s your secret? Will you share? So far as your mother-in-law is concerned, and based on your description, it sounds as though you’ll never measure up, at least in her eyes. Oh, she’ll be nice and polite at family gatherings, and you’ll get the required holiday and birthday cards that have no warmth or humor and which were pulled from one of those boxes of general purpose greeting cards sold by school sports teams in front of grocery stores. But no, you’ll never be good enough for her baby boy. No way, no how. You can slave away all day in that kitchen, preparing a seven-course meal in a futile attempt to appeal to her exacting standards as a Jewish/Italian mother. Yeah, you can do that.
Or, you can go out in a blaze of glory guaranteed to make sure she never makes an unscheduled visit or calls at weird hours, criticizes your housekeeping skills, wardrobe, or weight, and generally just leaves you the hell alone TIL DEATH DO YOU PART. Is there a meal which can do that? I honestly don’t know, so I say we throw caution to the wind and have you prepare a culinary masterpiece: The Original Bacon Explosion.
Your mouth’s already watering, just thinking about it, right? The entire recipe is far too long and involved to recount here, but to give you just a hint of what we’re dealing with, here is the list of ingredients:
2 pounds thick cut bacon
2 pounds Italian sausage (casings removed)
3/4 up of your favorite barbeque sauce
3 tablespoons of your favorite barbeque rub
See what I’m talkin’ about? This meal is considered a weapon of mass destruction in some cultures, but for you? It’s about making a statement, and staking your claim as queen of your own castle not just for this one visit, but for ALL TIME.
(NOTE: The complete recipe is available at the BBQ Addicts website: http://www.bbqaddicts.com/blog/recipes/bacon-explosion/)
If you do this right, conversation topics won’t be a problem once dinner’s served.
Still, if she’s willing to talk to you after she’s cleaned her plate (and she WILL clean her plate, for no mortal soul has the strength to withstand the siren’s call of The Original Bacon Explosion), any of the following topics might provoke spirited discussion:
- Kids: She’s gonna want grandchildren, you know. Now. What, you’re not pregnant yet?
- The location of your bathroom…more specifically, the medicine cabinet and the bottle of Tums she’ll be hoping you have. With luck, this will be the point where your father-in-law takes you aside, tells you he wants the Bacon Explosion recipe and some to take home with him, and also puts your mind at ease about your mother-in-law, because he stopped listening to her years ago.
- Books, though in this case I don’t think she’ll be into comic books or whatever else you read. Harlequin Romances are probably safe. The Tanakh would be better.
- Your job. Whatever it is that you do, she’ll want to know how it affects her plans to have grandchildren.
- Extra: Be prepared to discuss the cleanliness of your bathroom when she gets back from her Tums hunt. You won’t be able to win any argument which might spin out from this one, so just grit your teeth and wait for the silence to become awkward enough that she suddenly remembers she has to get home because she thinks she left an iron plugged in.
Good luck! Oh, and send me some of that Bacon Explosion, would ya? The recipe makes enough to serve a damned SEAL team, for crying out loud.