Laurie Notaro Tells What Happened The Year They Served Brie and Blueberries to Her Mother on Christmas


As my sister and I set everything up for dinner that Christmas Eve, she pulled the brie and blueberries out of the oven. It looked delicious. She placed it in the very center of the table, within eyeshot of everyone. I knew this had the potential of a Jill Biden-type evacuation of the young, and I just crossed my fingers that we could get past this potential disaster without wills being redrawn and paternity tests challenged (which is always Plan A with the cornbread side of the family).

I waited nervously as the rest of our family arrived and assembled around the table, ready to dig into the antipasta. It was then that I watched my mother do a double take when she saw something that wasn't a cured meat in front of her. She leaned forward, raised a brow and sniffed.

"Get the kids," I whispered to my sister, whose eyes suddenly went wide. "This thing is gonna blow."

But my mother, instead of furrowing her brow and looking for a dish towel to use as a whip, picked up a cracker and dipped it in the blueberries.

I held my breath as she chewed, trying to figure out if people wearing natural fibers could even pass the dress code of the casino. I was going to have to get some gold bracelets and ask relatives still in New Jersey for make-up tips. I might have to procure a clothing item in a leopard skin pattern.

My mother looked up, and looked me in the eye for a moment.

Oh God, I thought, feeling chilled. Am I going to have to start smoking again?

And then she picked up a second cracker and went in for another bite.

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Lounge at Crescent Ballroom

308 N. 2nd Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

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5 comments
fairymagic13
fairymagic13

Thanks for easing my fear - Now I will definately try that Turkey EtuFee I was planning.

AZnikkib
AZnikkib

Laughed out loud over "hates me the most anyway" and also the part about your husband's family being one eighth of everything — including people who ate cornbread. My family in a nutshell.

csepessy
csepessy

This was. So. Funny.

I'm dreading the day when I have to host everything. My mom must have a double PhD in multitasking/perfection. Luckily, I think I still have a couple decades before she (begrudgingly) hands over the reins.

harpyharridays
harpyharridays

Oh thank you, thank you, Laurie for bringing me a MUCH needed laugh this morning. When you wrote you could tell your mom the brie was your idea because "she hates (you) the most anyway"- I nearly snorkeled on my morning coffee.  I am preparing to head home to my own family xmas in arizona.  With the end of the world as we know it,  and near suicidal hand-wringings of the extreme right wing political faction of my family in attendance, I am rather dreading the whole holiday.  But your column just put it all in perspecitve and gave me a good laugh, too... Thanks every so much!

laurienotaro
laurienotaro

@harpyharridays I am in EXACT SAME BOAT. WE can do this! Think burritos and thin chips! Think Pizzeria Bianco! Think margaritas!!!

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