Monday, December 12, 2016

On Turning Mistakes into Opportunities

The Greenbean Casserole. Not just any ole Greenbean Casserole, but THE Greenbean Casserole. Definite article required. La pièce de résistance of the Thanksgiving Table. (Fancy,huh? I learned French back in the 1980s at UM-D from Halina Loukopoulous Minadéo, Dr. Crapo, Madame Shea et al) THE Thanksgiving Greenbean Casserole was my only assignment. And I messed it up. “I don’t need a measuring cup.” Confident in my over-confidence, I eyeballed a cup of milk using the 10 ounce Cream of Mushroom Soup can. Yes. I eyeballed it. Just like my UM-D Calculus Prof would eyeball derivatives. Yep. I eyeballed a cup of milk: One and a half 10 ounce Cream of Mushroom Soup Cans of milk. YesireeBob. Wait. What? “That looks runny, add more Green Beans.” Said Mom. “…and more onions.” “Here’s another can of Cream of Mushroom Soup. DO NOT add any milk.” “Here’s a bigger casserole dish.” “What did you do?” Overcompensating for my psyche’s rising Defensive Whine, I mustered up a snarky “I read the directions.” My science training from UM-D and beyond required an explanation. So did my Mom, but she was willing to let it go as she looked askance at me and took a restorative sip of her Cook’s Drink. “16 ounces in a cup, right?” I said, seeking maternal approval. My mother sighed a sigh that mentally thumped me upside the head. “No, 8.” How could I be so stupid? 16 ounces in a cup?!? So I back-peddled with“Well I was trained in the Metric System.” Which precipitated another maternal sigh. “Simple things confound the complex mind.” That one deserved a real thump. We started laughing. Mom just said “Now we’ll have twice as much.” Although she was gracious about it on the outside, she slid me a look that said “dumbbell”. I just know it. She’ll never admit it though. My mistake of doubling the recipe became an opportunity. You see, we had a guest at our table who had never had the typical Thanksgiving feast of turkey and all the accoutrements. His favorite? The Greenbean Casserole. Guess who joyfully got all the leftovers? Yeah, we doubled it on purpose. ` Alison Tasich (Class of 87) Alison Tasich received her BS in Microbiology from UM-Dearborn in 1987. She went on to earn an MA in French at Wayne State University and a MAT in Biology, Chemistry, and French from Wayne State University. She now works as a Biology, Chemistry, and French teacher for the Crestwood School District in Dearborn Heights.