Bonnie’s Julia Child Moment

November 16th, 2018

Thanksgiving  started for me long before the date on the calendar, as Lester’s family was coming to our house for dinner. In a composition book, I recorded all the traditions that were expected: mince meat pie for Aunt Eleanor, pumpkin for Auntie Maude, brussels sprouts for Nina, candied yams for Bonnie, my new sister-in-law, and especially creamed onions for Grandma Christine. My extensive lists described the week’s tasks of cleaning and shopping and looking for recipes; and the day itself was planned minute by minute. This was my initiation into this family.

On the day, everything went very well through cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. The turkey was out of the oven, Waldorf salad was on the plates, the rolls were browned just right; I took the onions off the burner at just the right moment of doneness. Bonnie volunteered to help me put things on the table while the others talked.
Bonnie Grube

As I drained the onions, the lid slipped and they all toppled into the sink. My heart sank, my perfect meal was ruined; it would be a disaster if Grandma Christine didn’t have creamed onions. Bonnie saw  and quickly scooped up the onions. This was our bonding moment. She held out the pan of drained onions, and said, “No one but you and I know this. Where is the cream and what bowl shall I put them in?”

Whenever I watch reruns of Julia Child’s cooking demonstrations and she scoops up the chicken that fell on the floor, I think of Bonnie. From that day forward we were friends.