The setting: Easter dinner table. Using the Wedgwood china and good silver.
The cast: Husband, Father-in-law, Mother-in-law, me, my mother, my three children.
Background: In-laws are Catholic of German heritage farm families. My mother is a WASP, English/Scot heritage, grew up in a house with a living room that was to be looked at not used, believes tea fixes multitudes of maladies. Hubby's parents are 15 years older than my mom.
My husband makes attempt to bridge generational/background gap between our parents with leading line of questions.
Hubby to his mother: "Mom, what kinds of traditions did your family have around Easter? Did you eat ham for dinner?"
Mother-in-law: "Oh, yeah. We'd butcher a pig in the fall of the year and cut off all the rough bits then rub it with salt and hot pepper to keep out the insects from burrowing into the flesh and then we'd let it age for six months. You could let it sit out for a full year just in the air. It would get harder and harder. Now they brine ham. And we'd boil the head and all the bits and it would gel together to make pontis (sp?), and oh, that was good, that would last a long time. You'd just slice off a hunk every day. And with the intestines, you'd make them into sausage and then blood sausage and, really, you'd use every part of the animal ....."
Father-in-law: "Mmm, blood sausage. What, it's just the solid part of the meat. What?"
Me: "Well, this has turned into quite the horror show."
Hubby: "Yeah, not really where I thought the holiday traditions conversation would go."
My mother: "Shall we serve the cheesecake and get the kettle on?"