Once upon a time, Mama and Papa Kim came to the United States in search of fulfilling the American Dream. Back then, Thanksgiving only meant that we stayed at home for two extra days during a weekend when nothing was open. There didn’t seem to be a point of celebrating a group of people who successfully survived a year in a new land when they had done so themselves.
Before my mother discovered she was actually great at making turkey or my father realized just how weird cheese is, we really didn’t do much on Thanksgiving. Well there was this one time. I had just been introduced to mac and cheese and was convinced our local Denny’s was the place to go, so I dragged everyone there only to find out that their claim to fame was not very good pancakes and even less good eggs. We were the only family that was there because we had no idea what Thanksgiving about – everybody else was just there because they were too lazy to cook. Turns out it was the Sizzler’s across the street that had mac and cheese. My palette was clearly very refined for a five year old.
But one day, Mama Kim had an epiphany about the holiday and somehow over the course of one Thanksgiving to the next, she got very Ina Garten on us and pulled out all the stops so that we could be like real white people, eating mashed potatoes, preserving cranberries, and buying Cool Whip for pumpkin pie. And like real white people, she stayed true to all of her recipes, using the same ones year after year once we got into the swing of How Thanksgiving Works. The only thing she switched up annually was her stuffing, which she perused the Internet frequently in search of something new. This year, she tasked me with finding the recipe, and she decided to do something with jalapenos and cheese. I think she was trying to kill my dad.
Mama Kim: “Hi, I am at the store right now and I am buying all of the ingredients. The stuffing recipe though, is asking for a large beer. How big is a large beer, and how am I supposed to know how much to put in?”
Me: “A…large beer? I’ve never heard of that. I don’t even remember seeing that on the recipe I gave you. Does it say what brand? Or mention another unit, like ounce or cup?”
Mama Kim: “No, it just says a ‘large beer,’ but nothing spec-”
Me: “OH MY GOD, are you talking about a lager beer!?”
Mama Kim: “I still don’t know what that is.”