Top Secret: Don’t Tell Grandma

It’s about this time of year, every year, when memories of Christmases past begin to flood my brain. Many of these recollections are funny ones. Have I ever shared the Christmas corn story with you?  I don’t think so.  It was a tradition for our family to host Christmas dinner every year when I was a child.  For years and years, this is how the routine would go. Thanksgiving was always held at The Smiths house (dear, dear, family friends who might as well have been another set of grandparents to me and my brothers).  New Year’s Day dinner was always at my grandparents’ house (the ones from dad’s side of the family). And, we always, always had the traditional pork, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. I remember how “appalled” I was the first year sauerkraut and mashed potatoes were not part of the New Year’s Day dinner menu. What? Where’s the sauerkraut?!

Christmas Day dinner was always held at our house. The Smiths and my grandparents were always there. One year, when I was around thirteen, my mom decided to try a new cooking technique for some corn on the cob.  She had read about it in a magazine. Apparently, the dishwasher, is a multi-use kitchen appliance. Who knew you could also cook ears of corn in it? So, my mom wrapped all the ears in foil and stuck them in the dishwasher. She made sure to do this under the radar because there was one person who would be sitting at our dinner table who we were certain would not eat corn from the dishwasher. My grandma. Prior to Grandma’s arrival, my older brother Ed and I were instructed to NOT mention how the corn had been cooked. It was to be top-secret information since Grandma was quite particular. Corn cooked anywhere other than the stove top would be too traumatic for her, especially on Christmas Day.

You will be happy to know that we succeeded at keeping Grandma in the dark about the corn. She didn’t even catch on when my brother commented after every couple bites, “Wow, Mom, this corn is so good…it tastes so clean!”

< Insert piercing mother eyes here.>

What about you?  Do you have any funny Christmas memories to share?

14 thoughts on “Top Secret: Don’t Tell Grandma

  1. Phil D. Malmstrom

    Love it Eileen! I’ll admit, I’ve never thought of cooking corn in the dishwasher… lol

    Other than a number of “gag gifts” over the years, nothing springs to mind right this moment, but I’m going to do some reminiscing through the cobwebs of my memory now that you’ve opened this door…


    Have a Blessed Day!

  2. Debi Baker

    I love this ‘Corn Story.’ I can’t think of a single story right this minute but I have memories galore. I love the season between Thanksgiving & New Year’s! I pray that I have and will continue to create amazing memories for my kids & grandkids.

    Have a great celebration of our Lord’s birth!

    1. Eileen Post author

      Thanks, Keith! And thanks again for prompting the memory with your dish washing post today! Your take on how creativity is often born really resonated with me.

  3. Jenifer

    Oh my goodness! You brother’s comment cracks me up!!! 🙂

    One thing I can think of is that just a couple of years ago (can’t remember if it was a holiday or not) we were all cooking dinner together and we found out mom’s secret for mac and cheese. I don’t remember if someone caught her in the act or if she mentioned it or how we found out. But growing up mom’s mac and cheese was always so cheesy, well so yellow/orange. To get out of making it so cheesy, she put food coloring in it!!! The color fooled us into thinking it was cheesy when it wasn’t all that cheesy. 🙂

    1. Eileen Post author

      Oh, Jenifer, now that’s funny! Thanks so much for sharing your memory. And, now if I ever want really cheesy looking mac & cheese I’ll know what to do!

  4. Lisa

    What a cute memory, Eileen! I’ve never heard of cooking corn in the dishwasher. What’s the advantage to cooking it that way? 😉

    One of my favorite Christmas memories involves guns. LOL My mom goes to the dollar store and buys lots of dart guns, then on Christmas morning we all grab and gun and start shooting. We’re going to do it again this year, and I can’t wait! The adults have more fun than the kids. 🙂

  5. Joe Bunting

    That’s hilarious. I’m going to have to try that now.

    The funniest stories I have from Christmas are also the most painful (involving drunken in-laws and siblings going to stay in hotels) so I’ll spare you those. But great post, Eileen.

    1. Eileen Post author

      Thanks, Joe. After posing that question this morning I actually thought about how much of a blessing it is to have mostly happy and joyful memories of Christmas. Besides some quirky dysfunction, holidays were relatively “painless”at my house. So many people aren’t able to say the same thing.

  6. Kandi


    This is the second time in a week I heard a story about someone cooking their food in the dishwasher! The story my family and I still laugh about is the first Christmas my nephew was actually aware of what was going on, after we opened all the gifts, my nephew who must have been about 3 or 4 starts jumping up and down clapping his little hands and excitedly shouts out “lets do this again tomorrow”.

    Blessings to you Eileen.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.