The story of Betty's Dish is one of those that every family has. There's always some Family Nuttiness that happens that recurs every so often. Random events like someone made a recipe differently and now it HAS to be done that way every holiday season because one specific aunt or uncle likes it that way.
Betty's dish went back and forth over the years and eventually passed into the haze of history. It was a cornflower blue Corningware casserole that my Aunt Betty started bringing with her from her home in Queens, NYC, to our place in suburban Cherry Hill, NJ. Eventually it either stayed with Mom in Jersey, or went back to NY with Betty.
We never were completely sure, but when Betty decided the one that Mom had wasn't the one she was missing, we all considered the issue closed. After Mom died, I even tried to give Betty that one lone casserole dish saying "it's the only one left, she'd want you to have it, please take it!". Needless to say that dish is still with my sister, or at least was the last time I saw my sister back in 2006.
Within our broader family, any time something goes back and forth inexplicably, it becomes Betty's Dish. In this case, we just had another Betty's Dish begin this week.
When Kevin returned from visiting his Mom in Philadelphia last week, he came back with a bag full of things his Mom insisted he needed. A mostly full bag of all purpose flour, one bottle of ready made iced tea, a box of cookies (MINE!), and other odds and ends. We called it "Shopping At Mom's" because if you are an adult and visit your mother's home, you undoubtedly will return with more than you left.
In this case, mixed in with the other flotsam inside of that now out of place bag from Acme Markets sitting on my kitchen island was one small plastic food container. Proudly stamped with the brand Ziploc, it sat there begging the question:
Kevin, why do you have a Ziploc food container?
Mom insisted that it was mine.
But... It isn't. You don't have any of those containers.
I know, but it's Mom.
So now... what... we have a new Betty's Dish?
Who's dish is it?
Probably my sisters. Never mind, we'll put it to use.
Yes, but knowing your Mom, she will remember and ask for it back.
I know, I know.
So you'll be carrying it back and forth from Florida to Philly every six months just to keep her happy?
Oh for crying out loud, I'll make cookies for her then.
So there you have it. We now have a new tradition. It's not Betty's Dish, it's Mom's Ziploc, but it's just as nutty.
I will try to pass that little plastic container off at parties. If I have to bring some condiments, it's a perfect size and we just bought a big box of plastic containers so I could have an excuse to recycle all those yogurt containers that I used to put things in.
Yogurt containers are a story for another day, but if you see me coming with a smallish ziploc container that I magically forget, just consider yourself the latest recipient of the Hot Potato in the game. Pass it on to someone who can use it. I'd just rather not see it go back to Philadelphia and confuse Kevin's Mom.