Serving Suggestion

Megan’s mom served TV dinners on actual plates. I don’t mean she just put a plate on the table and plunked the compartmentalized aluminum tray on top of it. I mean she carefully scooped everything out of the compartments and arranged all of the components on a dish.
She was very artful. She did not duplicate the tray’s configuration exactly. Case in point: She would place the mashed potatoes, originally in the upper left corner of the tray, on the right side of the plate; and she would leave the brownie out of it entirely. Those she would keep warm in the oven and then present as dessert in a gingham-lined basket topped with a matching cloth napkin.
For special occasions, she would heat up family-size boxes of fried chicken and roast beef in gravy and serve them on big platters that she would bring into the dining room with a flourish, twirling prettily in palazzo pants, a flowing tunic, gold chain belt, and kitten-heel mules.
“Wouldn’t it be funny if Mom tripped one day when she spun around like that?” Megan stage-whispered to me one time as her mother pirouetted into the room with a tureen brimming with canned chicken and stars soup.
I looked at her in horror. I knew I could never be her friend again. I never went back to her house. And when I tried to get my own mom to replicate Megan’s mom’s presentation, and showed her Megan’s mom’s signature twirl, she told me to just sit down and start eating the Chicken Cordon Bleu it’d taken her hours to prepare and which she served in her threadbare chenille robe.