Although there is only one Friday Night Dinner in this episode, there is lots of interaction between the two Gilmore families, particularly Emily and Lorelai. The scene opens on the salad course, which is the only food described during this dinner. As seen here, Lorelai seems to be picking at her food, which, of course, Emily must comment on.
EMILY: Lorelai, what are you doing?
LORELAI: Getting rid of the avocado.
EMILY: Since when do you not like avocado?
LORELAI: Since the day I said, “Gross. What is this?” and you said, “Avocado.”
EMILY: What’s wrong with the tomato?
LORELAI: It was fraternizing with the enemy.
I happen to love avocado. And salads. I used to make salads a lot. When I was pregnant with Chompers, that’s what I craved, and made a salad almost every day. That sounds incredibly self-promoting and sanctimonious, but it’s actually true. Pregnancy is weird. Now, not so much. It’s not that I don’t like them any more, but they are a lot of work to prep. Also, toddlers with only a handful of teeth can’t eat salads. AND, the little food dictator has now decided that avocados are on the “yuck” list. Why go to all that work if I have to make something else for him anyway? This FND is a great excuse to make a delicioso garden salad… since most nights recently I’ve been curling up with a pint of ice cream.
This is my favorite salad mix of all time. The arugula has a bite to it, the spinach is… healthy… and there are fresh herbs included like dill and cilantro which give it the kick that makes you think you picked all of it fresh from your uber organic and variegated backyard garden. (So not the case here.)
My garden salads do tend to have a lot of green in them: greens, cucumber, avocado, and pickles (of course). I’m not a big fan of bell peppers in my garden salad– I’d rather save them for dipping in hummus or added to a couscous or pasta salad. I know, weird. Tomatoes add color, as well as the fresh parmesan (liberally) grated over top (forgot to add before the picture). I dress it simply. The pickles add enough vinegar for my taste, so I merely drizzle it with a flavored olive oil. My go-to for salad was a red pepper infused oil. Sadly, my grocery store stopped carrying it, so until I find a good replacement, I have basil oil. By the time I finish, this is a whopping big salad and easily an entire meal. Also not pictured, I crumbled a black bean burger on top for added spice and protein. Sorry, black beans– you’re just not photogenic enough to make the cut. Dinner rolls are pictured on the Gilmore table. As much as I would love a good yeast roll, I had just made a package of biscuits for the dinner from The African Queen (blog post to be written soon…), and decided to cross-pollinate the meals. It may be healthy, but doesn’t this just make your mouth water?
I love the line “fraternizing with the enemy,” because it is an apt description of the whole episode. Emily cajoles her way into coming over to see Rory off to her first dance. She discovers that Lorelai has thrown her back out and insists on staying the night to take care of her. Here we see Emily’s attempt at mothering– well-meant but clueless– as she brings Lorelai some comfort food: mashed bananas on toast, and another funny round of dialogue:
EMILY: There you go.
LORELAI: Mom, I think somebody already ate that.
EMILY: That is a mashed banana on toast.
EMILY: I used to make this for you all the time when you were a little girl.
LORELAI: You did?
EMILY: Yes, whenever you got sick I made this.
LORELAI: Are you sure it wasn’t the other way around?
EMILY: Well, let me get this out of your way. You really don’t remember me making this for you when you were sick?
LORELAI: I don’t. I’m sorry.
EMILY: Well I did, and you loved it.
LORELAI: You know what? Let me give it a try.
(Lorelai bites into the toast.)
LORELAI: It’s even more disgusting than I thought it was going to be.
EMILY: Oh, it is not.
(Emily takes a bite and makes a face.)
EMILY: Oh my God, it’s horrible! What on earth was I thinking?
My first tendency is to think, “If she really made that every time Lorelai was sick, why wouldn’t Lorelai remember it?” and, “If Lorelai really hated avocados that much, wouldn’t Emily remember that about her own daughter?” Translation: bad as their relationship might have been, were they really not present at all in each other’s lives? But, then, that’s a bad example. Food is trivial (says the person who has dedicated a blog to it), and roughly 17 years have passed since Lorelai lived with her mother. My own memory is like swiss cheese, and I couldn’t tell you the food aversions of my siblings or parents. At any rate, the current Lorelai sees the banana toast as she saw the pudding– a bridge that her mother is attempting to build between them. The evening ends with a sleepy Lorelai saying, “Thank you, Mommy” to a surprised and pleased Emily. Unfortunately, the burgeoning bridge is shattered early the following morning, when it is discovered that Rory has not returned from the dance. Frantic and scared, Emily and Lorelai rain on each other all of their past griefs and unresolved issues, and Lorelai orders Emily to leave her house.
So sad! I think we need some comfort food. How about some mashed banana on toast? It doesn’t sound that bad to me, probably because one of my favorite sandwiches growing up was peanut butter and sliced banana on toast. Hey, maybe my mom made it for me when I was sick. I feel like I grew up in the woods, though, (oh, okay, I did) because it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I learned that it is known as The Elvis. He even added bacon to it and fried the whole thing like a grilled cheese sandwich. Yum! Maybe trying that tomorrow.
The moral of the story? Coddle your family when they’re sick. Even the independent ones love it. But skip the toast and just bring over burritos.