As a response to a question on facebook, I'm sharing the "Manicotti Mystery."
For years I have LOVED manicotti. I ordered it once at Olive Garden, and have ordered it every time since then. I can't make myself try anything new. So when I was at my sister Erin's house and she made manicotti, I was extremely happy (even though it was different than Olive Garden manicotti). I copied her recipe and thought I would be on my way to many delightful meals of the wonderful Italian cuisine. Here's the saga so far...
The first time I made manicotti, I was planning to have several people over before our singles' Bible study. I was really excited to try making it--sounded easy enough. Everything was set to go...just had to pop it in the oven after work. Couldn't get any easier. I found out that Jason, the leader of the Bible study, had been taken by ambulance to the hospital that afternoon. We decided to postpone Bible study that night. So I feasted on that pan of manicotti for several days and didn't think anything of it. Turns out Jason was okay, so life was good, right??? I'll let you decide.
Since our dinner plans didn't come to fruition on the first attempt, I decided to try again. A couple weeks later, we planned to have our meal before Bible study. Once again, manicotti was in the frige waiting to be cooked after school. I called my sister Becky on the way home and she told me she'd just gotten home from the emergency room with my mom...who was on her way to Duluth for emergency surgery. Well, to make this longer story shorter, Mom was okay and didn't need surgery. But the thought still crossed my mind Is it because I'm making manicotti tonight? Everyone came and enjoyed the manicotti (which turned out great) and after I told them the story we all laughed and I didn't think anything more of it....
...Until the next time I made it. Some friends (Brooke and Travis) were heading to Alaska for a few months, so I planned a dinner for some close friends (yes, from the singles' Bible study). It seems I was in the kitchen all day, but it was a lot of fun. I made manicotti, soup, breadsticks, cheesecake...YUM! After we ate, I kept my fingers crossed that nothing would happen to anyone (I didn't answer my phone all night, just in case). As I was cleaning up the kitchen, Travis told me that Brooke had gotten sick and was going to bed. I was seriously starting to panic at this point. He told me she was already sick before she ate, but my I had my doubts. I left that night saying Three strikes and you're out. First Jason, then Mom, then Brooke. I'm never making manicotti again!
After several months, maybe even a year, I was having a "girl party," and when considering what I could make, the thought crossed my mind that I could try manicotti again, just to see what happened. I went against my better judgment, and I made the dreaded dish, all the while hoping the chain of mishaps was behind me. I was wrong. Talking to Anne the next day, she felt sick. Her words, "I had too much rich food at once." Yeah right. Just admit it...it was the manicotti. Did I mention I'm NEVER making manicotti again?
I guess I'm not one to remember my resolutions...and I'm thankful my friends don't remember either. Here's the scene...girl party a year later. Anne convinces me to make manicotti again. I cave to the pressure. Find out last minute Jenny might not come. She's feeling sick. WHAT??? Are you kidding me? She said her kids had been sick too, so that's where she got it. Yeah, right. I'll say it again I'M NEVER MAKING MANICOTTI AGAIN!
I honestly had not made manicotti for a long time. This summer while in Alaska, I was going to make dinner for my aunt Joan, uncle Eric, and Grandma. Since I was closer to Russia than the lower 48 states, I thought It HAS to be okay for me to try manicotti, right? After discussing the story and giving everyone a few laughs, the meal was very yummy. Once again, my fingers were crossed. Good, no one got sick. No phone calls from home saying something bad had happened. I thought I was out of the woods...until Eric mentioned the next day that Joan had had an upset stomach the night before. He said, "I don't think it's from the food. The rest of us are okay."
It's been six months since I was in Alaska, and although I'm getting hungry for it, i don't think I can bring myself to succumb to the temptation to make manicotti. By now, there are many people who have survived my culinary attempts...so many, in fact, that I could probably get a quantity discount and have t-shirts made. I'M A MANICOTTI SURVIVOR! I'm thinking spaghetti sauce red for the shirt with mozzarella-colored lettering. What do you think?
So there you have it...the reason I'm never, not once in this lifetime, forever into all eternity, not EVER going to make manicotti (at least not that I'm going to tell anyone). I'm doing it to spare your life!