The worst Thanksgiving dish I ever had was a lemon and lavender cauliflower cheese baked by my Aunt Bristol.

She was an excellent cook. People always said so. In fact, what they said was: “Whatever else they say about your Aunt Bristol, she’s certainly an excellent cook.”

I remember that her cauliflower cheese looked very inviting, just like all the delicious dishes she’d brought in the years before. The cheese on top appeared to be browned to perfection, and although I have never loved cauliflower in the way I love broccoli or chard, I was certain that she had created another “pièce de résistance”. That is what my mother always called Aunt Bristol’s dishes, though she pronounced “pièce” in such a way that it sounded like “piss”.

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