Friday, February 13, 2009

What's for supper?

When I was a little girl every Sunday we went to my Grandmother Lucy's house. Sometimes we would pick her up and go out to Indiana to visit her siblings and their families but, most of the time we just went to visit her and have dinner at her home. She lived only about five miles from my family's house so it was a short trip. My grandmother could COOK, and I do mean she could cook really great "comfort food" too! Yummy!

I have several pictures of holiday celebrations at her home. Her dining room table would be covered with bowls and platters filled with delicious homemade mashed potatoes (yes, really homemade mashed potatoes, the ones where you actually PEEL a potato and cook it in water!), broccoli, turkey, stuffing (again homemade with bread, chopped onions, sage, apple bits, giblet pieces, etc.), corn, biscuits, a canned ham, of course gravy (again, homemade not out of a jar), and everyone's favorite....baked beans. I'm sure there was more for the main meal, but I probably ate only what I mentioned. That scrumptious dinner was always followed by dessert which included homemade apple, lemon meringue and the "ultimate" pumpkin pies. The joke went around with her grandchildren (and there at least 20+ of us there for these celebrations!) is that we would have a "little pumpkin pie" with our Cool Whip! Heck, I can even remember when we started using Cool Whip in the late 60's! We used the largest spoon Lucy had to scoop it out of the container and plop it on our pie! In those days we were young, skinny, and always went outside to play after eating all that food, no matter what the weather! Oh the energy we had too!

My favorite meal that Lucy made was fried chicken, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes with gravy, salad with her own sweet and sour salad dressing, and of course dessert. I can easily remember walking into her house and the aroma of the fried chicken would hit me. Oooo, it smelled so good! Immediately in her little breezeway kitchen (you could never get more than three people into her little kitchen at one time!) you would see her little serving cart on wheels. On the top shelf was a shiny blue metallic cake saver....and inside, well, it was always some piece of HEAVEN! She made my absolutely favorite cake in the "whole wide world"-- chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Sometimes, she would make a German chocolate cake that was just as heavenly. But, OH MY GOODNESS, to this day chocolate cake with chocolate frosting is still my favorite. (Can I run out to the nearest bakery and get one right now?)

One of my "grossest" memories of Lucy is that she would clean the chicken bone! I mean it too, whatever piece she was eating; leg, breast, thigh, only the bare bone would be left. She loved the grizzle and the other "icky" parts besides the meat! That must have come from growing up on a farm and having so many siblings, you grabbed what you could get! Gross, and one of my cousins does the same thing today! We have a good laugh about it!

Ironically enough, sometime in my late twenties, early thirties I started having a fetish about eating chicken or any meat on the bone. So, although I eat chicken now ( and turkey, and once in a blue moon beef) I can't seem to eat it on the bone, so it is always boneless and of course skinless (you know, the older I get the more I need to watch my weight!) Another footnote, I am happy to report that in my younger years, I actually watched and attempted to make my grandmother's baked beans. It took me about six years of watching her and many attempts at home trying to remember how much of this and how much of that to use and get it right. Lucy rarely measured anything when she was cooking she just threw in a pinch of this and handful of that and wallah...perfection! I am very happy to report that I can make them just like she did! I cherish the memories of watching and observing her in the kitchen! My sister always requests that I make an extra pan of baked beans "just for her" when we have holiday celebrations!

Today, I get a kick out of my children asking me to make something special that they like to eat. I ask them to try to make it so they will know how to cook. My oldest son does a pretty good job, actually my sons can cook much better than my daughters...not sure how that happened but I'm glad someone is watching and learning and best of all enjoying the moment!

1 comment:

Becky Jamison said...

I'm invited to bring dessert to a group V. Day dinner tomorrow and I'm taking my favorite: chocolate cake with chocolate frosting! My Grandma used to chew the bones clean--gristle (sp?) and all! Yuck! I taught my only son how to cook too so he could cook his favorite meals in a pinch. Loved your story!

The Family

The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck

Genealogy Pox, author unknown

WARNING: GENEALOGY POX IS VERY CONTAGIOUS!

SYMPTOMS: Continual complaint as to need for names, dates and places. Patient has a blank expressions, sometimes deaf to spouse and children. Has no taste for work of any kind, except feverishly looking through records at libraries and courthouses.
Has a compulsion to write letters. Swears at mailman when he doesn't leave mail. Frequents strange places such as cemeteries, ruins, and remote desolate country areas. Makes secret night calls and hides phone bills from spouse. Mumbles to self. Has strange, faraway look in eyes.

NO KNOWN CURE!

TREATMENT: Medication is useless. This disease is not fatal, but gets progressively worse. Patient should attend genealogy workshops, subscribe to genealogical magazines and be given a quiet corner in the house where he/she can be alone.

REMARKS: The unusual nature of this disease is that the sicker the patient gets, the more he or she enjoys it!