Writing My Life

Now and Then


More than Soup! Thankful for Past Yummies!

If anyone tried to read the one sentence I posted last night, don’t fear! I was NOT tipsy! In an effort to post every day, I had to go to my phone as I had no Internet access! I am babysitting the grandchildren over the weekend, and the computer is in the oldest daughter’s room – not a great location!! Anyway, I felt it more important that the 10-year-old get her sleep than Gramma post her 13th entry!

I thought I might be able to create an entire post on my G1 phone – HA! The tiny screen, the itty-bitty font, and the miniature keys created too monstrous a challenge. So I settled for 1 ungrammatical sentence that I tried and tried to revise and edit, only to make it worse. Instead I clicked on the Lilliputian send key and called it good.

BUT, I did write out my blog so I could post it today while the little ones napped. I am sure that there are some foods that take you back to your childhood as a few dishes Mom or Dad created take me back to mine.

The 2 most memorable ones Daddy created were as follows:

  • Homemade doughnuts AND doughnut holes! Scrumptious!
  • Cocoa (not hot chocolate) and marshmallows that Connie and I drank from the ceramic elephant cups that Mom created. I didn’t like cocoa without marshmallows because scum would coagulate across the top. Yukky!

Mom whipped up LOTS of great food as she was a wonderful cook, but these are the those that whip up the memories:

  • Fudge that she always made on Sunday nights. I remember watching her stir that concoction for HOURS – well, it seemed like hours – until it had just the perfect gloss! We always ate it with popcorn that was popped in the old pressure cooker pot – a heavy, cast-iron type thing that either Mom or Dad shook over the plate on the stove. And then, we’d settle down in front of our black and white console TV to watch Kennecott Neighborhood Theater that we received via cable from Salt Lake City. Of course, the popcorn and fudge treat was not complete without Dad’s favorite drink of choice: Coca Cola!
  • Mom’s chocolate chip oatmeal cookies required refrigeration. So after she mixed the ingredients, she slapped the dough onto rectangles of wax paper, rolled them up and squared them off – so the elongated rolls wouldn’t … well, roll. It’s a wonder that cookies were ever baked because one of the sneaky bad habits I had was to slice off the tiniest sliver – at least a dozen or more! I think Mom and sometimes Dad did the same thing.
  • Ham and bean soup was another favorite. Mom usually fixed this meal after we enjoyed a ham dinner – which wasn’t all that often. She’d soak the small white navy beans and simmer the ham-bone with a few vegetables and seasonings until the liquid cooked down to a delicious broth. I don’t know if I offended her when I added ketchup to my soup, but to me, that added ingredient created a masterpiece.
  • Mom also created a terrific mustard ring to eat with ham on New Year’s Day. It was sweet and tangy and also included horse radish.
  • Another miscellaneous yummy included her ketchup and crab chip dip. I know it also included horseradish and lemon, but I’m not sure what else.

Other than the mustard ring and the chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, I don’t think Mom used a recipe for the others. Perhaps she made them so often that the ingredients and steps were permanently embedded into her brain, but I don’t remember watching her check over a recipe card or open a recipe book when she created these favorites.

I tried to replicate the dip and the soup and while the result was satisfactory, I can’t say that it measured up to what I enjoyed on lazy Sunday nights or wintery Saturday mornings or New Year’s Day. Memories are always the most important ingredient in conjuring up the delight found in a delicious meal from the past, but those same memories diminish the perfection we seek in re-creating that experience.