“You need not rest your reputation on the dinners you give.”

Dreary days have come to be the norm. Today is overcast and dark. When I woke up, the bedroom clock was out, but the bedroom light worked. The bathroom light didn’t. I left the light switch in the bathroom on so I could see without climbing the stairs if I had solved the problem then went to the cellar to the circuit box and turned the general lights back and forth. I walked back up to the bottom of the third floor stairs and lo and behold the lights were back on.

Nothing is on the agenda today or tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. It seems I am settling into my winter doldrums. Life gets slower, and I am generally content to read and do little or nothing. For the whole month, I have 2 meetings, both of which are on the same day, and a doctor’s appointment at the end of the month. The excitement is nearly overwhelming.

When I was a kid, we didn’t do much all winter during the week. We went to school, came home, put on our play clothes, and, if we wouldn’t freeze, we’d go out for a while before it got dark, but darkness came early, around 4 or 4:30. We’d come in and plunk ourselves in front of the TV. Back then there was no guilt about kids and TV time. My mother would make dinner, and she was glad we were otherwise occupied.

Monday to Thursday dinners seldom varied from a meat, mashed potatoes and a vegetable, but on Fridays, when we couldn’t eat meat, my mother got more creative. Fish sticks were sometimes meatless offerings, and my mother usually served them with frozen French fries baked in the oven. I can still see her opening the packages and pulling the single French fries and fish sticks apart from the frozen piles.

The best Friday dinners were when we had English muffin pizzas or fried dough slattered with butter and a sprinkle of salt. The fried dough dinner was our favorite of them all. My mother just couldn’t keep up with the demand. We’d all hang around waiting our turn for that brown, beautiful dough hot from the frying pan. Puddles of  butter filled each crevice, and we had to be careful or it would drip on our hands and follow gravity down to our arms. The salt glinted in the light.

I can’t imagine anything unhealthier, but I know, to us, that a fried dough dinner deserved a celebration with a band and a small parade.

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10 Comments on ““You need not rest your reputation on the dinners you give.””

  1. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,

    November is the start of the bleh season which lasts until around the beginning of February.

    I had two appointments on Tuesday but they were in the same office so that was okay. I spent the rest of Tuesday painting the outsides of 3 exterior doors. I spent a piece of Wednesday doing that, too. I spent most of today alternating between prepping and priming a wall and playing games on Facebook. I have not gotten dressed yet because I am a messy painter and get the stuff everywhere. 🙂

    Enjoy the rest of your quiet day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      Well, then, it appears I am right on schedule with the blah season. I think I am getting to be anexpert at doing nothing.

      Today was total nothing. Yesterday was a bit busy so I figure today was my compensation day day for over-exertion though I did sweep the kitchen, clean the stove where my students missed all the groundnut stew spots, waskhed the animals bowls and dusted a bit. but all of the is own obsessive cleaning personality so it doesn’t count.

  2. olof1 Says:

    Quite beautiful weather here today and they say it will continue during the weekend too 🙂

    I remember we had mashed turnips and knuckle of pork quite often when I grew up, something I try to avoid now days 🙂 🙂 Mashed potatoes and hot dogs too. But I have never eaten fried dough. It is sort ofb hard to imagine that it can taste good if just knowing the name of it 🙂 🙂 🙂

    French fries usually came on a Saturday ut it could be just anything to go with it, as You know by now my mother was anything but a master chef 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • J.M. Heinrichs Says:

      An alternate would be to use a recipe such as this:
      http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/butter-flaky-pie-crust/detail.aspx
      … roll it out flat, sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar, cut into 5cm squares and bake.

      Cheers

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      The sun did appear a bit later in the afternoon, but it didn’t entice me to go outside,

      I have never tasted knuckle of pork, and it isn’t on my list to try. I do love turnips. Believe me, friend dough is wonderful tasting.

      Enjpy the weekend!

      • katry Says:

        Minicapt,
        My mother used the left-over dough, sprinkled them with cinnamon and sugar, rolled them then baked them in the oven. We loved then for their taste but mostly for their names. My dad always called them turds.

  3. Zoey & Me Says:

    I loved those dough dinners too. Sorry you are getting bored up there. Don’t they have an Occupy Boston you could join? Buy a tent and hang out for the weekend.

  4. Bob Says:

    To make matters worse, we go back to standard time at two o’clock Sunday morning. I never seem to gain back that hour that I lost hour of sleep that I gave up in the spring. I sorely miss the extra hour of daylight in the evenings which helps ward off the winter gloom. I wish we kept to daylight time the year round. It doesn’t bother me to go to work in the morning darkness but many people worry about kids walking to school before the sun rises. Do they have a problem with this in places like Fairbanks Alaska in January?

    This morning fall arrived in North Texas with near freezing temperatures as a result of cold front pushing south from Canada. By Sunday afternoon the warmer temperatures should return and I can put my jacket back into the closet.

    My mother also cooked simple meat and potato dinners followed by a dessert consisting of canned fruit. She preceded each dinner with a large tossed salad. My father traveled around Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. He liked the idea of having a salad before the main course. He would dole out the mixture of lettuce, tomatos and other raw vegetables to us and eat his portion from the large bowl where he tossed the dressing into the salad. My mother would heat up frozen fish sticks and even TV dinners in the oven when she was too tired or too busy to cook a meal from scratch.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I have a friend whose elderly aunt used to get up at 2 to turn back her clocks because that when it was supposed to be done. I ussed to hate leaving for work in the dark and coming home in the dark. I felt like a mole.

      In Fairbanks there is so little sun they have their own seasonal affective disorder because it is pretty much darkness all day. I’ll take what little sun we get.

      I don’t remember ever having a green salad. In the summer it was potato and maracroni salads, but that was it. Often cut up tomatoes were on the table as my Dad loved them with mayonnaise. In the summer, it was a snack for him. I always brought up homegrown I’d buy along the road. They were his favorites.


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