“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.”

The sun is in and out of the clouds. The day goes from strikingly sunny and beautiful to cloudy and dark. The weather in the paper said partly sunny. I guess I didn’t think about the other part.

On Saturday, the day before I left for the Peace Corps, my mother asked me what I’d like for our last family dinner together for a long while. I answered right away: roast beef, mashed potatoes, peas and gravy, all my favorites, and that’s what we had. It is still one of my favorite meals. Mashed potatoes are the height of comfort food for me. My mother’s mashed potatoes were always fluffy and lump less. She used a hand masher, one of those metal ones with a flat grill bottom. I sometimes watched her. She wielded that masher as if it were a weapon in the hands of a master swordsman. She’d add butter and milk and keep mashing. I even remember the bowl she always used to serve the potatoes. It was a wide, not tall, bowl. She’d add the potatoes and put a few pats on butter on top. It was a thing of beauty.

My favorite ice cream changes. When I was a kid, we didn’t have all the choices and exotic flavors we have now. Back then my favorite was a dish of plain old chocolate made exquisite by adding Hersey’s syrup. When I was in high school, it was mint chocolate chip in a sugar cone with jimmies all over the ice cream. I used to buy it at Brigham’s. Mocha chip was my favorite for a while, and I still sometimes buy it, but lately I have been into coconut topped with dark chocolate sea salt caramel sauce. It tastes as superb as it sounds.

I like vegetables, quite a change from when I was growing up. Back then I ate potatoes, peas, corn and French green beans, all of which came from cans. I also ate carrots but they were disguised and hidden in the mashed potatoes. In Ghana I couldn’t get many vegetables. I ate garden eggs which are small egg plants, okra, tomatoes, yam, onions and one year I had green peppers grown from seeds I got from home. I really missed vegetables which I wouldn’t ever have imagined when I was a kid. My favorites are still peas, but corn on the cob and summer tomatoes are on my list of favorites. Just no beans ever!

Traveling gave me the chance to try new foods, and I tried all sorts. I didn’t even know the names of some of them. The food didn’t have to look good as I had grown out of the stage of judging foods by its appearances. I think maybe it was Ghana which taught me that.

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11 Comments on ““One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.””

  1. Hedley Says:

    Happy it’s almost your Birthday but not quite Day. Please share the typhoon of gifts, friends, food, wine, gifts and cake coming your way

    (You said gifts twice….I like gifts)

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      Thank you for my almost birthday wishes. First gift came yesterday. My sister said I couldn’t open it until the day. Tonight I’m being treated to dinner and also tomorrow night with a different friend.

      I like gifts too!

      • Hedley Says:

        I will be looking for full details on YOUR BIRTHDAY, tomorrow. Meanwhile we are waiting for the arrival of The Prince for an evening at Comerica.

      • katry Says:

        I’ll be happy to share the details tomorrow!

  2. flyboybob Says:

    Although we put tomatoes in the vegetable group I think it’s really considered a fruit. If that’s not true then tomatoes and corn on the cob are my favorites. During the summers as a kid my mother would buy white shoe peg corn on the cob which was spectacular in flavor and sweetness. After corn comes asparagus and Brussels sprouts. There are veggies in Chinese food that I like such as Bok Choy and bean sprouts but I couldn’t name them. I am not fond of the green leafy vegetables, like collard greens except for spinach. I would be hard pressed to pick a side dish in a soul food restaurant. 🙂

    I grew up eating typical American fare with some Eastern European influence from my grandmother. My mother thought that paprika was a spicy flavor. Today everyone is enamored with very hot food. How high can one go on the scolville heat scale. Let’s down some ghost pepper sauce.

    Hot and dry today again a hundred degrees or more. Normal August has returned.

    • katry Says:

      I think you’re right about tomatoes but it is used so often in foods like sauce and bruschetta I’m sticking with vegetable.

      We have sugar and butter corn which has pale yellow and white kernels, and it is our sweetest corn. The local stuff has been around a couple of weeks. The local tomatoes are just appearing at small tables in front of houses.

      I like bean sprouts and water chestnuts and only like spinach uncooked in a salad.

      I always put hot peppers on my sandwiches when I was a kid and I always had them put it on subs. Ghana had the hottest pepper which would burn your hand if you had a cut and would burn your lips too. I would buy street food and tell them little pepper. I did like it on hummus. They would put a ring of hot pepper around the outside of the plate. I like hot but I also want to taste the food.

      70’s here today and sunny.

  3. olof1 Says:

    It could have been a rather warm and nice day here if only the sun had had the chanse to shine a bit more. Later we also had thunder and heavy showers. Itb has rained a lot lately, still it isnä’t that wet in the ground. I guess the draught were worse than I thought.

    I do like mashed potatoes but the one my granfmother did always had lumps and my mother usually used powder 🙂 I must admit that I probably is the one that makes the best mashed potatoes in the family and I also use that hand masher.

    I have always liked vanilla ice cream and even if I like both chocolate and straw berries I really can’t say I like chocolate ice cream or strawberry ice cream. I do like rum raisin a lot though.

    Have a great day!

    • katry Says:

      Hi Christer,
      We have total sun now, but it isn’t too hot at all. It is quite nice.

      You can buy real mashed potatoes now in the cold section of the grocery store, but I never mind mashing my own. I also use a hand masher. It does the best job. Powdered potatoes are really gross.

      Vanilla is the top eating flavor of them all. It was my dad’s favorite with plenty of chocolate sauce on top. I like strawberry but haven’t had it in a while. Rum raisin isn’t a favorite.

      Have a great evening!

  4. Coleen Burnett Says:

    I am posting this on the 17th…busy day here, but wanted to wish you Happy Birthday! Eat lots of cake!



  5. Coleen Burnett Says:

    How’d that “A” get in there?


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