Posted tagged ‘Garlic’

“I love being home, reading the paper in the morning and having a cup of coffee, doing laundry, going grocery shopping and running daily errands. For me, it’s important to have that balance in my life.”

November 9, 2017

Last night was cold, not quite wintry cold but close enough. Saturday night will be in the 30’s. That’s winter to me. The sun is resting elsewhere so the sky is all over cloudy, not a single break of blue. It is a still day.

I was out yesterday and am going out again today. I can’t remember the last time I was out two days in a row. Maddie and Gracie are my incentives today. They both need canned food, and Gracie is almost out of treats. I also need sunflower seeds. That’s the first stop, Agway. As for me, I’m out of bread and butter. It is a two stop day.

When I was a kid, my parents always went grocery shopping on Friday nights. My father had to take my mother as she didn’t have a driver’s license and wouldn’t have one until after we had moved to the cape. Saturday was my father’s day for errands and chores. When I go by the Chinese laundry still in my home town, I think of my dad. He’d go to the “Chinaman” every Saturday with his long sleeve white shirts. He wore one every day to work and liked them starched. He wouldn’t start wearing colors until much later. I gave him a button down collar yellow shirt for Christmas one year, and that was the start of colors and buttoned down collars. My father surprised me when he abandoned white.

My father seldom deviated from his usual anything. He didn’t easily try new foods and wouldn’t eat familiar foods if they were changed even in the smallest way. The key to my dad was to work around him. When he was here visiting, he ate a pork roast to which I had added garlic in slits around the meat. My dad loved the meal. When my mother was making the same dish, he caught her adding the garlic. He told my mother no way would he eat it. Only shrimp scampi had garlic. He wouldn’t eat hummus because he said it looked like wallpaper paste. Chinese food was exotic to him, a man who loved Spam, sardines and instant coffee.

“Taste is the most unexplored sense”

January 16, 2015

When I got up during the night, I swear I saw stars, and was delighted, I stood at the window a while just looking. When I woke up, it was cloudy, and I wanted to scream. Right now, though, the sun is making an appearance, and off to the west are patches of blue sky. I can barely contain my excitement.

Gracie woke me up around 6:30. She wanted out, but when she got on the deck, she couldn’t get down the stairs. They had a topping of ice from the dusting of snow we got yesterday. I put on my shoes and walked her to the yard down the stairs step by step. If the poor dog only knew. Here I was her safety net, and I fall all the time. Luckily this time I didn’t. Before I went back to bed, I threw safety paws de-icer on the steps and also noticed where Gracie had been sick a few times. I won’t get into a description, but I think whatever had been bothering her was on her crate blanket which is now washed and in the dryer. Gracie is back to her always happy self.

In the old days we didn’t take our dog to the vet’s except to get the rabies shot required by law. There was no well dog visit back then. Duke, the boxer we had while I was growing up, was a terror to other dogs, but he met his match once and his neck was torn open. My dad said nature would take care of it. My mother sneaked Duke to the vet’s who took care of it. The dog’s wounds healed, and my father gloated a bit with his I told you so. We all just looked at each other and said nothing.

We pulled many fast ones on my poor dad. My mother would come and visit me, and we’d shop. She’d fill her trunk with boxes and bags. When she got home, she’d bring in two or three packages and show my father what she’d bought. He’d nod but actually be totally uninterested. Shopping was hell on Earth to him. When my dad went to work on Monday, my mother would empty the trunk. My dad never noticed anything new in the house. His spot was at the end of the couch next to the table. That was his little kingdom and nothing there ever changed. He was content.

We knew never to tell my dad some of the ingredients in the dishes he was served for dinner. He would refuse to eat them if he knew. Garlic, according to my dad, was to be used for garlic bread and shrimp scampi. It had no other uses. Little did he know he often ate it in a variety of dishes. He did catch my mother putting it in slits in a pork roast and was horrified. My mother took out all the garlic. My father had eaten that pork roast with garlic several times. He just didn’t see it.

My father used his eyes to determine whether or not a dish could be eaten. Hummus was wallpaper paste. He knew that without trying it. Just looking was enough. It was a huge no on potstickers and anything my mother made for my brother, the vegetarian. My father was the original meat and potatoes man with a few vegetables tossed in like carrots, canned asparagus and corn, either fresh or canned. My dad actually ate a huge variety of things. He just never knew.

“Food should be fun.”

January 10, 2012

This morning I had to make a quick run to the grocery store to pick up my chili ingredients. My friends are coming over for chili, cornbread and some after dinner games. Right now the chili is happily bubbling ever so slightly on the stove. I’ll make the cornbread later then set the table and put out the fixings. I don’t like beans so my chili has no beans. You purists may cringe but my house, my chili!

I wish it were colder as I always think of chili as one of those warm you up hearty sort of meals. It is 45° and a beautiful day.

We never ate chili when I was a kid. My father was a meat and potatoes guy, and that’s what we ate for dinner most nights though my mother did add a vegetable or two. Spaghetti was about as exotic as my father’s dinner ever got and even that was a bit gross. He ate his spaghetti with stewed tomatoes on top, the way his mother, the worse cook in the world, used to make it. My mother made regular spaghetti with a meat sauce for herself and us. My father also had other strange tastes. He wouldn’t eat garlic except on garlic bread with his shrimp scampi. I used to cook a roast pork and hide the garlic slices in slits on the sides of the roast. He loved it until he caught my mother doing the same thing. She took out the garlic. Once I cooked the potatoes in the same pan as I had mushrooms and decided to leave the small pieces of mushroom to give the potato a different flavor. The mashed potatoes were a bit gray. My dad wanted to know why. I told them they were Eastham potatoes. He accepted my story and ate them happily even though he didn’t like mushrooms.

My father’s eyes served as his taste buds. If it didn’t look good, he wouldn’t eat it. No matter how much coaxing we did, he just wouldn’t try newe foods. I remember once we were eating hommos, and he mentioned it looked like wallpaper paste. Nope, he never did try it.

My uncle had a Korean wife and she cooked once for my family. My father ate only the food which looked a litttle like fried won tons with a filling. That looked familiar to him so he figured it was worth a try. The rest was way out of his comfort zone.

I tried to get my parents to visit me in Ghana. I never thought about the food. I just wanted them to see where I lived and how wonderful Ghana was. Thinking it over now, I guess my father would have been fine at breakfast with his eggs and toast, but he would have had chicken every single night, especially if he had come shopping with me. I’m laughing now at the idea of my father using his hand to pull off a chunk of t-zed, dip it in his soup bowl then eat it. Nope, it never would have happened.