Posted tagged ‘gravy’

“Food is the most primitive form of comfort.”

April 23, 2017

Weather is so relative that today’s 57˚ feels warm and springlike, a sit on the deck in the sun sort of day. I might even need sunglasses.

My sister in Colorado and I had our usual Sunday phone call. Today we found two hours worth of conversation ranging from potty training to Trump.

When I was a kid, I never spent much time on the phone. I remember the party line and Mrs. McGaffigan who shared the line. Sometimes I’d pick up the receiver and hear her voice and listen to her conversation: I’d eavesdrop. She caught me several times. I never said a word when she did. I just put the receiver down. My phone number started with ST 6. I used to love the sound of the rotary dial when it clicked back after I entered a number. The phone was black. I think all the phones back then were black.

I miss phone booths. Anytime I passed by one, I’d check the coin return. Once in a while, I’d be lucky enough to find a dime, big money back then. It never seemed strange to me that Clark Kent had room enough to change to Superman in a phone booth. I did wonder what he did with his clothes and why nobody noticed when he was changing. Maybe he was just too quick.

Back then, I didn’t know a single kid who was a skeptic. We accepted most things at face value. The movie monsters were scary. We never saw the strings propelling spacecraft. We accepted the odd looking aliens. We didn’t make fun of movies. We naturally suspended disbelief. I laugh now at those same movies, but I love them still.

Roast beef, gravy, mashed potatoes, and peas are my favorite meal. My mother cooked it for our last family dinner before I left for Peace Corps. She used to put slices of onion on top of the roast, and they were delicious. It is the best of all my comfort meals. I remember my mother peeling potatoes at the sink and my father carving the meat. I still count mashed potatoes and peas among my favorites. I don’t have roast beef all that much anymore. Roast chicken has replaced it and stuffing has been added as a side.

I don’t cook much for myself anymore. I’m into quick and easy, but I’ve found shortcuts for that chicken dinner. I buy rotisserie chicken, real, already mashed potatoes and frozen peas. I call that the modern interpretation of down home comfort food.

“Sunday is the core of our civilization, dedicated to thought and reverence.”

February 23, 2014

The sun is elsewhere, but it is warm, winter warm. Only very small snow piles are left here and there. Earlier I gave Gracie a special biscuit which she then buried in the yard. I know that because Gracie came in with her face and jowls covered in dirt. I ran to clean her, but she shook off most of the dirt onto my cabinets and floor. I did manage to clean what was left off her face then I cleaned the floor. I’ve watched Gracie bury her prizes. First she digs a hole, drops in the biscuit then uses her nose to push the dirt back over the hole. Later she’ll bring in the most disgusting, dirty biscuit and eat it on my rug.

I’m getting itchy. This will be the second year I haven’t traveled because my bank account is almost non-existent so my austerity campaign has begun. A pair of pants I bought for my first trip to Ghana wore out at the crease on the leg so I used duct tape and you can’t even tell. My slippers have a hole in the toe so I put on socks. I figure I can save enough money to go back to Ghana in 2015. Besides, there isn’t really too much I need except maybe a new pair of pants come warmer weather. The duct tape gets sticky.

I am most decidedly bored today which is a good thing. No leaks, no car scrapes, no broken bones as of yet, but the week is young. Given my mood, I think it’s time to start playing Pollyanna’s happy game.

When I was growing up, I was content with a quiet Sunday. It was most decidedly a day of rest. Nobody did outside chores, the stores were all closed, and we were expected to stay around for dinner. The day started with mass then home and the paper though in those days I only read the funnies. I’d watch some TV or read until my mother called us to the table. Mashed potatoes were part of the meal every Sunday, and there was always gravy. I’d make a well in my potatoes and try not to let the gravy spill over the edge.  It was my weekly challenge on every quiet Sunday


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