Posted tagged ‘green beans’

“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”

October 23, 2016

Sunday has always been the quietest day of the week for me. When I was young, it was the hang around the house day except when the whole family went to the beach or to the city to visit with my grandparents. Sunday dinner was the best meal of the week. My father got home too late during the week to eat supper with us, but he was always there on Sunday which made it special. We had a roast of some sort, mashed potatoes and a couple of vegetables. Most of the vegetables were canned except for the carrots and, of course, the potatoes. My favorite was the La Sueur baby peas. String beans appeared often, but despite the name, I ate them. They looked nothing like beans. The same with green beans. I always made a well in my potatoes for the gravy. It was like a contest not to let the gravy overflow the sides of the potatoes. Most time I lost.

Last night the weather was perfect for a Halloween movie. Trees were bent to the wind which blew so much it howled and sounded like a train, a forlorn train. I laid in bed and listened. Gracie got close to me. Fern joined us.

Sunday is game night. We have appetizers and dessert and play Phase 10 and Sorry. Tonight, though, we’ll start early and watch the Pats play. I’m bringing dessert.

This morning I noticed my lawn and deck are now covered in leaves and pine needles. They were just cleared on Friday. I think raking or blowing are fruitless tasks until the trees are bare and nothing more can fall.

The sun is bright, the sky blue and the trees quiet and still. It is a lovely fall day. The temperature will be in the high 50’s. If I had to invent a day in autumn, it would be just like today.

“I think ‘lunch’ is one of the funniest words in the world.”

March 15, 2014

Today started out dark and rainy, but the sun and blue sky are making headway. The weatherman says warm, even into the 50’s for today, but the cold will be back tomorrow. The good news is we only have to suffer three days in the 30’s before the 50’s break through for a while. That sounds to me as if spring is getting a toehold. This morning I saw the yellow of a crocus poking up from my garden, and I stood there for a while taking in the color. It is so bright and beautiful against the drabness of the rest of the garden. Alexander Pope is right especially during this cusp between the spring and winter when it is neither, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast.”

I am at a loss for words today. This doesn’t happen often, but when it does I am easily distracted. I leave the computer and look out the front door, polish a table or clean the counter. All the while the keyboard sits undisturbed. I sift through my memory drawers hoping for inspiration but nothing captures my attention. It is just one of those days.

I was required to carry a green school bag in high school, the ones you sling and carry over your back. It always seemed heavy. The rubber inside used to split then peel off in pieces. That meant time for a new bag.

In high school, I bought my lunch then my friend and I volunteered to work dish patrol. That meant I didn’t have to pay for my lunch, but my mother still gave me lunch money. I’d use it to take the T to Harvard Square or for festivities at Brigham’s. That’s where we celebrated Mardi Gras. As for the school lunch, no matter what was served, the lunches always came with corn bread because the government gave free corn flour to the school. I still love corn bread. I think we got green beans more than any other vegetable. I don’t like green beans any more.

“There is one day that is ours. Thanksgiving Day is the one day that is purely American.”

November 24, 2013

Last night the wind blew then blew some more and whistled and shook the house. It was tremendous.

Today is bone-chillingly cold. Patches of blue dot the sky. The wind is not as strong as last night but it is still whipping the bare branches of the pines and oaks. The sun shines weakly for a while then disappears and leaves behind a bleakness, a wintry feel to the day. Outside is not at all inviting.

I have always believed Thanksgiving is more about family than any other holiday. I remember the Thanksgivings of my childhood and being home together the whole day biding our time until dinner. My mother always woke up in the wee hours of the morning to stuff the turkey then put it into the oven. The huge oval turkey pan was blue with small white dots. Sometimes the turkey was so big it just fit into the pan. I can still see my mother straining to pull the shelf out of the oven so she could baste the turkey. She always took a taste of the hard outside crust of the stuffing before she’d push the turkey back into the oven. Her stuffing tasted of sage and Bell’s Seasoning. It is still my favorite stuffing of them all. The windows were always steamed from the heat so my mother would open the back door to cool the small kitchen. While she worked on dinner, we sat in front of the TV and watched the Macy’s parade. She always put out the same snacks for the parade. There was a bowl of nuts to crack and eat, M&M’s and tangerines. I always like the tangerines because they were so easy to peel. The nuts were fun to crack.

When we were young, the menu didn’t vary much. Mashed potatoes were one of the highlights. I remember the big glob of butter my mother would put on top and how it would melt down the sides of the pile of potatoes. I always made a well in my potatoes where I’d put the gravy. I am still a huge fan of mashed potatoes. Creamed onions were on the menu because they were one of my father’s favorites. Peas were mine. The green beans came from a can because all our vegetables did. My father cut the meat with great ceremony and we all watched. He cut plenty of white meat because it was our favorite, but not my father’s. He was a leg man.

Dessert was always the same. My mother made an apple pie, a blueberry pie and a lemon meringue pie, my personal favorite. Pumpkin  pie was added when we were older.

Leftovers seemed to last forever.


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