Posted tagged ‘meat and potatoes’

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

November 4, 2011

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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