Posted tagged ‘Spam’

“You have to eat oatmeal or you’ll dry up. Anybody knows that.”

January 23, 2017

Today is not one of my best days. My mother would say I am not up to snuff. To give you a better idea: I woke up at 9:30 and never got my first cup of coffee until 10:15. I just didn’t have the energy. I have someone who does all my yard work, a factotum who does odd jobs and plows, and a couple who clean every two weeks. Now I’m thinking I need a barista.

My Patriots gave the Steelers a bit of a football beating last night. We were on our feet more than a few times cheering their heroics on the field. Now it is on to the Super Bowl. My first thought for the big game is the menu. I’m thinking a sort of tailgating in the living room. I really wish my Dad was around so he too could cheer for his Pats and nosh with us (nosh-another one from my mother).

When I was a kid, baseball was my sport to watch mostly because it was easy to understand. The game didn’t have all the positions or plays football has. My dad watched the Giants on TV. I never did. I was a Red Sox fan. My football knowledge is much greater than it was, but I still don’t understand a lot of the responsibilities of the many positions. I understand the fundamentals of the game, and I find that’s enough.

Winter this year is weird. It is warmer. Today the high will be in the low 40’s and the low will be 38˚. It’s raining which makes it feel colder. It is also going to be extremely windy. When I was young, it was always cold walking to school. I was bundled as much as my mother could fit on me, but I swear my cheeks often went numb. They were red the entire winter. I didn’t have many colds, but I had sniffles. My nose was not a pretty sight nor, sadly, were my sleeve and mittens. Kids never carried handkerchiefs or kleenex.

My mother made the best cocoa. I drank it every winter morning. She’d dissolve the Nestle’s cocoa in some milk then add hot water to the cup. The cocoa always had bubbles on the top.

I have eaten all sorts of foods on my travels. Sometimes I had no idea what I was eating. I didn’t know the language. In some countries, I was glad I didn’t know. When I was a kid, I ate foods I’d never touch now. I ate sardines, the ones out of a can with a key on the top. I ate Spam right out of a can, also with a key on top. Those keys took a deft hand. My favorite way, favorite here used with tongue in cheek, of eating Spam was after it was fried. My mother often made us oatmeal for school day breakfasts. It wasn’t the smooth instant oatmeal they now sell. It was thick, lumpy oatmeal out of the cardboard cylinder with the Quaker on it. I never liked the lumps, but I found out that milk, a little cinnamon and lots of sugar helps the oatmeal, lumps and all, go down.

“Without Spam, we wouldn’t have been able to feed our army.”

August 18, 2014

This room is chilly. It still holds the cold from last night, and the sun won’t be here until late afternoon. Most mornings I love sitting here, but not this morning. I need sun and warmth and maybe even some socks.

My birthday was wonderful. It was a two-day gala. The culminating event was going out for the birthday dinner last night. My friend and I celebrate each other’s birthdays that way. We decided a long time ago we didn’t need more things, but we need time together as we don’t see each other as often as we did. Usually it doesn’t happen on the exact day but it always happens. The timing isn’t important. It’s dinner with a friend that counts.

Today is Gracie’s favorite day, dump day. It’s also laundry day. They are both quite a comedown from all the festivities of the weekend. My tenure as queen was short-lived.

I don’t know if Hormel is offended or pleased that the mailbox for useless, unwanted e-mail is called spam. For me the word always brings to mind Monty Python’s Spam sketch and the Vikings singing. It also brings to mind my father. He loved Spam. He first ate it during World War II and all his life after that. Mostly he’d put it in sandwiches but sometimes he’d fry with his eggs. My sister became a Spam fan. She even has a pair of tiny Spam can earrings. The gelatinous goop, aspic I guess, makes the newly opened Spam sort of gross looking. Its pedigree is sometimes in question. My favorite Spam story is when my sister was invited to her in-laws for dinner. Her mother-in-law said they were having a pork roast. A square of Spam dotted with cloves, decoratively applied, arrived on a small platter and with a flourish was placed in the middle of the table. That is about as exalted as Spam will ever get. My sister managed not to laugh or gag and did eat some of that pork roast. I don’t think I’ve ever bought Spam though I am impressed at how many different flavors there are now. There is even a Spam spread should you need an extra appetizer. Most impressive is that Spam can last for years. I’m thinking a Spam jalapeño sandwich with melted Velveeta cheese. If you aren’t hungry for it now, just wait a few years. It will still be good.

“I hate people who are not serious about meals. It is so shallow of them.”

January 18, 2014

Raw is the best description for the morning. It is cold, rainy and dark, a stay close to home and keep warm sort of day. If I had the fixings, I’d make stew with dumplings.

My memory banks seem to be closed today. In between typing sentences I get up and walk around to find something to do. On my last wandering I stopped and oiled the old child’s desk in the bathroom. It looks great. I’d wash my kitchen floor next, covered as it is in paw prints, but it is still raining.

I have two hot dogs left. All I’d need to add would be brown bread and baked beans to make our family’s usual Saturday night dinner. I never ate the beans, but I liked the brown bread. I even like brown bread now but toasted. I still don’t like beans.

I ate sardines when I was young. My dad would open the can using the key attached to the bottom and roll the top. He’d bring out the Saltines, and we’d finish off the can. That grosses me out now. My dad also loved Spam, straight from the can in a sandwich with mustard, the yellow kind. My sister still likes Spam. I never did. I used to hate vegetables, and there are still a few I won’t eat, but for the most part, I love vegetables. It’s interesting how tastes change.

My mother never made us eat what we didn’t like. She disguised carrots by mashing them with potatoes, and we ate them not knowing we had been duped. We liked peas, except for my brother, so she served those often. We all ate corn, especially fresh ears of summer corn. I tolerated green beans but now eat them only at Thanksgiving dinner which isn’t complete without green bean casserole. My mother made favorite dinners like American Chop Suey, fried dough and a hamburger dish we thought exotic because it had bean sprouts and water chestnuts. I could have eaten her meatloaf every night, especially the one she frosted with mashed potatoes. For the most part, though, we were average kids, not adventurous eaters. I, however, have become an adventurous eater mostly through circumstances and ignorance.