RANT #8 - Mom's Good Eats
Thanksgiving Dinner- A Definite Favorite.
A re-found friend in an e-mail brought this little holiday memory to mind just recently. It won’t be Truman Capotesque, but I still fondly relate this story to friends when talking about my Mother.
Mom loved to cook. Like so many moms, there was something magical and special about what she made, how she made it, and how if it was offered with love to her family. A few times, I’ve talked to people who said their mothers were terrible cooks. How sad I feel for them. I have, a few times, met women who admitted they were poor cooks. Pray they never have children. Hell, just pray for them in general, because they have upon them the stench of evil. I’m getting a little Ernest Hemmingwayesque, so I’ll try to control myself.
The extra food served at our house at every day meals would have helped the famine problem in India. (The reason they have had famine is because who could eat Indian food? Gandhi was happy to fast. “Here, Mahatma, have a cookie. Who’s to know?”) Four or five vegetables, two meats, salads, and of course two or three dessert choices were common. And, no matter what Mom created, whether it was salad, dessert, or main dish, the recipe began with a pound of butter. My arteries clog at the mere memory.
If the day-to-day meal was impressive, the holiday meal was spectacular. Where the energy came from (or the time) I do not know, but the Thanksgiving dinner appeared on the table precisely at 1:45 PM. We had all the regulars as well as a corn dish (more like a custard than a scalloped corn), asparagus (my favorite), and homemade bread and rolls. It was one of those meals you didn’t know where to begin or when to end. My nephews once ate almost their entire meal before realizing they hadn’t taken any turkey.
We ate to excess. We ate beyond excess. We ate to some gluttonous Nirvana. Before we had finished the Seven Deadly sins had been challenged and several found wanting. Through out the entire orgy of intake, my Mother hovered urging us on. “Eat some more?” “Here, have some of this.” “Don’t you like it?”
“If you people aren’t going to eat, why did I bother?” “Have some more.” “You MUST eat this.” On and on she urged and exhorted and like the horse under a little Puerto Rican jockey, we surged on and crossed the finish line.
There is a certain feeling of replete as satisfying as any sex. After such a meal, you can smoke that cigarette, basking in a fulfillment beyond description. A mixture of everything good about life including a heavy dose of familial love. You are truly at times like these in the bosom of our Creator.
And that was when, my Mother, the butter and cream lady, the woman who hadn’t met a hydrogenated fat she didn’t like, would look at her family and say,
“No wonder you people are so fat.”