Sunday, April 26, 2009

CHANGE WAS PROMISED: We're about to get it!

I have heard it said that the only thing constant is change. Everything changes. To some degree that is true. Somethings, however, never change--my love for my children or my children's love for me. That never changes.

This weekend Julie and I, who are both ill with the flu, have two of Julie's granddaughters for the weekend. Jillian is 16 and Chelsie will soon be 18. Although we are ill, it is a joy getting to share a bit of their lives. At those ages children seem to be involved with everything except two old codgers, uh, sorry Julie.

Normally I do the day-to-day cooking in our home. Julie does all the special cooking. I can get it on the table in a jiffy, Julie takes forever and a day. Uh, maybe a day or two. Great Aunt Debby has nothing on Julie. We are both cooking this weekend.

Yesterday morning I fixed the girls french toast with bacon and ham. I do french toast right! Well, maybe not as good as Julie's Blueberry French Toast, but mine is pretty good. I've developed a mix that is tasty.

For the four of us I used four large eggs. I beat the eggs adding a quarter cup of half-n-half, a quarter teaspoon of vanilla, a liberal amount of cinnamon and four packs of sweetner. After cutting the slices into pointed halves I soak them thoroughly. They are very "tender" so I put them onto a buttered, black iron griddle by hand and brown them slowly.

The girls "ONLY" eat white bread. Although Julie and I eat anything we try to avoid white bread for health reasons. I used white bread for the girls, about four slices each, and a slice of whole grain bread each for Julie and I.

Yes, we go to any length to spoil our grandchildren. Or any guest, for that manner. I know the kids love us but they also love being pampered. At 2:00PM they are still loungeing around in their night clothes. Doing what? Talking on their cell phones Watching movies. Eating. Drinking. Did I mention talking on their cell phones?

The kids know they can count on finding something special here that they don't always get at home. As everyone was up late last night Julie planned a cold cereal breakfast. Julie and I eat high fibre cereal, which the kids wouldn't touch. She bought them a cereal they both liked, Honey Nut Cherrios.
The kids count on our having fruit all the time, in season or not. Today we have the dependable apples but we also had bananas and fresh pineapple. We also had blueberries, straw berries and black berries.

I put bananas and strawberries and black berries on their cereal. As the berries can be tart I sprinkled a pack of sweetner over each of their fruit. Julie offered them sweetner to go with their cereal. I exclaimed that they didn't need any more sweetner as the cereal was already sweetened and I had put sweetner over their tart berries.

They drink coffee. I don't know how much sweetner Jillian started out with in her coffee but with less than a quarter cup of coffee left in her cup, she added two more packages of sweetner! I regret not letting them use more sweetner on their cereal as I'm sure they would if I'd kept quiet.

We have candy containers in every room. This is a home of a type II diabetic. As I was taking the pictures Julie reminded me of my own sweet tooth, reminding me that the one candy container was my allowed dark chocolate. Ummm. Did I really need to hear that? Not really.

I like spaghetti. When we eat out I more often than not order spaghetti. Julie makes great, make that G R E A T spaghetti, although it is not for the faint of heart. Before we knew the kids were coming she said she would make spaghetti for me today. I'm holding her to her word. But there is a problem. Jillian doesn't eat noodles of any kind, including spaghetti. She explained that she will eat rice but not noodles.

I asked Chelsie if she would eat spaghetti. She said she didn't care that much for it but she would eat it adding that she would also eat rice. I asked what she wouldn't eat. Don't recall it all but she doesn't eat raisins and oatmeal. She will eat raisins. She will eat oatmeal. She will not eat raisins and oatmeal. She will not eat raisin oatmeal cookies. Oh, Yes! She likes jelly. She like peanut butter. She will not eat peanut butter-jelly sandwiches.

Where do the kids get this? Well, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Their mother won't eat chocolate with nuts. She will eat chocolate. She will eat nuts. She will not eat chocolate with nuts. She likes salads but only if it is made with iceberg lettuce. Only iceberg lettuce! No, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

I was born two years into the great depression when Americans gladly stood in soup lines to keep from starving to death. Like them I learned to eat whatever Mom fixed. And, to be thankful for it. In my lifetime I have eaten snails, alligator tail, beaver and bear and, in London, I had cow innards. Yes, the English gave it a fancy name but it was cow innards and it smelled like it I can tell you.

Do I like everything I have eaten? Not really! I have had fresh shucked oysters on the half shell but I didn't like it. I don't care that much about lobster. I eat it as often as we get to Boston. I'm not all that much into crab legs either, although we frequently serve them to guests.

When I was a child my Mother always managed to feed us. I do not remember ever going hungry when I was a child. I remember eating a lot of beans and potatoes as well as a lot of biscuits and gravy. Also, squirel and rabbit and ground hog and possom. I've eaten muskrat and turtle. I ate a lot of quail that Mom caught on fish hooks. And fish. Lots and lots of fish. We lived by the river.

Thankfully, we also lived alongside a railroad track which we walked as young children. The B&O. Two short steps and a big step. Don't step in the hot creosote with your bare feet. The track kept us out of the mud in the winter and out of the dust in the summer. It also provided us railroad ties for the fireplace and coal to be picked up by hand for Mom's cook stove.

We always had railroad hoboes at the door asking for food. Mom always fed them too. Unless Dad was home the bo's ate in the wood lot. If Dad was there he'd always invite them in, share the jug and get them to tell stories. I never heard one bo say "I don't eat that".

Going on 79 I may not live through it all but I suspect what was will be again. We were promised change, remember? Spoiled as some Americans have become the change they are about to get will make for a difficult time for all. Could this all really happen again? Be reminded that the 30's followed the Roaring Twenties.

May the good Lord help us, we ants, honey bees and squirels! The locust and grasshoppers are on the way, and more than a few rats, too. They are hungry but not for noodles. UMMM

Linda Henley:

"If God had intended us to follow recipes He wouldn't have given us Grandmothers"

God Bless!

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