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Sunday, December 6, 2009

JJ: Home Cooking

Mom was acknowledged by family, friends and neighbors to be a great cook. She had a special magic in the kitchen and some of my happiest memories are of walking in to her warm and steamy kitchen, filled with the aroma from whatever she was fixing on the oven and stove. Mom was always in her element there, puttering away at the counters Ian had designed and built for her, customized to her size. Even though her vision deteriorated in her last years she kept on cooking and rarely made any major errors. Well, except for events like not being able to see a spatula or knife that fell out of a pan into the back of the oven. Wooden handles weren't so bad if you liked smoked food, but the smoke from the plastic handles sometimes made things come to the table with a decidedly odd taste. Anyway, Mom was still in good health and producing excellence in her kitchen when she baked up some pies. Huckleberry pies, actually, my absolute favorite, and she did a perfect job with them. She gave me one to deliver in town to Bec and her husband Adam since sharing her cooking gave her a lot of pleasure. Unfortunately that pie had a few problems, and they weren't Mom's fault. They were mine. Klutz is my name and Klutz is my game, and I was almost at my truck when I slipped. The pie, luckily in an unbreakable tin pan, did a couple of somersaults in the air and landed upright in the driveway. Unfortunately it landed beside the pan instead of in it. In a flashback to childhood, my first reaction was to cast a terrified look at the house to see if Mom or Dad was watching. The second was to drop down and look the situation over. Mom had put a fairly thick crust on the pie and it seemed to be in good shape, so I carefully scooted it back into the pan, scooted myself into the truck, scooted for town, and made a hasty delivery to the Shaver household. I was at the store when I got a call from Bec, starting with "Um, Dad, did you, ah, have a problem with the pie?" I guess it accumulated a few extra ingredients from the driveway. When Adam bit into an unidentifiable bit of a leaf Bec excused it by saying Grandma used a lot of odd spices in her cooking, but when he proceeded to pull out a twig with leaf attached and a couple of pebbles she headed for the phone. She KNEW who the culprit was. I know I giggled long and hard over that episode, but I am pretty sure I didn't do it while I was on the phone to her and apologizing my butt off. Yeah, I thought it was funnier than they did. TBC (Me)


Anonymous said...

I started to send a letter of reply a little while ago as I had a story this reminded me of. A few summers back when the boys were still little puppies and learning the ropes here at the farm, we had a few fellas come up for cleaning the goat pen. It was one of those summers where I had been out picking berries and making food in the kitchen, but was also out helping these fellas get areas of the goat pen cleared. when they were taking an afternoon break to rest for a few, I offered some pie to them and they accepted, so I went in and dished them up some. I think there was apple, service berry, and cherry pie to be had, and I got a few slices dished up when the dogs struck. There was a platter that flipped and ended up landing pie crust down on the floor(this is before the boys chewed up the linoleum) and I thought, well that piece is mine. . . Well, one of the fellas thought that one looked better than the others and decided to eat it instead. I think counted no less than 5 dog hairs he pulled out of the pie before he finished it. he had no complaints of the taste or quality of the pie, but he did set the hairs to the side and I looked them over before putting the plates into the sink, discovering the owners of the hairs. Now to say something of my cooking, or perhaps the cooking of that fellas wife, he did take a pie home with him and returned the plate later, with compliments to the chef on a pie well made. No ill affects, or phone calls from his other half asking where all the hairs came from though ;-)
Thank you for the story Jim, this got me to smiling first thing,