It’s All Good
My dad has always had a good appetite. Even now that he is eighty-nine, he likes his food. For the most part, his appetite has never flagged. When he was younger, breakfast was a loaf of bread, a dozen eggs, and bacon or sausage if he had it. When we were young, he did cut back and would range from a large bowl of cold cereal to pancakes or buckwheat cakes and squirrel gravy.
Dad’s cereal was always shredded wheat. When the television advertisements were trumpeting that they used no salt in their cereal, Dad hauled out the salt shaker and shook some out onto his cereal. He was convinced that they had removed it and the cereal didn’t taste the same without the added salt.
When Mom made pancakes, she almost always had sausage, bacon or some kind of meat gravy for on the cakes. Mom served the platter of meat. Dad insisted that she pour the drippings on the platter too. After the meat was eaten, he would eat more pancakes and would sop the cakes in the grease before eating it. He would continue until he was full or the drippings were gone. At times Mom would use ground beef and make gravy to spoon on our flap jacks. Mom would often fry an egg or two as well. These big breakfasts were reserved for Saturday mornings.
I think that my dad got the taste for “grease” when he was a child. There were times that his mom sent the kids off to school with pancakes or buckwheat spread with pork lard for their lunches. They lived on a farm and that was what they had to eat.
There were some Saturday mornings during hunting season when Dad would wake early, grab his twelve gage shotgun, don his hunting jacket with the big red patch on the back and go hunting. He was after squirrels and usually came back with two or three gray squirrels. He would come into our basement and me and my brother Ken would go down with a pot of salt water and help him skin the critters. As he cut the squirrels up he placed them in the water. The heart and liver were saved as well.
Once they were cleaned, we carried to pot upstairs. Mom would flour and fry them in a large cast iron skillet. She would put the squirrels on a platter and make gravy from the drippings in the skillet. On a blackened cast iron griddle she was making pancakes while she was preparing the squirrels and the gravy. We would have hot cakes, squirrel, and gravy. We thought we were living high. It was good stuff.
He is in a nursing home now, unable to walk, but his appetite remains good. He loves bananas, watermelon, and the “gummy” longhorn cheese.