Food For Thought
When I eat certain foods, I think of certain people. With old Mrs. Carrie Hall, my mom and dad’s neighbor, I think of her soft sugar cookies, strawberry pies, and her fresh baked bread. Another of my friend’s mom would use the tube biscuits, cut a donut hole, and fry them in bacon grease and oil mixture. While they were still hot, she would dredge them through a glaze of confectioner’s sugar and milk. They were as good as any donut made by any other company.
My grandmother Miner made the most delicious chicken salad. It consisted of only chopped, boiled chicken, chicken broth, salt, pepper, and chopped dill pickle. She made this mostly when we culled the brood at the end on the egg laying season. Pieces of chicken at my grandmother Beck came with the story of how the chicken was divided when my dad was a child. The thing that I most remembered was that my grandma, Anna, always ate the back and tail of the chicken. She always said that she liked it, but I always thought that it was the only part of the bird that was left once the chicken was divided.
My Aunt Rachel Peck would make mashed potato/peanut butter fudge. All of us kids could hardly wait until it was ready to eat. My Aunt Cora Hyatt, I remember that she drank her tea, straight, hot or cold, without cream OR sugar.
What got me thinking about food was what I made for lunch today. I made mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, and hot dogs and my aunt Violet Bottomly is what I remember at her house. She would cook the hot dogs in the kraut and serve it with the potatoes. She’d cut the dogs into thinner wheels; bite sized chunks which made an impression on me.
At my aunt Ina Nicholson’s home, it was the fresh vegetables from her garden. The delicious, juicy tomatoes freshly picked and washed, green onions, and sweet green bell peppers. They were served at each meal with whatever she and my mom cooked. Sometimes it was with fresh caught fish from Buckeye Lake.
My aunt Cosey Brothers Had a large garden as well, but she had a large family and needed it. What I remember from her menu was her hamburgers. She used bread crumbs, catsup, and onions to stretch the ground beef. It also enhanced the flavor. Served on homemade buns, they were delicious.
Finally, speaking of hamburgers, I think of my mom, Sybil Beck. One Sunday, she made hamburgers for the family, one for each. A platter of tomatoes, lettuce, and onions claimed the center of the table. Another saucer of sliced American cheese held a place of honor. Everyone had built their sandwich and started to eat. Mom had stacked lettuce, tomato, onion, and cheese on her bun. She took a bite and as she chewed, she saw a burger patty still on the serving platter. When she swallowed, she asked, “Who didn’t get their burger?”
All of a sudden, it hit her. She was the one who hadn’t picked up her burger. She had concentrated so much with the condiments that she forgot to put the patty on her sandwich. Every time she would serve hamburgers, someone would say, “Who forgot their hamburger?”