Writing 101, Day Ten: Happy (Insert Special Occasion Here)!

Any meal at my Grandmothers’ house was special. Every time, I knew she was going to fix my favorite dishes – mashed potatoes and creamed corn.  I’m sure she got tired of mashed potatoes and creamed corn, but every holiday, every visit, every day of the week that we stayed there during the summer, there were the mashed potatoes and creamed corn for dinner. She also made my sister’s favorite dishes though I can no longer remember what those were.  They were my sister’s favorites, not mine, and I can’t recall ever eating them to be honest.  Besides, those bowls were at her end of the table, not mine.

We sat around the dining room table with barely enough room between table and wall for chairs, more dishes laid out than anybody could ever manage to eat.  At least two meats, 4 – 5 vegetables, several starches and breads.  This skill amazes and awes me even now. I struggle to get more than two dishes hot and on the table at the same time.  How was it humanly possible to serve 10 – 12 hot dishes and then desserts?  This, I long ago realized, is a skill that I will never master.

So much has changed in the dynamic of family meals over my lifetime.  My Grandmother had one huge dinner in the middle of the day and then a much lighter supper at night.  Her daughter, my mother, had one slightly larger dinner in the evening consisting of a meat, a starch, a vegetable or two with a light lunch at mid-day. During the years my boys were little, I tried to have a dinner meal at the table, very much based on my mother’s example.  Now, however, at 21 and 18, the rule in my house is when I work, I don’t cook.  When I’m off….. honestly pizza has become the national food of my household.

My grandmother would turn over in her grave……


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