Monday, November 12, 2012


These veggies are about to become part of a pork pie. 
When I was a child, we always called the evening meal "supper". As I recall, and I may not recall correctly, on weekdays, suppertime was always at 5:30 on the dot - that is, it was on the table and waiting at 5:30, and we sat down and ate as soon as my dad got home from work. He was always very punctual, in fact. There were a couple of constants (not counting the punctuality of my father and the reliability of my mother, which were also constants):

There Would Be Iced Tea! My father drank his, as mentioned previously, from a quart-sized Duke's mayonnaise jar. Mama usually drank water, but the rest of us drank iced tea. We used Lipton's Family Size teabags, and boiled water to pour from the kettle to the teapot. One cup of Dixie Crystals sugar to one gallon of tea, which was made in and poured from a plastic, one-gallon milk jug.

And unless we were having something like hot dogs or fish, There Would Be Cornbread! Mama made cornbread from finely ground (commercial -Autry, then later Autry-House brand) cornmeal, Coble buttermilk, water, Morton's salt, and Arm & Hammer baking soda. Then she fried it on a griddle like pancakes. It was delicious! If any of us had friends around when she started cooking it, she often had to make an extra batch, because it was renowned in the neighborhood. And if we had fish, the cornbread was cooked in the form of hush puppies, also delicious, especially with onions added! Of course, from the time I was very young, I stopped eating fish, so I'd have mixed rice and coleslaw with hush puppies, and I'd be just fine.

Around our little table, which was covered with a red-checkered tablecloth, were two chairs for my mom and dad and 5 fruit crates which were the seats for us kids. Our boxes, as we called them, each had identifying marks, and we all knew exactly whose was whose. There was no question that if the wrong box was at someone's place, there would be no peace until each box was matched with its rightful owner. My mom sat with her back to the table where we did dishes, and I was to her left, on the corner. My dad sat across from my mother, and now I can't really remember where the others sat, though I think my brother Jack sat on the opposite side of the table from me, in the middle.

These days, I don't call it supper anymore. It's "dinner"... because otherwise, a lot of people wouldn't know (or would pretend not to know) what I was talking about. And it definitely isn't on the table and ready to eat at 5:30. Digi and I are much more likely to eat at 8:30 or even 9:00. On days when I have to work until 8, it may be even later. I'm very lucky, because Digi is so cooperative and understanding when I don't feel much like cooking. He never pressures me or yells at me, and he never, ever sulks because his meal isn't on-the-minute. I am thankful every day to have not only a husband and friend, but a soulmate who makes life and all its duties a pleasure for me. (And it *is* a pleasure to prepare meals for him. Because he's so patient and always, always compliments me on *whatever* I prepare.)

The photo above represents the veggies used in pork pie, which I sometimes make with the leftover pork from a pork roast (plus pre-made store-bought pie crusts for the bottom and covering, and the herbs and spices, with any liquids added). Here in France, pork is cheaper than beef, and so we eat it fairly often. Plus, it's harder to prepare beef to both Digi's specs and mine... he likes it rare, and I like it well-done. But it's been a while since I've made a pork pie. I'm thinking that with the cooler weather, the day is coming!

Anyway, bon appétit to one and all!

[Originally posted to Yahoo360! 10 years or more ago.  msw 28 April, 2017]

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