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View Diary: Kitchen Table Kibitzing 2 August 14: Can't Boil Water Without Burnin' It! (160 comments)

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  •  Oh, ™ , chicken fat?!?!?! (5+ / 0-)

    That was unexpected and has me laughing literally out loud. Glad no one is home, that was an outburst for real. Holy shit, you can't make that up.

    No, I get it because I was an early cooker and was industrious and improvisational. I used to get these recipe collector cards in the mail when I was around 8 years old (I know...) and one day I faked being sick so I could stay home from school and try one out. Or maybe I was just playing hooky and decided to do it. That's more likely because I used to fake sick all the time because school was boring. I stopped doing that after my Masters.

    Anyway, I can't remember, I think it was some kind of casserole but it was a complex recipe for like a full meal. I slaved for a morning over that, using up god knows what out of the fridge and pantry. Surely I used every utensil and bowl in the house and I know I created a huge mess because I have a clear visual memory of how the kitchen looked. It looked exactly like it would have looked if you were doing a Little Rascals remake, in my mind anyway.

    But the big problem was I totally fucked it up, it was awful, and when I realized the failure I panicked and went into full blown cover-up mode like only a kid can do. I'm looking at the clock and thinking "I have x number or hours..." Threw it ALL AWAY. Tried to clean up, giving up at some point and burying my head in the sand pretending nothing had happened, back in bed watching Gilligan's Island.

    Now, commonmass and I spent our pre-adolescent childhoods in this 18th century farmhouse in rural Massachusetts with the parents and grandparents and great grandmother all there under one big roof with a chimney prone to chimney fires. The other fire that ran rampant in the house was my grandmother, who was born in 1920. She was a type-A person, the kind of woman who was THE Executive Secretary for some early Defense/Space/Tech/IT CEO's and if she had been a man she would have been one of them. Guys that were pilots and OSS types in WWII. She ran those offices with an iron fist and was HATED by people who worked for her, for the most part. She was extremely demanding and her expectations were often unreasonable to everyone else who couldn't see that "this is simply how things are done.".

    That is not to say she wasn't a good person. She came from pretty tough Eastern European immigrant stock and her father was a brilliant entrepreneur, but also an abuse drunk who lost it all, and we know what that can bring to a family. Needless to say, she was rather unfazed by bullies or challenges only motivated to overcome them. This all led to a person who tended to be hyper-critical, if with one's very best interest at heart. I loved my grandmother but she was a constant presence in my life in ways that I will likely never outlive. Her influence continues to impact, definitely not only in negative ways.

    Of course, she was the first person home.

    She was pissed. I had burned my hand pretty well on the oven rack (something I do to this day. I have no feeling in the tip on one finger from repeated oven burns over the years of cooking.) That softened her. Then, she morphed into a person I came to know much better as I got older, the woman who truly was interested in things turning out right. All of her nitpicking and criticism were actually done out of love, from a deeply caring place.

    As a child, I had no perspective on this so it was shocking to me when she tasted it from the garbage and pronounced it "really good" and saying I should have saved it, we could have had it for supper, that wasting the groceries (she was a product of the Depression for sure) was the real shame. The dishes could be cleaned, my hand would heal, but I shouldn't have thrown it out. Then a big hug and I heard her laughing like hell from the other side of the house. My first cooking failure as success.

    I wish I still had those recipe cards so I could figure out what I was trying to make. I also wish I still had my Grandmother to laugh with. We became very close from my late 20's onward and while she was always a pain in my ass she was the most intelligent, passionate and progressive woman I have ever personally known. An out FRONT, unabashedly liberal Democrat, openly and aggressively pro-gay, knew we needed a woman in the White House. She was something else. If she had been on Daily Kos she would have been a front pager. I learned many things from her, creative thinking being at the top of the list. Actual thinking, free thought. That was her biggest gift to us all.

    So, thanks for the laugh and the for the memories. And thanks for prompting a comment from me that has only a single paragraph that begins with "So". I can proudly say it was not intentional!

    •  Hiya, bassie!! Oh, yes...the chicken fat epic is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bastrop, belinda ridgewood

      a true story.  It took me years to get over dreading the words "chicken fat" in any family conversation!

      And made you laugh out loud, so all this time later, it's the gift that keeps on giving!  heh.

      So....I'm a good influence on ya, am I?  I'll have to watch that.  ;-)

      Your grandmother and my mum would've gotten along famously....strong women, both.  I can often see/feel my mum's influences in me....but as I have been told, I am also "the dreamer" who is too soft for my own good.  

      We're even, had me laughing out loud at the antics of your young self trying to "hide the evidence"...oh, how I can relate!

      Hugs, my friend!

      "Live with no excuses and Love with no regrets."

      by The Marti on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 07:53:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm the dreamer too. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Marti, belinda ridgewood

        It was encouraged, probably to my detriment.

        When my wife and I were first married and living in Ann Arbor while she was in grad school we had this huge house in town that we rented from an amazing couple who took an interest in us. Cheap rent, massive home. We were 24 and I was just beginning to come into my own as a cook.

        I cooked a big chicken dinner sometime in November and put the pan full of fat in an unused cupboard in the hallway leading to the basement because that hallway had a leaky exit door and always stayed cold. I forgot about it.

        Flash forward to a young woman rapidly exiting the front door, visibly gagging and holding in vomit. Yes, she had graduated and we were showing the house to prospective renters. In May.

        •  oh, bassie!! lol lol the things we do when we're (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bastrop, belinda ridgewood

          young and forgetful!!


          Oh....this always gets to me when I'm scolded for being a dreamer......

          We are in very fine company, my friend!


          "Live with no excuses and Love with no regrets."

          by The Marti on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 08:35:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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