|How do you spell 'delicious'?|
There was a bright spot to every school day.
And no, it wasn’t that magical moment each morning when we first stepped into the hallowed halls of learning and knowledge.
It was that moment, when the whole thing was safely in the past.
The long bus ride to school.
The sweat and toil.
The long bus ride home.
When Mom would usher us into the house and the smell of warm deliciousness would sweep over us like a welcome blanket.
The wonderful reward for having made it through yet another school day.
And mom made it special.
Homemade snacks like pudding, cake or pie.
Sometimes the extra-special spudnuts.
Fresh, warm bread with melty butter.
It made all of the pain and drudgery worth every drop of effort.
Then, as we grew older, Mom stepped back a bit and let us create our own snacks.
In the process, something was lost. But something else was definitely gained.
Our snacking of preference grew and changed as our skills did.
At first, my brother, George, would simply spread cheese on crackers and create a giant stack.
Which was then happily consumed, layer by layer.
I would toast bread – just barely – and spread it with peanut butter.
Peanut butter is better all soft and melted.
Then Mom got a new invention, a Teflon frying pan.
And I discovered the magical world of omelets.
With lots of melty cheese.
Hmm . . . I’m beginning to see a pattern there.
Moving on . . .
Then George was introduced to tapioca pudding.
Made from scratch and eaten while still warm.
And sometimes shared with his sister.
Until she was shown the amazing chocolate wonderfulness of puffed-wheat squares.
I should explain here that the puffed-wheat is simply a medium to get the chocolate syrup to your mouth.
And it does it well.
Did you know that a hungry teenager can eat an entire pan of puffed wheat squares and still have room for supper?
It’s true. And I proved it on many an occasion.
Moving forward many, many years.
Yesterday, I dug out my tattered old recipe for puffed-wheat squares.
It was stained.
But still readable.
I mixed and cooked.
Added, pressed down and cooled.
Then, with my daughter and granddaughter, sliced and consumed.
And, just for an instant, relived the best part of growing up.