Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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Monday, January 6, 2014

Thanks, Mom

Today, January 6, would be my Mom’s 90th birthday.
Wow. 90.
Missing her today . . .
Mom

It’s odd, but when I think of my mom, what comes to mind the most are stories of her and food.
Mom was a terrific cook.
Maybe not so odd after all . . .
Anecdote One:
We were eating pot roast, one of Mom’s specialties.
I should probably point out, here, that when roast beef was served on the beef-raising Stringam ranch, the only condiments permitted were the drippings it was cooked with, gravy made from said drippings, or the Lea and Perrins or Worchestershire Sauces.
Ketchup was . . . frowned upon.
Thus, on the table flanking the platter of sliced meat always sat a gravy boat and two bottles.
If one wanted anything else, one had to get it oneself.
And then endure Dad’s disgusted stare while one used it.
Ahem.
Moving on . . .
Mom had filled her plate and was preparing to dig in.
She looked up. “Would someone please pass me the Pea and Larens?”
Okay, I’m sure you’ve mixed up letters before.
I know I have.
But to six small-minded little kids, asking for something that began with ‘Pee’ was beyond funny.
We laughed about it for the rest of the meal.
And still refer to Lea and Perrins as Pea and Larens. Yes. We’re just disgusting that way.
Anecdote Two:
Mom loved to cook with onions.
Dad hated onions.
He was tactful about it though. He simply said they ‘didn’t agree with him’.
His attitude wafted through the family.
My younger brother, in particular developed an aversion to them.
But Mom insisted that they were needed for flavour.
She chopped them as small as she could, trying to get them under the radar.
With mixed results.
We were eating bowls of Mom’s rich stew.
Chunks of tender meat.
Potatoes, carrots, peas and other vegetables in a tasty gravy.
Mmmm.
My brother lifted a spoonful. “Hey!” he said. “There’s an onion here!”
Mom, without batting an eye said, “That’s not an onion! That’s a celery!”
“Oh,” my brother said. He frowned suspiciously for a moment.
Then ate it.
Score one for my Mom.
Now, years after she’s gone, whenever I ask for something disgusting to put on my roast beef, or when I chop 'celery' to add to something simmering on the stove, I think of her.
Thanks, Mom.


14 comments:

  1. The girl my parents adopted would only eat cod. Once Mom found out every plate of fish served was 'cod' and she ate it with gusto.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. Give it a label they can handle and they'll eat anything! :)

      Delete
  2. What a beautiful mom you had.

    And what great stories!

    "A celery" hee hee

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought she was beautiful! Funny that I think of her every time I chop an onion . . .

      Delete
  3. Memory posts like this are my favorite. Hugs to you on this day. I hope you find peace in the memories! <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, J.J.! They are my favourites, too!

      Delete
  4. Funny that I think of Mom every time I have to do dishes. 'George, your turn to do the dishes!' Of course my response was less than enthusiastic, even after I was on my own. However, today is Mom's 90th and all I can think about is wishing she was still around to celebrate this day.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh gosh, that photo is beautiful! And, I'm with your family. Ketchup on meat???? Maybe hamburgers... but that's it.

    Italian-American family anecdote for you: My grandparents owned a motel in upstate New York (like, way upstate) and they had friends there who invited them over for dinner. They served my SICILIAN grandfather overcooked spaghetti with KETCHUP as the "tomato sauce." I've heard that story at least a million and one times. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh. My. Word. It makes me shudder just to think of it!

      Delete
  6. Loved your story about your mum. I had the same problem when my children were little over goat's milk. I kept goats, grew vegies and made a much from our tiny farm as I could. The monsters refused to drink goat's milk, so I said that I would buy cow's milk just for them. In those days - back in the early 1970s, we still had glass bottled milk, so I save up the silver caps and put the goats milk into the glass bottles...no further whinging and snivelling, they drank every drop!

    ReplyDelete
  7. My pot roast usually has tomato sauce and worcestershire sauce cooked into the gravy. We like it that way.
    I've done the celery/onion speech too and specks of grated zucchini were parsley when the kids asked what they were.
    My mum would be 87 now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heehee! Onion masquerading as celery. It's universal! Hmm . . . never tried the zucchini as parsley speech. Must try that one!

      Delete

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