Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Served With Love

Mmmm . . . love.
We were invited out to dinner last night.
Our hostess served us Turkey a la King.
And fresh, warm muffins.
With a crisp spinach salad.
Everything was absolutely delicious.
Which is usually the case when someone else cooks.
But as I was eating my salad, I suddenly remembered the spinach of my youth . . .
My Mom was a terrific cook.
Really terrific.
I can't remember anything that she made that I didn't like.
From her breakfasts of pancakes or waffles or bacon and eggs, through to her suppers of roast beef or shepherd's pie or veggies with cheese sauce, and everything in between.
Terrific.
But Mom had been raised by her Mom to believe that everything . . . everything . . . needed to be well done.
Meats.
Carbs.
Even veggies.
All had to be baked or fried or boiled to 'within and inch of their lives'.
Or at least until they had lost whatever colour they originally had.
It wasn't until I was married that I discovered the joy of 'medium rare' and 'tender crisp'.
And sometimes . . . raw.
I remember the first time someone served a mound of fresh, crisp cauliflower.
Uncooked.
With dipping sauce.
I stared at it.
Weird.
Cauliflower was suppose to be served steaming hot.
With cheese sauce.
I didn't even try it that time. Merely having seen it was sufficient for me.
Shortly afterwards, I did.
Try it, I mean.
I found it delicious.
And it opened a whole new world for me.
A world of colour and taste and texture that I never knew existed.
Back to the spinach.
Do you know how my Mom always served it?
Boiled.
Not steamed. Boiled.
I kid you not.
Then serve it as a glop on our plates.
With vinegar.
And you know something else?
We loved it.
Slurped it down like it was our last food on earth.
My point here is that I love food the way I prepare it now.
But I loved it equally as well when Mom fixed it.
I guess it all just comes down to how much love is served with it.

18 comments:

  1. We only had boiled greens as well (no spinach, but Swiss chard and beet greens) - and loaded on the vinegar and slurped it down as well!

    Actually I think the vinegar was key, in the case of boiled greens :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A little vinegar makes anything edible!

      Delete
  2. Is spinach ever crisp? I have had bad experiences with it. Even when dosed with love.

    ReplyDelete
  3. That generation was cooking out what ever by boiling the crap out of it! My Mother only liked iceberg lettuce and would dismiss a lovely mixed green salad as grass clippings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We called my mother's salad 'honeymoon salad'. Lettuce alone.

      Delete
    2. Hee hee! I can't wait to use that line! Except ... I will probably forget it by that time (per my comment on your next post ...)

      Delete
    3. Bwahahaha! We must be sisters . . .

      Delete
  4. It's whatever you get used to. My mom used to over cook meat to the consistency of shoe leather.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Think of the strong teeth she was building. And jaws.

      Delete
  5. We weren't served spinach at all when we were kids, not that I remember anyway. We ate a lot of cabbage and brussels sprouts though, boiled of course until they were well done. Our cauliflower came with white sauce as we had never heard of cheese sauce. I try to eat spinach now, putting baby leaves in green salads and finely chopped bigger leaves in quiche or spaghetti sauce. Mum also cooked meat to the well done stage and all my life I couldn't eat meat until I learned to cook a medium rare steak myself. Pinky red and juicy in the middle, I can eat meat now with no trouble at all. Well done? Forget it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I SO agree. Well-done meat just sticks on its way down.

      Delete
  6. What a beautiful post. Love the memories and love the moments you've shared. Love is critical to a meal. It's felt in the food, for sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Andrea! The love does come through, doesn't it?!

      Delete
  7. Mom used to cook spinach the same way! I still don't like it but my kids don't realize how lucky they are that I never made them eat it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, the blessings our kids never realize they've got! :)

      Delete
  8. I will eat spinach any way - as long as it is not out of a can!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a nephew who won't eat anything. ANYTHING. Except spinach from a can. He was a Popeye fan . . .

      Delete

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