Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

Daughter of Ishmael

by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Monday, March 21, 2016

Eating Snake

It'll get you!
I like snakes.
And it's because of my Mom's cooking.
Hmmm. Maybe I'd better explain . . .
I loved to watch my Mom when she was in the kitchen.
I would sit on the cupboard, more or less out of the way.
And follow her movements closely.
She peeled potatoes so fast that I thought every potato had two skins.
I had watched.
Two skins.
Because there was always a skin where she had just peeled.
At other times, she could take her large ceramic bowl and dump in this and that and come out with something delicious.
Every time.
I once told her she was a 'dump cook'.
"I'm a good cook!" she protested.
I tried to explain that that was what I meant, but I don't know if I got through.
But I digress . . .
Sometimes, she would start her trusty Sunbeam mixer.
A sure Diane magnet.
Within seconds, I was standing beside her.
"Mom! Can I have a taste?"
"Honey, it's just butter and sugar."
"But it looks so good!"
"Well, if you want . . ."
Did you know that butter and sugar can actually taste really good?
Well, if dispensed by Mom on a large cake spoon.
But the best of all was when Mom would bake buns.
Or rolls, for anyone who doesn't feel comfortable calling them 'buns'.
She would dump in (see above) bits of this and that and make a large, sticky mass.
Then she would start punching with her hands, adding little bits of flour.
I should point out, here, that if you see a great tub of something powdery and white in Mom's kitchen, icing sugar tastes infinitely better on the end of a wet finger than flour.
Just saying . . .
She would punch and punch until she had her dough to just the right consistency.
And yes, I did know what consistency meant.
For a four-year-old, I was a brainiac.
Mom would pinch off a portion of the larger mass and work it into a long roll, ready to cut into smaller pieces.
Then would come the exciting part.
She would chase me around the kitchen, wiggling this long roll of dough, and saying, "Sssssss!"
That was my cue to run around and shriek loudly.
I was good at it.
The dough snake was going to get me!
The dough snake was going to get me!
Finally, when Mom had had enough, she would set the 'snake' back on the counter and proceed to chop it into bits.
One of which she gave to me.
Snake really tastes delicious.
Remember the part when I said 'brainiac'?
I lied.

5 comments:

  1. I suspect that flour on the end of a dampened finger tastes much better than detergent granules. That came as a very nasty surprise to me.
    That kitchen sounds like a warm and wonderful place. Which is still producing goodness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no! That would be horrible, EC. A nasty surprise, indeed.

      Delete
  2. Kitchen memories are the best! I've tried snake. Didn't like it. But slithering slices of dough are most likely wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love "snake" and any other raw dough going, almost as much as I like the baked product. Except for things with eggs in them. I've even been known to change the order of ingredients so I can have a taste without the egg before adding it. It's worth it, I say! You had a lovely mom. I bet you do this same thing with your grandkids.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am ashamed to say this but I have no idea how to bake anything but box cake and brownies. I've never tried anything else. My oven and I have a love/hate relationship. It loves to burn me and I hate it. I'm working on it.

    ReplyDelete

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Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

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