Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Twenty-Seven Twenty-Sevens

1. Mom started me out over 64 years ago with a mixture of evaporated milk, Caro syrup and water. In a bottle. It’s starting to sound good again....

2. From when I was little, Mom always said I was a good eater. Mind you she was a good cook. Maybe it was just a good combination.

3. In a large family, at mealtimes, one learns to gather food on the first round. You never know if there is going to be a second chance…

4. The first thing I remember eating is (are?) potatoes. Mashed. Baked. Fried. Hash-browned. 
Drowned in butter or gravy. My little baby spoon happily scooped up every drop.

5. Mom could save nearly everything by adding cheese sauce. Even formerly-frozen/rather soggy cauliflower took on new life under a generous coating of its golden cheddar deliciousness.

6. Pancakes and eggs and sausages and hot chocolate for breakfast were wonderful. Pancakes and eggs and sausages and hot chocolate for supper were a bona fide treat.

7. Mom always baked fresh bread. Served with fresh butter. Everyone liked—and ate—the crust. I ate the center. Why d’you suppose she was mad at me?

8. I even loved liver and onions. I don’t know what Mom did to them, but I slurped everything down like it was my last meal on earth.

9. If I rose late, I made my own breakfast. Sugary cereal. And chocolate milk with so much powder mixed in you could eat it with the spoon.

10. After school, my treat of choice was puffed wheat squares. Which I made for myself. Brother George often chose to eat a tin of sardines. I won.

11. During volleyball practice after school, I always dreamed of saltine crackers deep-fried in butter. I don’t know why. I never tried them. Now I wish I had.

12. Catsup on a hot dog or French fries or even a bowl of chili? Acceptable. Catsup on Mom’s delicious pot roast. Less so. Meat connoisseur, Dad, disapproved.

13. What’s the record for most number of cobs of corn consumed? I think I beat it. Of course it meant for interesting washroom visits for a while.

14. When Mom made tuna sandwiches, I was first in line. When she tried to sneak in some tinned salmon, I was outta there. Fish bones are gag-worthy.

15. Smooth Kraft peanut butter was the only truly acceptable brand. When Mom tried to foist something ‘cheaper’ on us, it remained uneaten. Till the end of time.

16. Mom would finally break down and buy Kraft again. Which disappeared immediately. Mom would say, “I’m going to stop buying that Kraft. You kids just eat it!”

17. I loved raisin cookies. Till my brother, George, told me that Mom got the raisins off the fly-paper at the back door. After that? Not so much.

18. Our sick milk cow gave really ‘icky’ milk. Even equal amounts of chocolate to milk didn’t help. And our beloved chocolate pudding couldn’t mask the taste! Blaaaaah!

19. When us kids went sledding, Mom welcomed us home with hot chocolate and fresh, homemade donuts. I don’t know which was better. Going out. Or coming in!

20. I loved school lunches. Mom’s were amazing. Except when she put 7-Up in my thermos and I shook it like hot chocolate. That stopper hit the ceiling!

21. Mom put hot dogs in our thermoses. And buns with catsup and mustard in a sandwich bag. Hot hot dogs for lunch! I thought Mom was genius!

22. My favourite dessert was Mom’s Angel Food Cake. Topped with her patented orange deliciousness. She took the recipe with her when she went home. Dessert hasn’t recovered.

23. Although her recipes for butterhorns, chocolate, spice or carrot cakes, pies, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, chippy squares, date squares, and dozens more could almost make you forget.

24. I loved it when Daddy did the grocery shopping. He brought home such store-bought necessities as: Pirate cookies. Jujubes. Cheezies. Ice Cream. Chocolate bars. Soda Pop. Perfect!

25. Daddy believed in stocking up at service stations while on a family road trip. A pop and chocolate bar for every member of the family. I approved.

26. Demon baker, Mom, forgot to make Christmas Eve dinner and when we foraged for ourselves from the fresh deliciousness, she said, “Don’t eat that! It’s for Christmas!”

27. Mom was a fantastic cook. I blame her for the fact that I like everything. Except tinned salmon or sardines. Even Magician Mom couldn’t make those palatable.

Today’s post was a word challenge. 
Each of us in Karen’s fan club submits a number.
Which Karen then issues to another in the group.
Totally fun!
My number this month was 27.
And came to me from the maestro, herself, Karen of Baking in a tornado!
Thank you so much, my friend!


Want to continue the fun?
Visit our other participants.
You’ll be glad you did!

7 comments:

  1. My husband comes from a large family and it was shocking to see the way they ate, everyone grab what you want, forget everyone else, the opposite of how I grew up. First Thanksgiving with them, they made sure to pass the stuffing in the opposite direction from my husband (he got it last) otherwise, they explained, there wouldn't be any for anyone else.

    ReplyDelete
  2. 17 and 20 made me laugh out loud. Thank you for sharing, such fun memories and made me think back to my own childhood.
    Dawn aka Spatulas On Parade

    ReplyDelete
  3. You liked liver? My mother was a much, much better cook than mine.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Caro syrup in your baby bottle?? Saltine crackers deep fried in butter sounds like a nightmare to me. Ugh. I'm glad you never tried it. I like most of the things your mum baked and have done my fair share of baking too, but never in such abundance. We weren't ranchers with the appetites that go with daylong outdoor work.

    ReplyDelete
  5. 7-Up in a thermos, shaken?! I can just see the result!!!

    Your mom sounds like an amazing cook. And I suspect you take after her.

    ReplyDelete
  6. No one can make sardines or tinned salmon taste good, it simply cannot be done. By the way, you need to go ahead and try saltines fried in butter at least once. Just to see.

    ReplyDelete

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