All My Old Stuff…

20130303-185140.jpgA few weeks ago I baked a cake. I looked at these pans and I thought, “how did I get old enough to have pans older than my mothers?” Then I really started to think, when I started baking I was about 12 years old. By then my mother had been married for 21 years and, of course, 21 year old anything to a 12 year old is really old.

YIKES! My pans are 32 years old. How did this happen?

Remember juice glasses?

20130303-184420.jpgThey were proper serving size glasses for a 6-8 ounce serving of orange juice. We used them every morning for our perfectly measured portion of juice. Everything is ginormous now, isn’t it?

What we used to use as dinner plates when we were kids are now called lunch plates. Cereal bowls when we were kids are now called snack size. But I have news for you, friends. The proper serving size has not changed. We just eat 3-4 servings at a time now because, hey, they call them cereal bowls.

I was at my mom’s recently when she was mixing waffles for the kids and had these bowls out on the cupboard.

20130303-184152.jpgI even recognized the sound they made when she was stacking them. Just the sound of the bowls brought me back. They were old when I was a kid but they are actually still beautiful today.

Here are my bowls. They were so modern, with their handle and pour rims when I got married back in the day. But looking at them now, heck, they are just old, like I thought my mom’s stuff was years ago.

20130303-185254.jpgPerspective is an amazing thing.

Wedding season is upon us and bridal showers are frequent. I love to sit up front and watch the bride open all her new things. I really laughed a few weeks when one of my mature woman friends did her own brand of bridal shower stand-up.

“Oh look, matching dish towels. I still have matching dish towels…yeah, they all have faded grey stains on them!”

“Isn’t that great? She is starting with a full set of flatware. She should put GPS on her teaspoons. What happens to all of my teaspoons?”

“Oh my God! Someone gave her red towels. I just cannot think about that one.”

If youth is wasted on the young, I say bridal showers are wasted on the engaged. It’s too bad that by the time all of our teaspoons disappear we cannot grab one of those scanning guns at Bed Bath and Beyond, invite everyone’s mothers and throw ourselves a shower.

Have a yummy day!

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It’s Been 20 Fast Years, Dad…

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He wore leisure suits.

He played golf very well. And he played so fast we used to say he played polo with a golf cart.

He would clear his throat at a chorus concert so I would know where he and my mom were sitting.

He could dance like Fred Astaire to my mother’s Ginger Rogers. I never learned to dance but when I danced with my father he guided me with his hand on my back. Oh how I loved that.

He could tell a story better than anyone I knew. I could listen to him talk about his customers and staff forever.

He and my mom traveled around the world. My favorite story happened in Paris. They stayed in first class hotels. They came back to the hotel a bit tipsy and switched all of the shoes for shining outside the doors. They said it sounded like the UN the next morning as all of the gentlemen, wrapped in robes went searching for their shoes.

He couldn’t cook anything but scrambled eggs but could grill a steak better than any chop house.

He loved football. He worked tons of hours and when he was home on Sunday he was obsessed with the game. So, in order to speak his language, I learned football by the time I was six or seven. Twenty years ago when the Bills staged the greatest comeback he was in the hospital. I remember going straight there after the game, telling him every detail I could remember. It barely registered. I guess I should have known then.

Whenever I smell a cigar I think of my dad.

He could play billiards with the eye of a shark. When he was a boy he used to hustle at a pool hall on Pine Avenue. He used to store his winnings in the encyclopedia volume including the word Money.  Apparently he must have gotten his clever streak from his mother.

She found it. And, she kept it. Never a word was spoken.

dance at wedding

The only time I cried at my wedding was when I danced with my father.

He never met a stranger. When you met him he would make you feel as though you were friends forever. Then you would never forget him. He cut a very wide path.

20 years has passed but you are every bit as real to me today as ever. I see you in my son’s face. How lucky is he? How lucky am I?

August 1, 1927 – January 15, 1993

Love you Dad

Birthday Treats and Always Being A Mom

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This guy is 22 today. The beanie hat has been replaced by a briefcase but he did have a ride in the subway today…to work.

Even 10 years ago I would have baked a treat and gone to school with fresh pressed cider from a local farm and shared with his class. One year, when my grandmother passed away my husband did treat duty. Otherwise it was a tradition I enjoyed without reserve.

Birthday cakes were homemade in our house growing up and we did the same for our kids. Every year we would get their feedback and create the treat of choice. We made a big deal of preparing and packaging the confections and it made their birthday even more special.

Perhaps the best compliment my sister ever received from my foodie niece came a few years back when one of her classmates celebrated her birthday at school.

My sister asked her what the treats were.

“Oh, they were ok. Cupcakes.”

My sister reminded her she loved cupcakes and she responded:

“But Mommy, they were from the STORE!”

Happy birthday to my 22 year old baby. Oh what I wouldn’t give to be able to visit your client this afternoon with some freshly pressed Niagara County cider and homemade brownies.

Have a yummy (birth)day!

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My Dad: The “I’ll Have an Egg” Generation

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Senior Prom 1976!

Here is how it would go:

Sometime in the 1960′s…

Dad: I think I’ll have an egg.

Mom: Okay, how would you like it?

Dad: Fried, over easy…no, soft boil it with toast. Do we have Italian bread?

Mom: No, only whole wheat and Wonder Bread for the kids sandwiches for lunch.

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Dad: Okay, forget the soft boiled. How about scrambled?

Mom: Sure, do you want some bacon? I could make you bacon.

Dad: No, do you have any Italian sausage?

Mom: I do, in the freezer. I could defrost it.

Dad: That would take forever. Do you have any peppers?

Mom: I do. I could cook them up with some potatoes. I’ll scramble the eggs in that. How does that sound?

Dad: That sounds great.

45 minutes later, frying pans, mixing bowls in the sink and a satiated husband, my mother took care of my father because he wanted an egg.

Out of context, this conversation sounds archaic, with my oppressed mother serving her overbearing husband.

It is anything but that. It is the way they were. The roles were clearly defined. My mother cooked the meals for our family. My father had no clue in the kitchen.

He did, however, know his way around the grill. For all of the years I saw my mother cook and bake I never saw her cooking on the grill. Never.

My dad would cook a steak just like they did at John’s Flaming Hearth. http://www.flickr.com/photos/epinym/113551957/
He actually went into the kitchen and asked. I believe it was Lowrey’s Seasoned Salt and onion powder on one side and garlic powder and pepper on the other.

I used to love to go outside and watch him grill and ask him things. Important things like “why do cars come in fancy named colors when it’s really just blue?” or “how can you tell when a dealer has a good hand in blackjack?”

I was telling my friend Joanne about my blog today and she told me a story that mirrors my own:

She and her mom were in a very serious automobile accident almost 30 years ago. Joanne was released from the hospital before her mother who had many surgeries and other complications. About a week before she was potentially going to be released she was in her bed in a coma-like state.

When her father heard she may be released from the hospital by the weekend he said “when she gets home, do you think she’ll make me a pot of sauce?”

In a miracle like curing of the sick, her mom opened her eyes and said “Go to hell!”

Her father’s reply: okay, I guess I’ll just have to go to the Como!

These guys came from a different time.

My father was my illusive hero. He worked tons of hours and fit way more fun into his schedule than my husband can. In dad’s time fathers were not in the delivery room nor expected to call a babysitter when an evening out as a couple occurred.

Dad has been gone for almost 20 years. I sometimes cannot believe it because I can still hear his voice. He was my cheerleader and chief dreamer of dreams. My dad was HUGE long before that guy on TV. He left an enormous footprint.

Happy Father’s Day to all fathers out there.

Blessings also to my husband who gets to celebrate his birthday and Father’s Day the same day!

Have a yummy day!

Jude
JudeTheFoodie.com
Twitter: @JudeTheFoodie
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