Saturday, October 18, 2014

Food Box

After visiting seniors for many 'a year and in many 'a place, I’m confident in saying if something smells delicious, you have stepped into a home of an older lady who was raised with very limited grocery money. 

These ladies can take a food box of lentils, dented cans of creamed corn, three yams and a jar of crystalized honey and make some culinary magic.

They make biscuits without use of a refrigerated Pillsbury tube. Astounding!

The nearest I’ve ever come to such ingredients was purchasing a bag of pinto beans for a kitchen d├ęcor project.

On visits, I’m typically offered a drink of water, ice tea or occasionally a “soda pop.” I always decline because I grew up in the era and the area when you visited you got down to business and then you left. None of this sipping something while mulling things over.

In addition, these are poor homes. Our government decided long ago that seniors are worth only what could be stolen from their retirement and feeding them isn’t a useful investment. So taking a bottle of water or a can of pop is a big deal.

However, these women are not from my era or area and it is borderline offensive to refuse a little hospitality. Ham hocks, cornpone and onions and oxtail stew are all culinary options I did not grow up with and believe it or not they kick butt over by culinary specialities which involve a drive-thru.

A few weeks ago, one of my new ladies asked if we could sit in her kitchen so she could tend to her pie. She had made an enormous apple pie and a few stray apple peels and sprinkles of brown sugar were still on the counter. 

If I even contemplated making a pie, my kitchen would light itself on fire. 

She fretted the entire visit that it wouldn’t be cool enough to offer me a slice. Finally, after rebuffing my attempts to exit pie-free, she carefully cut a piece, apologizing when the crust collapsed because it hadn’t cooled, and packaged it on a paper plate with a dome of tinfoil.

I thought it would be a treat to share with my kid after volley ball practice and I set it in the middle of my kitchen island while I went to get her. For about 10 minutes, my kitchen actually smelled like a mom was in residence.

When we returned, tinfoil dome was askew and pie was gone. Evidently Oscar can not only access the middle of the kitchen island, he has enough dexterity that he can extract pie from a fairly complicated containing system. I have underestimated my dog who is really heavy, short, not very bright and completely uncoordinated.

Either that or I’ve underestimated the power of pie.

When the American food supply completely implodes, I hope some of these food box magicians will still around. Then we will see who the government caters to.  

#Thanksgiving #Cook #Senior #Gratitude

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