Palmetto Parent July 2012 : Page 18

Me: “No.” Mom: “Yes you do. You’ve seen me make it before.” Me: “Sure, but I wasn’t taking notes.” Mom: “Well, it’s real easy. Just follow the recipe on the box.” Me: “Is there a particular kind I should use?” Mom: “What kind do you like? You can use either Aunt Jemima or the Jiffy.” Me: “Which is better?” Mom: “Do you like it sweet or not?” Me: “What do you use?” Mom: “Aunt Jemima. But if you want it sweet, use the Jiffy.” Me: “Aunt Jemima will be fine. How much bread?” Mom: “I don’t know, it depends on how much dressing you want. About a loaf, I guess. Are you going to be feeding a lot of people or it is just going to be you and Lori?” Me: “It’s just us, but we’d like some leftovers.” Mom: Well it depends on how much leftovers you want as to how much bread you use. I usually make enough to fill a bowl. Me: “What size bowl? One like you’d mix a cake in or one that you’d put punch in.” Mom: “I don’t know. A big bowl. It de-pends on much dressing you want.” Me: “I’ll find something.” Mom: “After you get that done, set it aside. In a saucepan on the stove, put 1½ cups of chopped onions. Get the spring onions — the ones with the green tops.” Me: “Yeah, those you serve with pinto beans.” Mom: “That’s the ones, but you don’t want to use the bottoms of them. Just the tops. But be sure you cut off the ends to get rid of the bad part.” To me, all of the onion is bad. I cut back on the amount called for to about a quarter of a cup. Mom then went on to tell me the other ingredients — celery, celery tops, sage, poultry seasoning, water, drippings, salt and pepper. The salt and pepper was “to taste” of course. “How much is to taste?” I asked. “I have no how much you use. Is this like a pinch or several hard shakes?” Mom: “Just put what you want to season it. Do you want me to write all of this down for you and send it to you?” Me: “That would be OK, but can you explain it a little better in writing?” Mom: “I don’t think so, but I’ll do it anyway.” Me: “OK, what do I do next?” Mom: “I thought you wanted me to write it all down and send it to you.” Me: “I do, but go ahead and give me the rest of this one.” Mom: There’s really nothing else to do. You just boil the mixture for about 10 minutes and pour it over the bread. If it’s not moist enough, add some more water or drippings. Me: “What’s moist enough?” Mom: “Until it looks right.” Me: “I’ve never seen this before it went into the oven. How’s it supposed to look?” Mom: “Well, you don’t want it to be dry and you don’t want it to be like soup. Use your own judgment.” Me: “OK, sounds fine to me. I’ll figure it out. Thanks Mom, I’ll talk to you again soon.” I gave up on getting the other two recipes and just asked her to send them to me, I hoped she would avoid terms like “pinch,” “glob,” “what you like” and “’till it looks right.” But she didn’t. I was able to decipher her terms well enough to fix a meal that has now become my specialty. And 25 years later, I’m still us-ing those recipes she hand wrote. But did I learn my lesson from any of this? No. Just the other night I called to ask about making chicken pot pie. Both of us started laughing at this request. I knew there were just a few ingredients, but it turned into another comical scenario. Once again, she hit me with “glob” and ”’till it looks right.” When we got through, I thanked her. She told me she was glad to help and to call anytime. She knows I can’t stay away from her torture for any length of time. But why must getting recipes be so darn inhumane? ] Robert L. Bradley is the page designer for this magazine. Address comments or questions to 18 Palmetto Parent 5734 July 2012

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