Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I don't intend to talk only about food

We've had dinner with my mama the past two nights. My daddy has been working late all week, so he's been scarce until bedtime, and my sister works until 8 most nights, so my husband and I feel obligated to go and keep Mama and Granny (daddy's mama, who lives there too) company until daddy and my sister get home. It's only right. And delicious. Monday she and I cooked up some winning jambalaya, and last night she offered us spaghetti when we called from the grocery section of wal-mart to ask for the number to a pizza place so we could call in our order and pick up dinner on the way home. And it has been supremely nice not to have a sink full of dirty pots and pans to scrub or ignore at the end of the night. Whenever we go to Mama's for a meal, Granny always does the dishes. This summer she fell and broke her elbow, and for weeks all she would say is "I can't wait to get better so I can wash dishes again." She stores canned goods in her dishwasher, so great is her love of handwashing the dishes. Or perhaps her love of green beans, very young early peas, and canned pink salmon. Anyway, for dessert both times we've had some really great/guilt-inducing cheesecake. Originally, we prepared the cheesecake for some relatives, but then Mama got busy scraping popcorn ceilings and priming walls all weekend, and I got busy forgetting all about our ailing family members. So instead we ate it in their honor and vowed to make them another. And to actually take it to them. But for what it's worth, that cheesecake is the tastiest memorial I've ever eaten. I believe my sister put it best when she said, "the miles between us (the relatives and us) taste so good with cherries on top."

The weather has been pretty ridiculous this week, going from 40 in the mornings to upwards of 70 in the afternoons. Apart from being fairly lovely and typical fall weather, it really confounds mealtimes. In the morning all you can think about is hot, heavy, wintery foods, and by the time evening rolls around you're so clammy from the warmth that you just want to stand in front of the fridge with the door wide open and eat grapes. Where's the happy medium? Sandwiches? Burgers? Every night is like Sophie's Choice. Except the foregone meal doesn't have to die at the hands of Nazis, and instead of poisoning ourselves at the end, we eat dinner. And sometimes we let Bojangles' or the Target Cafe make the decision for us. You can see the haunting similarities.

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