Yesterday, Father’s Day, we had the gang over to our place. I made a dish I haven’t whipped up in a while and one of the women asked for the recipe. I handed over the original that I’d received from a friend many years ago – back in the 70s – I think. She’d done it up in red ink no doubt having grabbed whatever pen was at hand at the time. As Mimi and I read over the words penned in a very neat hand, we noted a few of the old fashioned terms Carol used to instruct the cook.
Break and beat two eggs. Today we know you can’t beat two eggs unless you break them cuz if you did the recipe would suffer. When they say on the Food Network – add a little something for crunch – they do not mean eggshells. Just sayin’.
Remove from fire. Okay, this recipe’s title is Mom Wickline’s Banana Salad and because of the quaint term, remove from fire, I’m assuming Mom W. was pretty old. Like from the cast iron stove days when beneath the burner plate there really Was a fire. My stove is electric and I’m pretty old, but I knew what she meant so the first ingredieants, eggs, lemon juice and sugar, were safe in my hands.
Thinking about terms we rarely hear anymore puts me in mind of baseball. My husband is an unofficial scorekeeper at our grandson’s baseball games. Time stops for him and baseball is the world for a couple of hours. When things are heating up and the game is close, he’s been known to fire off this salvo to the pitcher, Rock and Fire, Babe, Rock and Fire!! You can hear him yell it two counties over and for a while it embarrassed me. But once, when he’d been unable to attend a game, a team member’s mom said she’d missed hearing his call to the pitcher. It’s a term he learned in the Navy and it lives on in him. I’m okay with it now.
When I was newly married and visiting my in-laws while John did his tour in Vietnam, my mother-in-law and I used to play cards in the afternoon. Sometimes Scrabble. On occasion we’d play gin rummy and invite Pop – hubby’s dad – to play with us. He was pretty good at it, but his wife could just barely stand it when he won. She’d throw up her hands and say, “Well, the dumbest farmer gets the biggest potatoes!” Always made me chuckle. But I understood why we didn’t play cards too often with Pop.
I’ll bet your family has some old fashioned sayings being kept alive by constant use. Good. It helps us have a sense of family identity and gives us something to share with others. It enriches all our lives and sometimes our waistlines – like hot off the fire banana salad. Oh, yeah.
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