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Posts Tagged ‘dishes’

Hope you all had a tremendous food fest, that is called Thanksgiving, here in the U.S. 

TV is on and I just HAVE to say this.  Just how sick is Bridalplasty.  The whole idea makes me sick.  What a sad state this country is getting itself in.  Enough digression.

My fond memories of Thanksgiving are from my childhood, when we traveled to my grandmother/aunt’s house and I spent the day being hugged and kissed by comfy aunts and spent time with my sister (she lived with my grandmother). 

My grandmother was a quiet woman.  I really wish I could remember her voice, but I don’t.  I do remember her whispery reading (something my dad did also) and her piano playing.  I also remember that, if she knew you had a favorite dish that was just a bit different from norm, say the lemon filling in lemon cream pie but without crust (Now who in the world would want to do without homemade pie crust?).  I’m just saying, that if that was what you liked, Grandma had it there waiting for you.

Grandma’s house was full of people and conversation and laughter; especially when the ladies went out to do the dishes while the men slept on the couch.  They were mostly laughing about the men, I think, but they were sure having a good time.

Then, came the time when dinner was at mom’s house and I was one of them helping  with cleanup (when mom would allow anyone to help) and laughing.  It was always extra good when unexpected relatives arrived to crowd the table.

This year, Thanksgiving was particularly quiet.  It was just five of us and we catered it from Cracker Barrel.  After two weeks on my Vegan heart diet, I decided to join in and eat just regular food.  The best was the pizza and chips we had for lunch.  But, they weren’t quite as good as I remembered.  Everyone enjoys Cracker Barrel’s cooking, but I was actually wishing I was still eating Vegan.

Surprised me!  Something about this diet makes me feel lighter inside and like all my insides are working properly.  I know that isn’t a very scientific way to put it, but I’m glad to be back on my diet. 

STATS:  By Wednesday (that’s actually a week and a half) I have now lost five pounds.  Thursday’s meal put it to four.  Since I cannot see inside my arteries, I cannot tell you but I imagine little blocks of them floating downstream.    I made a great three bean soup and adjusted the War Cake recipe (follows).  It is one of the most moist cakes you can make.  It is from World War I and has no eggs, milk, nor butter in it.

This recipe is from a Dear Heloise column, when someone asked for the “eggless, milkless, butterless cake her mother made around 1918.  It is dark and heavy but ohhhh so good.

Mix 2 cups brown sugar
2 cups hot water
 and 2 teaspoons shortening (I used 2 teaspoons of apple sauce) in medium saucepan.

Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup raisins (I used chopped up dates). 

Add 1 teaspoon each of salt, cinnamon and cloves.  I RARELY add salt and did not for this cake.

Boil the above for five minutes after it first bubbles.  Remove from the stove and let it cool.  Let it cool completely.

After it is cool, add 3 cups of flour (I used 1 cup whole wheat but was then out of whole wheat so had to use 2 cups of white.  I would normally at least do 50/50 on that but am now going heavier on the whole wheat.

And, add 1 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in 2 teaspoons of hot water.

Mix well

Pour into greased bundt pan

Bake 1 hour at 350 to 375

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It would always be nice to get the full story before you write a story.  Perhaps I need to start treating this blog as I did my school newspaper days.  The full stories are usually so much more interesting. 

 

This is in answer to XUP on a blog I wrote a couple of days ago  We have an exciting future ahead of us! « Savanvleck’s Weblog about my great grandfather bringing home railroad dishes that were dumped out at the end of the line.  I have now received an answer from mom Padairvanvleck’s Weblog, so here is the full story, or as full as we know.

 

My great grandfather was a nighttime switchman.  He did not enter the dining cars or any train cars.  He stayed outside. 

 

Apparently there was no union for, probably any of them, but the waiters did not get paid overtime.  So, if they stayed to do any dishes, after their run, it was on their own time and we all know how tired you can be after standing and walking and working in a train for “x” number of hours; and they weren’t going to “give” the railroad company their time.  So, they would pick up the table cloths, with dishes in them and dump them, food and all.

 

 Mom also states about the dish pile,  “I suppose rats ate any food,   But Mom did like the heavy dishes, because we didn’t break them so easily, when doing dishes. …goodness, he had a lot of faults, but I doubt stealing was one of them.  I’ve just never considered his story anything but the truth. I think if anything, he would say they gave him the dishes because they didn’t want to wash them before they went home. If the railroad found themselves short of dishes at any point. they could blame it on travelers , as I’m sure some were broken that way…

 

“Since it was the last run of the day,  and at no time did Grandpa claim it was a huge amount on a run, perhaps only one table was still to be emptied. We will never know. I do know that if Grandpa DID steal them, he would think it a great joke after we moved to the hill, because that’s when he retired.”

 

I could tell you a lot of other Great Grandfather stories:

·        He liked to throw roaches on the wood stove because no one else liked the smell.

·        When a window was broken and there was no money for glass, he liked to tack the spare linoleum with the pattern out because it mortified my mother when she got off the school bus.  This lead to a great story of one of her grandmother’s standing staring out the “lineoleum covered dark underside” window one night for some time and then stating,  “It’s the darkest night I’ve ever seen.”

·        He had a naked chicken (no feathers) for a pet

 

The stories go on but I’m waiting for the book to come out.  Mom is writing her life story  and it should be a doozy.

 

P.S.  Mom send me another email this morning.  Here’s the final installment of this story:

 

“Did I tell you that Grandpa wasn’t the only one that brought home those dishes. It was common knowledge, and he didn’t always get first pick. Sometimes he only brought one item home. He had to be on duty, to catch the dishes thrown away , and if he was down the line when the waiters cleared the last tables, the throw-a-ways were picked up by others.  They may even have eaten left over sandwiches. or doughnuts.  With food being so scarce,  I’ll bet they didn’t mind a half eaten sandwich.”

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I am so excited this morning. I heard the President’s speech about the high speed train system. I swear, every time he steps up to the mike, I get more hopeful for the future of this country.

Images of the future look positively clean and space-age, as gleaming trains speed across the country. Indiana to Wyoming in just over three hours would be a possibility. I could do a book tour without getting on an airplane.

Now, I really would like to take an old fashioned train trip, watching the scenery float by; having lazy conversations while eating in the dining car. My great grandfather worked on trains. Way back then, they used to throw the dishes out at the end of the line, rather than wash them. When great-granddad got off work, he would go to the dish pile and collect the unbroken dishes and bring them home.

There were three adults and six children living in that home and it was the depression. These dishes were a big help. I still have an oval plate and two coffee cups. The cups had two handles on them so that you could sip your coffee with less chance of spilling it on you.

I don’t think spilling will be an issue on a train going three hundred miles an hour. That track had better be smooth.

I can’t wait.

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In the last couple of weeks, I have felt well enough again to start cleaning the house. You know that television show where they show you just how bad of pigs some people can be? Well, I have entered the room of the “child” and realized, that’s my home.

 

It has been a long recovery and with too many people, in too small a house, and the rest of them being men, who think cleaning is to use the sprayer, at full throttle, to rinse dishes, thus ensuring that that area of the kitchen also receives a shower —- well, you see my life.

 

Since the last two years of my life has consisted of me going from the treadmill to the couch, I have not traveled the vast wastelands referred to as:

 

BOYS ROOMS!

OR

DID YOU KNOW?

 

1. That JRockGuitarMan (youngest boy) is able to now provide homework from six months ago? Mind you, it’s too late!

  

2. That, while EMT (middle boy) keeps his room clean, he will manage to leave his stuff in every single other room of the house?

 

3. That a three month visit can turn your screened-in porch into a rabbit warren store room?

 

4. Did you know that Gaffer and girlfriend are able to amass more plastic drink cups, from fast food restaurants, than McDonald’s buys in one year? 

 

5. That one carefully emptied lower shelf, in the bathroom, is not enough for a college girl’s makeup and that the teeny tiny counter in the bathroom will be unable to hold the extra roll of toilet paper because it too is covered with makeup?

 

6. That just one day before Gaffer and Girlfriend are to leave, (The flight is scheduled for 8:45 am tomorrow, meaning they have to drive off just after 5am) and they are off on a stay at the State Park and this is what their room looks like?

 

7. And, that this is the sum total of dirty laundry and garbage (including those drinking cups) from the cleaning they HAVE done? 

 

GOSH, I WILL miss them.

I really will!

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