Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What's Cookin', Maxine?...Beets Me...

I know what it feels like to walk into a brutal murder scene....the faint feeling, gasp of breath and hand covering my face. I had returned from a day at work at school, walked into the kitchen and saw a red hand print dripping down the refrigerator. The same hand prints were on the cabinets, stove and sink. Red drops pooled on the floor.
"I made beets today," my mother sang out to me from her chair in the living room. "Oh...that's nice," I said, wiping clean all beet evidence...after catching my breath. I don't want to make light of anyone who has experienced a real crime scene...but for a few short seconds...I think I could relate to that feeling. My mother lived with me the last twelve years of her life. Her health was remarkable...no medication...just something for her indigestion and a vitamin for her macular degeneration. Some of you may know, from earlier posts, that she was an excellent seamstress. She was NOT a good cook. People at school did look forward for her banana bread...until one loaf was full of paper clips. Maxine, (my mom) had dropped a box of paper clips on the counter...I guess...I did not have the heart to tell her about the ruined bread...and I did find stray clips on the floor and counter. It is difficult to write about her cooking without making this way too long. There was the time she made jelly for a brunch my parents were having for guests. My father did 99% of the cooking (he said Maxine was better at entertaining), but she wanted to contribute something...so she made jelly. She proudly set a few small bowls with the proper silver spoon in each bowl. By the time brunch was served, the jelly had solidified becoming one with the bowl and spoon. Picking up the spoon would result in the whole bowl being lifted from the table. One more example and I will end...for now.... I think this picture of the fudge she made needs no words of description. (Tomorrow I will write her recipe for Chicken Casserole...you won't want to miss it!)





13 comments:

  1. Oh Jackie! This was a great slice to read! I have decided that maybe I'm not the worst cook in the world! :) So glad you shared a bit of your mom with us.

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    1. Thanks, Chris...she was not the typical mother and there are lots of Maxine stories. :-)

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  2. We all have our talents, don't we? Apparently your talent is telling the story in the best way. This was too funny! Gotta love your mom for trying!

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  3. She did a wonderful job making ice cream sundaes though!!! :-D

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    1. You are right, Maggie...she did make a good ice cream sundae.

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  4. You are right, the fudge needs no words! Great story!

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  5. Love this post!! Recipes gone wild!! I do love beets. I'm curious what she did with them. Thanks for sharing! This reminds me of that twitter that went viral and then was made into a t.v. show, "S(tuff) my dad says." Only yours would be "S(tuff) my mom cooks."

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  6. I am laughing out loud at the jelly becoming "one with the bowl and spoon." I am sure Maxine had a flair for entertaining and that the two of them made quite a capable couple!

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  7. This reminded me so much of Ruth Reichl's mother, who she writes about in "Tender to the Bone." And that jar of fude was just a priceless visual to all you had written. You must have some great stories!

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  8. Your writing is so delightfully entertaining, and that picture IS priceless:-) I cannot wait for tomorrow's recipe. You're right, I don't want to miss it!!

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  9. Love the title, Jackie. I can only imagine the scene when you arrived home. I'm looking forward to more of the stories of Maxine. After looking at the fudge picture, I'm intrigued about chicken casserole.

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  10. I'm with Maggie, if she made great ice cream sundaes, why bother with anything else. I, for one, could live on ice cream in any form! Really enjoy your blog.

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    1. She also liked to have chocolate chip cookie sandwiches (butter in the middle) for breakfast.

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