Tuesday, May 4, 2010

One Hundred Things My Mother Taught Me A Million Times – Chapter 36

#36 – “Don’t let children fill up on tea before supper.”
 Photo of mom receiving special recognition from the Texas Historical Commission in 2005.

As I think about #36 of the one hundred things mom taught me a million times, two things come to mind immediately: Tea and Supper.   I don’t know about your family, but ours drank ice tea pretty much 24-7. It didn’t matter how hot or how cold it was outside, or what mom was serving, there would always be a big pitcher of tea and lots of ice, served in recycled Del Monte sliced peaches cans (the residual of mom’s peach cobblers). To this day my sister Dorothy and my youngest son, Colt drink their tea in recycled tin cans, learned at the knee of mom, or memaw as my kids called her. 

There’s nothing as refreshing on a hot summer day as ice tea served in a tin can. The tin imparts a very subtle and unique flavor, and you’ll never drink a colder tea. Try it! That is if you can find a real tin can. Most cans are now actually made from aluminum. I remember like yesterday mom showing me how to hammer down the sharp edges of the can where it was opened with an old time can opener. Remember those – just a 2-3-inch piece of steel blade with a windmill looking crank, and a bottle-opener on one end? I still have one in my camping gear – for nostalgia and convenience. Click on Read More Below...

The other thing that popped to mind with #36 was the word supper. Growing up we had three meals, breakfast dinner and supper. There was no lunch. The only two times I ever heard the word lunch used was lunch box (what the un-cool kids carried their "dinner" to school in), and The Lunch Kit, an old drive in diner in my hometown where dad and I would go to get milkshakes (his with an egg in it for extra protein).  Supper seems a southern thing and a biblical thing, but it does have some formal derivation.

When I “Wiki’d” supper I found that the word has a pretty rich history. If you have time to burn you can check it out yourself here, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supper, but the anomaly that really jumped out at me was that throughout the cultures and history, the supper was a light meal. Not at our house! Not in west Texas! It was the biggie. It was the United Nations of meals, the one at which issues were resolved, history was recorded, bad grades were revealed, and major protein was consumed – the Grand Poobah of meals. And who can think of the word supper without thinking of The Last Supper (the real one, not Mel Gibson’s diatribe). 
Having been raised a Methodist, Easter and the Last Supper were pretty traumatizing childhood memories. That pitiful picture of Jesus, that traitor Judas, those mean solders poking Jesus in the ribs with their spears, nails in the hand, those manipulative Romans and bloodthirsty Jews, being sealed in a cave, escaping! It was scary. However, even at a very young age I was not entirely convinced that Jesus wasn’t just a poser and a troublemaker, and that Judas and the Jews really felt like they were doing the right thing, but I was certain that the Roman soldiers needed a good paddling and to be sent to their room for a few years. As a result, I’m a Methodist, Jewish, Agnostic, New Age Spiritualist – covering all the bases, just in case.

Of course what mom was really saying is that kids need to eat healthy (fried steak, mashed potatoes and gravy – healthy, circa 1950), and she was right. Of course no 21st Century mother would allow her child to drink caffeinated tea without checking over her shoulder for the bad mother police! So mom was right, don’t let children fill up on tea before supper.

No comments:

Post a Comment