Tuesday, December 6, 2011

One Hundred Things My Mother Taught Me A Million Times – Chapter 79

#79 – “Always wipe around plates to get the food dribbles off before you serve.”
(Making holiday ornaments with some of the grandkids!)
As you’ve heard me say many times, Mom was an enigma. She was a recluse and an extrovert; quiet and chatty; obsessed with her looks and a dedicated slob. And, as the saying goes, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Let’s just say we’re eclectic. 

So what does this have to do with dribbles on plates? Well, mom would take a cake to a church social covered in a discarded plastic potato bag then (minus the bag) insist that the cake be carved into perfectly uniform pieces and served without a stray crumb on the plate. She would also boil borderline rancid meat in salt water to “purify” it and then prepare and serve it on china with the good silver. She was into food presentation before I ever even saw the word presentation used in proximity to food.

In these days of micro-portions and zero-fat dishes, I guess dribbles are a thing of the past, but when I was growing up it was all about creamy, drippy food and filling the plate to the rim. What is interesting is that although my generation was raised on lots of meat, potatoes, gravy, whole milk, sugar, real butter, eggs, and bread, and very few fresh vegetables, our parents weren’t obese and didn’t seem to die off prematurely. Furthermore, most everyone I grew up with is still alive and in reasonably good condition! In fact our lifespan has continued almost to the point of being ridiculous. After watching my mother turn into a zombie in a nursing home with 200 other zombies, I just do not want to live that long. Unfortunately, longevity is in my genes.

But back to wiping around plates to get the dribbles off--I still make gravy in our house, and beans, and stew, and soup, so dribbles happen, but I always wipe around the plate or bowl, just like mom taught me. After all, eclectic and cultured are not antonyms, and I do want to carry on the heritage of consistent inconsistency! 

1 comment:

  1. She told me to wipe up the dribbles on my husband's plate to make the dinner was appetizing. But no husband I've ever had (2) would be deterred by a messy plate, just as long as it tasted good and was served on time. She was, indeed, an enigma! Jane