Posted tagged ‘oreos’

“Cherish every moment with those you love at every stage of your journey.”

July 17, 2017

I turned off the air conditioner just to refresh the house, but that’s not going to happen. The air is thick with humidity, and there is no breeze to stir it. There are clouds where there is supposed to be sun. It will be 77˚ at the highest and in the mid-60’s tonight.

Movie night was fun, and the appetizers were delicious. We noshed on a feta dip with pita chips, cold cuts in baguettes, delicious cheeses and honeyed figs. Gunga Din was as wonderful an old movie as I remembered. It was one of those movies with a cast of thousands. The night was humid and hot but cooled down as we watched. I have neighbors on one side and renters on the other. I always wonder if they’re a bit jealous of us watching movies outside in the summer, such a wonderful way to spend a warm evening.

Summer had its own set of rules when I was a kid. The street lights no longer controlled our play time. We stayed out after dark. Bedtime was when we went to bed. Meals were usually catch as catch can except for supper which my mother cooked for all of us.  Mostly it was cereal for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch. We’d make our own. Bologna with hot peppers was my favorite sandwich. The peppers were round so I had to cut them, but they were still thick. The bologna came in a roll so I had to cut slices which were never even; they were thin on one side and thick on the other. My sandwiches were messy. White bread was just too soft and easily prone to holes. For dessert we’d grab Oreos, but they quick to disappear. The week days were ours to do as we wanted. My mother would ask where we were going, but most times we didn’t know. Riding our bikes or going to the playground were our usual answers. At least one weekend day was family day when we were stuck together in the hot car going to the beach on Sunday or to a drive-in movie theater Saturday night.

As we got older, we spent less and less time with the family and more time with our friends. I had drill two nights a week and competitions on the weekends. I slept late every day. My bicycle stayed in the cellar. My friends picked me up with their cars. Sometimes we did nothing but ride around. Other times we hung at one house or another just talking and laughing. That was pretty much the end of family time, but it reappeared when I was older, living away and teaching. I’d spend a weekend at my parents’ house. I even remember the three of us going to a drive-in together. The movie was A New Leaf with Walter Matthau and Elaine May. We laughed a lot. I had a wonderful evening with my parents.

“Yes, I deserve a spring–I owe nobody nothing.”

April 30, 2017

The sun decided to make an appearance yesterday, and it was warm enough for appetizers on the deck. Today is a bright sunny day with a beautiful light blue sky, but the weatherman warned us about being deceived as clouds are just waiting in the wings and today will be in the mid-50’s. Tonight will be sweatshirt weather in the 40’s. My sister in Colorado got a foot of snow the other day. She sent pictures of the trees by her deck so laden with wet snow they had bent over and were touching the deck. It had been in the 30’s. I’ve decided I won’t complain about the weather here.

Peapod came this morning. My larder overflows. I remember when I was a kid, my mother and father went grocery shopping on Friday nights. My mother couldn’t drive so she was stuck with my father who went up and down the aisles with her and drove her crazy about the cost of what she was buying. He wanted cheaper. She ignored him.

We used to attack the kid food as if we were locusts so my mother would stow away the desserts she was saving for our lunches, and we were threatened with bodily harm if we dared eat them. The cookies were the first to go. There were always Oreos. Sometimes there were the original Fig Newtons which I really liked. You could dunk Oreos in milk but Fig Newtons were just to eat, no dunking. Saltines were always around. They were for soup and for peanut butter or just butter. I remember putting so many Saltines in my soup bowl no liquid was left. If I needed a snack, I’d have Saltines with peanut butter and marshmallow. At kids’ parties, one game was to fill your mouth with Saltines then try to whistle. Saltines were an all-purpose cracker.

I haven’t eaten beets in years because when I tasted them a long time back, I didn’t care for their taste, but I’m thinking of giving beets another try. Maybe I’ll start with baby beets. Somehow that seems right.

I need Skip, my factotum, to open the deck for summer. I know it can still get chilly, but the sun warms the deck in the afternoon, and I want to take full advantage. Life is sweet and is the sweetest in summer.

“When I was a kid, we never heard of smog, ozone depletion, acid rain, green house gasses.”

April 21, 2017

The day is overcast and dark. It’s raining again. Rain always makes me lazy. I have nowhere to go and nothing to do except water the plants, and I’m delighted. The house feels chilly so I have draped the afghan over my shoulders. I’m thinking all I need is a rocking chair and some knitting to complete the picture.

When I was a kid, I didn’t care about the rain. I didn’t care about getting wet. This was always spring vacation week and no day could be wasted, especially Friday, the last day. I think my mother applauded when we went outside, and I remember her gleeful goodbyes as we shut the door behind us.

We didn’t ever have a plan or a destination. We just walked. Our usual route was walking by the town barn to see the horses then we’d cut across the back lawn of the town hall and go uptown. We mostly window shopped. From there, our route often varied. Once in a while we’d walk to the zoo or we’d do the tracks again, the ones near my grandparents. When I was young, the train still ran a couple of times a day. The train stopped at the chemical plant then continued to the station, the end of the line, where the engine was switched to the back, now the front. Sometimes we were lucky enough to b there to watch. I remember putting a penny on the rail so the train could flatten it.

We’d head home when we were hungry or really soaked and cold. My mother would send us right down the cellar to take off and leave our wet shoes. I remember leaving footprints on the floor from my wet socks. The trail led from the cellar door to the living room to the stairs to the bedroom where I’d put on dry clothes and dry socks.

For the rest of the afternoon, we’d watch TV. We’d eat Oreos and drink milk. I was a dunker. I think that’s why I love biscotti.

I love listening to the rain and watching it fall. I don’t love getting soaked and cold. I do love Oreos.

“Food, like a loving touch or a glimpse of divine power, has that ability to comfort.”

July 26, 2016

I’m close to screaming in frustration. Today will be hot yet again. That the humidity will be less is small consolation. I have the AC off for a while, but the temperature in the house has risen three degrees already so soon enough I’ll be stuck behind closed doors and windows. I did finish one of my errands yesterday, but that still leaves one more for today.

The kitchen in the house where I lived the longest was tiny. When the oven was lit, the kitchen quickly got hot and stayed that way long after dinner was finished. My mother, during the summer, cooked on the stove top. She made stuff like pasta, hamburgers, fried dough and even hot dogs. She never grilled. Her dinner sides were sometimes potato salad or pasta salad. She never made a green salad. Dessert was always a maybe dependent on what was in the house. It could have been cookies, Oreos of course, or ice cream or a popsicle. My favorite popsicle was root beer followed by a close second, cherry. If neither was available, an orange would do just fine. 

Some people I know don’t ever eat leftovers. I don’t get that. Some food tastes better the next day. My chili is always best the day after I make it so I usually make it the day before I need it. That way any fat gets skimmed. I like leftover pasta. Add fresh garlic bread, some cheese and you have a perfect meal. 

Winter has comfort food. It keeps us warm and brings back memories. Summer has hot dogs and hamburgers best cooked on a grill. You have to toast the buns. 

My mother used to make piccalilli every fall when there were green tomatoes. She made New England style piccalilli with those green tomatoes, red peppers, onions, brown sugar, cider vinegar and some spices like mustard powder and a few others I don’t remember. She’d give us all a couple of jars. I’d use it sparingly so it would last longer. I swear a hot dog with my mother’s piccalilli was perfection in a bun. 

“Oreos come in packages. Otherwise known as a gift. Cherish it.”

July 2, 2016

My wish was granted. Last night it was a mighty storm. The thunder started way off with small rumblings then it got closer and louder. The lightning lit up the room. One thunder clap was right over my house. All three animals looked up as if the roof was falling. Mother Nature celebrated the 4th just a bit early, and her display was spectacular.

The air is cool this morning with a slight breeze, but the humidity will return later. I have opened all the windows. This room, my den, is always wonderfully dark and cool in the morning as the sun doesn’t hit it until the afternoon.

My mother always put the shades down all summer. She said it kept the house cool. She also made a pitcher of Zarex most days and left it in the fridge, but she hated it when we opened the fridge door as we generally stood there by the door to check out the fridge. She said we were letting the cold out.

Weekdays in the summer we entertained ourselves. We’d bike ride totally mindless of the heat or we’d spend the day at the park on the field across from the bottom of my street. On those days we’d go home for lunch which was always a sandwich, usually bologna. I don’t even remember what other cold cuts my mother bought. To my sandwich I’d add hot peppers which I had cut in half. Mustard was my condiment of choice; of course, it was always yellow mustard. The bread was always white. I don’t remember any specific dessert, but my guess is it was Oreos, a wonderfully portable dessert. I still love my Oreos, but once I went crazy and bought peanut butter Oreos. They were pretty good though really what’s not to like about peanut butter, but I’m a traditionalist prone to buy the original though double-stuffed is always tempting.

“Life’s a beach. Just roll with it.”

May 17, 2015

Today is a glorious day. The sun is bright, the sky so blue it looks painted and the air warm and smelling of the ocean. It is a day to be outside to feel the sun on my face, to get drowsy in the warmth and maybe fall asleep.

The Sundays of my childhood were quiet days. First we had to go to church. Sometimes we’d go with my dad while other times we’d walk, my brother and I. In the summer the early masses were crowded so people could have the whole day. Those were my favorite masses. Often there were no open seats in the pews so we had to stand in the back and even outside on the steps where I was so far away from the altar at the front of the church I never heard any part of the mass. I’d get tired and sit on the steps. The adults standing in the back used to crane their necks to see what was going inside. I was never that curious.

Most Sundays were family days. In the summer that often meant the beach for the whole day. We never tired of the beach and the ocean no matter how often we went. My favorite ocean time was low tide when there would be pools of warm water. We’d check out the starfish and toss empty crab shells at each other. We’d try to catch the small darting fish we called minnows even though they weren’t. We’d take our pails and walk along the water’s edge looking for shells, but not just random shells, we were picky. We’d pass by the clam shells and look for spirals with different colors inside and out. It was rare to find a complete spiral. Often one side was missing or chipped. We’d nearly fill our pails, wash out the sand in the water then put the pail near the blanket so we could bring home all our treasures. Mine usually went on my bureau for a while.

Eating at the beach was mostly when we were hungry. We had our choice of sandwiches, usually cold cuts but  sometimes egg salad. There were always chips to go with the sandwiches and my mother always packed a bag of Oreos, the easiest of all desserts.

My dad would make sure our feet were cleaned so we wouldn’t bring sand into his car. He’d open the car door, we’d sit and he’d dunk our feet into a pail of water then we’d scramble our way to our seats without touching the parking lot sand. I think it a bit ironic that we ended up living on the Cape where sand is almost part of the car floor.

I remember falling into an exhaustive sleep after a day in the sun and water. Sometimes, when my head was on the pillow, warm water would drain from my ears. It was a strange sensation.

“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike.”

April 11, 2015

When I woke up, I noticed the sun, subdued and wan. I figured it had been so long since the sun last shined it had forgotten how to wow us, to make us squint in the light. The streets were still wet and were waiting for a bit of warmth to dry three days of rain, and I was hopeful the sun could finally hold sway. After getting the papers, I stood outside to check my garden. Green shoots are everywhere. They are the start of my spring bulbs finally growing and budding. Gracie has been in the yard most of the morning. She is my barometer. The warmer the weather the longer she is out.

When I was a kid, this was a bicycle day, a spring jacket sort of day. It was freedom from layers of clothing and from looking wistfully out the picture window. It was time to fly my bike down the hill with my hair blowing and my arms raised in a funny sort of triumph. It was time to pedal as fast as I could hoping to leave winter behind me.

I loved riding all over town on a sunny Saturday. Sometimes I’d bring lunch and put it in my bike’s big front basket. Once in a while I’d hit a bump and my lunch bag would bounce in the basket. Sometimes it bounced out. I usually brought Oreos for dessert. They were the cookies of choice for all of us. I remember my sisters would eat the middle and give the dog the rest. My method was a bit different. I’d open the Oreo, eat the plain side then the filling then the other side with streaks of filling still left.

Last night I watched the Sox beat the Yankees in a game which seemed interminable. It lasted 19 innings, 6 hours and 49 minutes, and is now the longest game in Red Sox history. I’d tell myself I’m going to bed after this inning, but I just couldn’t bring myself to turn off the TV. What if I miss the winning run after all this time? Both teams were horrible last year. The Yanks didn’t make the playoffs and the Sox were last, but they seem to play each other as if a championship is on the line. During extra innings, when a Sox player got on base, I’d beg for someone to hit him in so I could go to bed. Finally a Mookie Betts sacrifice fly knocked in the winning run. I cheered then held my breath during the bottom half of the inning. The Yanks didn’t score so I let the dog out, waited for her to come in, turned off the lights and went to bed.