Posted tagged ‘white bread’

“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.

“There is divinity in the clouds.”

May 9, 2017

Gracie woke me up around six this morning. She was panting, a sign she needed out. I put on my sweatshirt and took her out to the back yard. It was so cold I could see my own breath. My heat has gone on a few times. When I went to my early morning library board meeting, I saw people dressed in layers and wearing hats and gloves. Today is spring gone awry.

The sun was shining earlier, but now the clouds have taken over. The sky is a range of grays from dark to light. The prettiest clouds are the darkest of grays so dark as to be almost blue. No rain is predicted, just a cloudy day.

When I go back to my hometown, I pass houses where my childhood friends used to live. I remember them all. I used to envy Kathleen whose house was two houses away from school. She used to go home for lunch every day. My friend Eddie lived right across the street from the church. He also went home every day. Paula and Dennis lived close to each other about a fifteen-minute walk to school. Everyone walked. There were no busses, and very few parents drove kids to school as most families had only one car driven by dads and gone to work early, too early for school. I never gave walking to school a thought except when it rained.

My favorite lunchbox sandwich was bologna with mustard, the yellow kind of mustard. It was always a white bread sandwich. I didn’t even know bread came in a variety of tastes and colors. Friday was tuna fish sandwich day as we couldn’t eat meat. I can’t even remember the number of tuna sandwiches I ate all through elementary school, but I ate my fill. I don’t eat tuna fish anymore. I still eat bologna.

I used to love milk. It was perfect for washing down dinner and even better for dunking Oreos. I stopped drinking milk when I was in the Peace Corps as Ghana had no milk except evaporated in the can. I have milk now but only with my cereal. The best part of that is the flavor of the milk left on the bottom of the bowl after the cereal has been eaten.

Nothing much going on here. Today is a perfect day to stay home, to do nothing. My laundry finally made it upstairs, and I even put it away. That was my yesterday’s accomplishment. I’ll take what I can get and be content, maybe even a bit proud of finally getting that chore done.

“Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good.”

October 19, 2015

Today is cold, in the mid 40’s. The sun is back to playing peek-a-boo. Outside isn’t all that inviting so I guess I’ll hunker down for another day or two. I’m not completely rid of the plague as I still have a voice better suited for an obscene phone call than a regular conversation. My cough didn’t wake me up last night, but it is still hanging in there. My friend is bringing me bread, cookies and a lemon donut from Dunkin’ Donuts. I’m a happy woman, albeit sick but still happy.

When I was a kid, I don’t remember missing much school. I don’t think I was really sick enough all that often. A cold was nothing. It meant bundling a bit better with a new layer or two. We walked to school on even the coldest days. I remember my cheeks turned red and raw from the wind. We’d walk backwards away from the wind when it was the strongest and the coldest. School was a refuge where we could defrost and de-layer. I don’t think we really ever complained much. That was just the way it was. We all walked to school back then despite the weather.

I used to like soup on a cold day. My mother would fill the thermos from my lunch box, add some saltines, and maybe a half of a sandwich and some dessert. Usually it was tomato soup because I could drink it instead of needing a spoon. Bologna was the most popular meat for sandwiches. We always had tuna fish on Fridays when we couldn’t eat meat. My mother added mayonnaise, chopped celery and lettuce so the tuna fish wasn’t half bad. It was always on white bread. We never had any other kind of bread. I think I was a teenager before I found out bread came in many colors and flavors.

Back when we were kids our dinners were meat, potatoes, usually mashed, and a vegetable. We had bland palates. We were seldom introduced to any foreign foods though we did count spaghetti as Italian. My friends and I now eat all sorts of foods from a variety of countries. I know it was Ghana which first introduced me to really foreign foods like African, Indian and Middle Eastern. They opened the flood gates. Now I’m willing to try almost anything though I balk at insects, household pets and rodents.

“I’m not sure what makes pepperoni so good – if it’s the pepper or the oni.”

July 25, 2010

Yes, it remains hot and humid, but the deck has a breeze so I’ll go back when I finish here. While I was reading the papers outside, I stopped a few times, as I usually do, to watch the birds. This morning it was an amazing variety. A hummingbird dropped by and took nectar from the zinnias, but he was too far away for a good picture. This was his third visit so I’m now counting the hummingbird as a regular. The male oriole was back for some grape jelly, and I was able to catch a picture of him on a nearby branch. A fledgling made all sorts of noises from a branch by the feeders. He was a young titmouse still sporting fluffy feathers. My regulars too were there in big numbers, and they ignore me so I get a close-up view. I noticed one of the feeders needs to be filled, an afternoon chore.

When I was a kid, we used mustard or mayonnaise on sandwiches. Ketchup was for hamburgers and French fries. Piccalilli was for hot dogs. The bread we used was always white and mostly soft. It beaded when you took a small piece and rolled it. For sandwiches I ate bologna. My mother always bought a roll of it, and I’d cut it for my sandwich. Most times the piece was thick on one side and thin on the other. I wasn’t the best slicer. A friend of mine’s father introduced me to hot peppers, and they became a sandwich regular, even with the bologna. I still get hot pepper in my subs. My mother bought liverwurst for my father. He’d spread it on bread and add some onion. It looked awful so I never tried it. Much later in my life, I tried and love pâté so I gave liverwurst another chance figuring the two were distant cousins. I liked it.

When I was a freshman in college, a good friend was from an Italian family, and I used to go home with her for weekends. For spaghetti, her mother made gravy instead of sauce, and her meatballs were the stuff of dreams. My friend’s father was a butcher, and he brought home sandwich meats I’d never heard of before. They were all foreign and exotic. I ate mortadella, capicola, both regular and hot, soppressata, proscuitto and finocchiona. Even the cheese was exotic, the provolone and the mozzarella. The bread came in loaves which had to be cut. For dessert we had Italian cookies and pastries. I felt like an exchange student.

My friend left school, and the family also moved so I lost track. I wish I could thank them. They made me a fearless eater of the unknown.