Week #32 – Dinner Time. On a typical childhood evening, who was around the dinner table? Was the meal served by one person, or was it a free-for-all? What is dinner time like in your family today?
When I asked mom what was for dinner, she would chase me out of the kitchen yelling, “Shit on a stick – and YOU AIN’T GETTIN’ ANY.” She said it every day. I don’t know why I bothered asking. Dinner usually consisted of corn flake chicken or pork chops, canned vegetables like corn, peas or green beans, and mashed potatoes with a bread roll. Sometimes she would make Kraft macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese with tomato soup, kielbasa and sauerkraut, or lasagna. I never liked anything with tomatoes so soup and lasagna were not on my list of things to eat. I did like the kielbasa sausage, which she learned to make from her mother Mary whose family was Polish. Mom never made me eat anything I didn’t want to. She may have tried to, but I never did.
As a family, we often ordered pizza from Little Caesars with green olives, my mom’s favorite topping. Other restaurants we frequented were Bob’s Big Boy in Bridgeport, and Pompeii Pizza (which ironically burned down). We ate dinner together as a family – Mom, DaD, Kathleen and me – until Mom left when I was about 8 years old. After that, dinner was usually ordered on the phone from Little Caesar’s or picked up at McDonald’s.
I was a picky eater then and would continue to be for several decades. Kathleen and I used to make homemade donuts using a hot oil deep fryer. We would use refrigerated biscuit dough and poke a hole in the middle, fry them up and drop them into a Ziploc bag with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar. She also taught me how to microwave bologna so it curled upwards, and then melt butter in the middle and eat it hot. The thought of it makes me sick today, but I loved it back then. We also made homemade lollipops, and my Mom loved making peanut brittle.
Dinner today is the furthest thing from my childhood as I could ever imagine. Andrew and I have dinner together almost every night. We alternate between chicken and pork dinners with a vegetable on the side. Andrew cooks a majority if the time, and I am very thankful for that. He fully supports my efforts to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. I love having dinner with him every night!
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