Tuesday, June 24, 2008

If it's Tuesday, it's Hamburger Night

This afternoon I had to go to the Post Office (return Netflix) and I thought I would swing by Walmart and pick up some sulphur for the dreaded black spot's on my roses. I approached Walmart from the west, I usually swoop in from the east, I zoomed right past the entrance! So, off to Miejer I went because not only will they have the sulphur (could not find it) but they continue to carry the Yoplait Whipped Chocolate Mousse I am addicted to. I curse Walmart for dropping it because Miejer charges $.21 more for it. Damn you Walmart!

Then to ALDI for the $5.99 bag of 3lb frozen chicken and $1.99 gallon of milk vrs. the $6.79 and $2.50.

My shopping habits have begun to change due to the rapidly climbing grocery prices! I now read the newspaper and chase the sales when I'm able and or in the vicinity. I can hardly afford my Coconut Rum anymore! It too has gone up in price forcing me to purchase the economy size 1.75 liter which in some ways is very very bad.

I happened to catch a television program in Memphis addressing the growing problems of limited income families making ends meet in regard to grocery shopping. That was where I was hipped to ALDI. I was also informed about a program called ANGEL FOOD that operated in and around Memphis. On a lark, I looked it up and found they have many locations in Kentucky and Indiana close to my home. Alas, I have not been able to take advantage of the great program, where you receive a truck load of food for $30.

It would be no problem for me to eat whatever is in the "box" for the month because of my Mother and our menu's while I was growing up and a captive in her house.

My Mom is a very educated person. Long story cut short, my Mom is the youngest of her siblings and very smart. She was the scholar of the family and her sister Maura did all the cooking cleaning etc. while Mom studied and did all sorts of astounding stuff like graduating from high school at 16, College at 19 and then received her Masters from Columbia after her mother whisked her off to Ireland for a year.

In other words, my Mom never learned to cook.

Our menu's never deviated from week to week, except when she was feeling anemic then we got the dreaded liver and onions.

Monday was Hot dog night. Hot dogs boiled in a ause pan on the stove and served with buns and mashed potatoes and green beans from a can. Chocolate milk with raw egg for the boys, milk for me and jello for dessert.

Tuesday, hamburgers and french fries. The hamburgers were the frozen kind that came in a box that you took a knife to and separate. French fries were also the frozen string variety served in a wooden bowl. Maybe a can of corn or celery and carrots boiled together.

Wednesday night was meat loaf night. Greasy and made with egg and crushed crackers. Green beans from a can and mashed potatoes.

Thursday was left over night.

Friday was spaghetti night! And maybe some fried shrimp, which she also made in a beat up sauce pan and sometimes turned black but was still a delicacy to me! If there was no smoking shrimp, there was tuna fish. No garlic bread, maybe some toast with butter. No mashed potatoes, though there was jello for desert.

Saturday she worked at the library and Nana made dinner when she lived across the street from maybe 1967 - 1972. Then we had chicken! Yea Nana! She made Waldorf salad with apple cut up in the lettuce. And mashed potatoes. She also made apple turnovers and sometimes cherry. The new fangled kind that you purchased in the dairy section and included was a small bag of icing. Oh I still remember how we looked forward to Nana!

Sunday was always special and we would have something different like a stew or a pot roast. Mashed potatoes and more veggies from a can. And maybe fruit cocktail from the can. And if it was Easter or someones birthday that week, a cake.

We were all skinny kids. We all had to eat what was on our plates because there were starving children in China. Sometimes my brother T. had to be restrained in his chair, as was his habit to slide down his chair and try to escape under the table. He was caught every time. Unfortunately I had to sit across the table from him and I will never forget the faces he made eating mashed potatoes. Like he was going to barf.

Every night except Friday.

We laugh about it now. It is still a good joke among us kids.

Back to my point, if I get liver in the Angel Food Box I can handle it. Just like the old days.


Lisa :-] said...

At our house, canned vegetables would have been a treat. My dad always cooked the cheapest, yuckiest frozen ones. I don't think I ate a fresh cooked vegetable until I was an adult.

You're lucky your mom's repertoire was so predictable. My dad loved to experiment... (ewwwww!)

Becky said...

*grin* My mother didn't have the excuse of education for her bad cooking. We also had a very predictable food routine. Pork chops (fried in the electric fry pan for an hour to ensure leathery goodness), baked chicken (cooked in the oven for a hour to ensure leathery goodness), meatloaf (baked in the oven for an hour to ensure shrinkage), somehow every meat she served was cooked for an hour. No idea why. The only exception was Thanksgiving turkey (where she would follow what the wrapper said).

I remember the first time I made my famous boneless rosemary pork loin chops for my parents. Thin cut and sauteed in about 15 minutes... my mother said "Honey, those aren't cooked enough! We're all gonna get sick!" Heh. My father, meanwhile, had asked for a sharper knife; then he tried them. Next thing I knew he was exclaiming, "Look honey! I can cut it with my FORK!" *giggle* My mother was so annoyed.