I would say the Last Feast but it only feels that way following the cavalier manner in which the country – the Republic – was signed away with a whisper of ink on paper. He at least had the courtesy to appear blanched. A disgrace to the state, damn it. A sorrowful thing.
At any rate, it was the roast chicken feast tonight for Trooper and his trainee. The latter goes out on his own Sunday – and as the only one in the county. Welcome to the force! So, anyway, chicken – yes. And mashed taters with gravy and some peas that were ignored for the homemade yeast rolls with that softy butter just melting into them.
And of course a cobbler – blueberry. It didn’t come out quite as I’d hoped but then I did a 1.5 recipe and those adjustments are always tricky. Also, I am a cobbler snob. I HATE the dry biscuit on top version. No, it has to have that crispy side bread stuff then the transition into the cooked bread but more and more soft with juices stuff. The berries needed just a bit more corn starch to seize them up but they weren’t bad, all nice and still like their berry selves.
Of course, the men did it justice, little bones flying about and yeast rolls disappearing. How I love to watch a man eat a good meal…nothing gives me as much pleasure as that. It is why cooking equals love. Any woman who does not like to cook or refuses to learn simply cares more for herself than others. I am all about the decency of selfishness, don’t get me wrong. But if you really love someone you should want to feed them. Och, I don’t pretend to fit it into pretty words (we’ll leave that to Brigid who does it so much better…). I just know what I mean.
Mommer taught me that, of course. How to work hard on a meal and watch it disappear in moments – hours of labor just gone. How she would smile behind her hand, finally sitting after standing at the stove half the day. I remember it well – especially Thanksgiving. Oh, she was in ecstacy. She’d pay for it after, her bones aching and her back crying out. But she would sit and steal glances around the table to ensure everyone had a bit of everything.
Photos? Oh, no – my kitchen is a horrendous mess and the plating haphazard. No, I will not show off the end result unless it is really worth the bragging (bouche de noel level of bragging). So you shall just have to trust me. Oh – and the best thing was having my lovely old House & Garden Bread Cook Book unpacked FINALLY. That yeast roll recipe is SO easy and always SO perfect. How I have missed it!!
This is one of my favorite photos…we were on one of the very few vacations she ever had in her life. It was a paddlewheel boat in small town Florida. Maybe it was the wine cooler or just the peacefulness of the quiet ride. But she was so happy…after she died I had a dream about her. She was looking at me in the same angle but on a larger boat, her leg hooked over a railing as she was about to leap to the lower deck. I remember she had her same old Keds on and capri pants, the hem folded up a bit. And that same smile at me but with even more…life…in it. That dream gave me – and still gives me – so much peace. She knew so much pain and misery in her life. I adore the thought of her scampering about in her own heaven, as fit as she can be with the bones of a teenager bearing her spirit.
You know what she used to tell us? Her favorite saying and one I use now and again. We’d say we’d want something or another and she’d just tell us to want in one hand and sh*t in the other and see which filled up faster. Perspective – that’s what that gave us. Oh, yes, Mommer. I still giggle about that. I am so glad her pain is over. She’s with Trooper’s grandpa, we figure, and they’re gardening up half of heaven with him telling her to keep her dang flower patch out of his corn fields.
It’s a lovely dream, anyway…