Thursday, November 08, 2007

Just Like Mom? Not Hardly!

My mom was a home ec major so there are a lot of things she did that I'll never do!

Some of it is because of technology...I don't have to iron everything because of perma-press fabrics, for example.

Some of it is because I overloaded on it while I was kid. I had so many Toni home perms and restless nights on sponge rollers and pin-curls that I've always sworn I would never get between my daughters and their hair. When my daughter dyed her hair hot pink I secretly admired her sense of adventure, knowing that if I'd tried something like that when I was a teen-ager my mother would have keeled over!

One thing my mother always did that I will never do is to keep a list of the menus for the evening meals of the week. She'd always cook a nice meal, everything in serving dishes on a neatly set table...with a centerpiece, no less...every night of the week (except for Wednesdays, when we had supper at the church). And we always knew what we were having every night because we'd check the notepad in the drawer next to the refrigerator. Meat, 2 veggies, bread, dessert...all planned not only for nutritional value but also according to texture and color. No, I'm not kidding...home ec major, remember? When I got to the meal-planning unit in my junior high home ec class, I told my group, "Oh, I've got this one covered!" She also had another notepad with a grocery list in progress, with items listed according to their sections in the grocery store...dairy, produce, meats, etc. She'd add to it during the week as she noticed things we needed, then take it with her when it was time to shop. Not a bad system, huh?

These days our schedule is pretty unpredictable...I tell my friends we try to plan things five minutes in advance! There's no way I could even know who will be home for dinner, much less plan what to fix every night. Not that I'm the one who does the husband is the chef in our family!

Well, I just returned from a trip back home to Dallas to help my sister go through my parents' house and decide what to do with all the stuff. My mom died about a year and a half ago and my dad recently remarried and moved to another town with his new bride and he wants to sell the house. As we were going through the things in the kitchen, just for grins I checked that drawer next to the refrigerator...and there they were. Two notepads, one for meals, one for groceries. I have to say it really stopped me in my tracks, seeing my mother's handwriting there and realizing they'd been there for all the years my mom had been housebound and later, bedridden, before her death from a chronic lung disease. The notepad with the meal plans on it was dated "Dec. 13, 1999". Here's a picture:


  1. that's pretty cute of your mother hee hee. I know my meal planning is definitly unpredicatable. I even change my mind after cooking, and just put the cooked thing away / freeze it.

  2. I know what you mean. My grandmother used to iron sheets, tshirts, and underwear! Dinner was at 5:30 every night- without fail.

  3. This is excellent!! While my mom wasn't a home ec major (she actually got her phD in microbiology before becoming a full-time stay home mom of 4.. I'm the oldest)... she is JUST like your mom! and just recently my husband and I were at my parents' house for dinner and my mom was upset because dinner was "too much of the same consistency". She had made an absolutely delicious pumpkin soup (which turned out thicker than she had wanted) and was wishing she had made whole potatoes instead of everyone's favorite-mashed potatoes--since the soup and mashed taters were too similar in consistency. CRAZY! She also has the week's dinners planned out before shopping! Wow! :)

  4. I learned alot from Marah. Her Texas Burgers are still a family favorite.. . I still have a recipe card--in her handwriting--for Pizza Pie (long before 'pizza' because a household word). Perhaps it is her influence that prompts my alphabetizing spices on the spice turntable!!?

  5. Aunt Doris, I cherish my recipe cards written in Mom's handwriting (even though they can be hard to read)!