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Old 09-07-2006, 05:19 AM   #21
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I am an unplugger too....not least because of energy saving, I am a grudging environmentalist - but never the less I try hard now the guilt has hit, but also because we have a weird combination of stuff from US, UK and the Continent all in use on various transformer plugs and extentions. The day the US Mac's wire melted was a good lesson to me.

My mother, a fantastic cook, really brilliant with many things, over cooks most vegetables. It just goes to show that her other stuff must be great to let her get away with it. Its is much worse now she is older. She also has very old fashioned rules about afternoon tea. (number of cakes and other things). She came to stay about three years ago when I was in the middle of a big project and was having a Saturday meeting at my flat to discuss thinngs. I laid out tea mainy to relax myself in preparation for this, and was clearing a way after everyone had left when my parents arrived for a get together we had planned. My mother was scandalised that I had served (in addition to sandwiches, and some biscuits) only one type of cut cake and one un cut cake. when I pointed out that I was wrapping the bulk of most of this for her to take home, it having been surplus to the requirments of the people there at a buisiness discussion she said that of course it was left, there had not been enough choice. Her logic confounds me, but there you are!

Demented mother's eh? what would we do with out them!
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Old 09-07-2006, 06:26 AM   #22
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I don't remember my mom thawing on the counter. I always fill the sink with cold water and put the frozen meat in a freezer bag and let it thaw, unless it is the turkey, then I thaw it in a cooler with water changed now and then. We ate crowder peas when I was growing up and I still enjoy them, but we didn''t let them get mature. Mom always picked her veggies at their peak. I remember the wilted lettuce she made and can almost taste it. She made more than what we needed of cooked veggies and we did eat leftovers, but not for more than a day or so. I have a friend who said her mother would make a pot of something and they would eat it every day until it was gone. I suppose it was necessary at the time, but not a good idea if not. I enjoy leftovers at least as much as the original meal, especially if it was cooked for company. It seems like the pressure is off and the food tastes better. My mom can't do much cooking anymore. She is almost 89 years old and has maculear degeneration so can't see well enough to follow a recipe unless she uses the jorgy and that is quite cumbersome so she tells me what she would like and I try to make it as nearly as she did, but healthy. She is very appreciative.
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Old 09-07-2006, 09:46 AM   #23
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My mother was very sane...maybe that's why I'm not! Geez, I hope my kids NEVER see this thread...
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Old 09-07-2006, 10:15 AM   #24
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Alix I wonder if we share the same mother?

My mom thinks the fridge is a magical device that stops food from going bad forever. My brother is scarred by this to the point that he goes to the opposite extreme. He will not eat leftovers of anything. His fridge contains nothing other than liquids. If he cant eat something right away then it gets thrown out. I can't say I blame him after seeing what mom would pull out of her fridge and try to serve.

Mom also thinks soda lasts forever. She once served my wife some diet Coke that has exired over 10 years prior. The scary thing is that that was not the last time she served her expired soda.
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Old 09-07-2006, 10:39 AM   #25
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Well, I don't have too many memories of mom leaving stuff out on the counter all day, but even if she had, I believe she was a charter member of the "Cook-it-until-it's-shoe-leather" club (Especially pork!). So most anything harmfull was likely dead at that point anyways.

Mom was one of those people who had asbestos for fingers and apparently, a mouth. She LOVED hot food (as in real thermal heat, not spice). I worked at a pizza place in high school, and I could have a pie home just minutes after it left the oven. As the rest of us were trying to cool it down, mom was putting her slice into the microwave to warm it up!

She could also take the cookie sheet out of the oven, and take the cookies off of it by hand!!

As for leftovers - we never had those growing up, but I think it was a result of my dad and two boys. Nothing had a chance of lasting more than about 24 hours!!

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Old 09-08-2006, 03:34 PM   #26
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I love this thread and all the stories - great idea, Vera.

My mom had to feed 10 kids, and usually did it brilliantly. The thing I never understood was how few foodstuffs she would keep around the house. Once I was old enough to drive, seemed like I was running to the store every other day to get more bread, some oregano, a head of lettuce, more milk. etc. The woman never learned the concept of stocking up, except for cans of tomatoes - they grew in the cupboards like fungus.

Plus, she was one of those cooks who definitely did not clean up as she went. Empty cans, scattered flour on the counter, open cabinet doors, dirty pots and pans, rinds and ends that needed to be disposal-ed - me and my sibs faced them all when cleaning up after dinner. oh, the horror and enormity of it all............
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Old 09-08-2006, 03:38 PM   #27
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I love this thread and all the stories - great idea, Vera.

My mom had to feed 10 kids, and usually did it brilliantly. The thing I never understood was how few foodstuffs she would keep around the house. Once I was old enough to drive, seemed like I was running to the store every other day to get more bread, some oregano, a head of lettuce, more milk. etc. The woman never learned the concept of stocking up, except for cans of tomatoes - they grew in the cupboards like fungus.

Plus, she was one of those cooks who definitely did not clean up as she went. Empty cans, scattered flour on the counter, open cabinet doors, dirty pots and pans, rinds and ends that needed to be disposal-ed - me and my sibs faced them all when cleaning up after dinner. oh, the horror and enormity of it all............
My mother used to send me to the grocery store on my bike! It was one of those 10 speed jobs that we all had in the 70s. No basket, you had to hold the bag in one hand and steer the thing with the other. I hated having to get a gallon of milk!
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Old 09-08-2006, 03:41 PM   #28
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Alix I wonder if we share the same mother?

My mom thinks the fridge is a magical device that stops food from going bad forever. My brother is scarred by this to the point that he goes to the opposite extreme. He will not eat leftovers of anything. His fridge contains nothing other than liquids. If he cant eat something right away then it gets thrown out. I can't say I blame him after seeing what mom would pull out of her fridge and try to serve.

Mom also thinks soda lasts forever. She once served my wife some diet Coke that has exired over 10 years prior. The scary thing is that that was not the last time she served her expired soda.
My daughter was desperately searching the pantry for cola...behind this and that she came across of bottle of diet coke...(we never drink diet coke..I only buy it for parties). The bottle had an expiration date of 2002.

On the other hand, my mother has had the same cream of tartar in her cabinet since she got married in 1956.
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Old 09-08-2006, 03:41 PM   #29
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talk about yer child abuse - mine used to send me to the store with a note to get her cigarettes. that shows you how far into the past I go.
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Old 09-08-2006, 03:49 PM   #30
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Omigosh, I am so enjoying this thread. Thanks Vera.

GB, I think we did indeed have the same Mom (isn't she cute?)

We are all a bit scarred from some of the refrigerator horrors perpetrated on us by Mom. (The Diet Coke thing resonates here too!) The best story I have is the day I was making gravy for mom for a beautiful standing rib roast and needed some liquid to thin it. I was reaching for the distilled water when Mom handed me a jar of what she told me was water from the potatoes she had done earlier (I didn't ask how much earlier). I rolled my eyes and used it and the gravy thinned beautifully. Later, I went to taste the gravy (thankfully before I poured it on my meat!!) and it tasted REALLY freaky. I quietly pulled Mom aside and made her taste it...then she went and looked at the jar of "liquid" she gave me and burst into gales of laughter. It was lemonade that she had poured in a jar because she didn't have a pitcher small enough. Suffice it to say there was no gravy for our potatoes that night.
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Old 09-08-2006, 04:14 PM   #31
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Is it possible to have multiple mothers? Several of yours sound like mine. She was not a good cook, she was not even a midiocre cook...but she did feed six of us...cornbread, pinto beans and potatoes were mainstays in our house. I do remember the liver she cooked though, she didn't like it and it was evident by the way she cooked it...I think I still have a pair of boots around with liver soles .

I thaw things mostly in the sink. Looking in my frig occasionally surprises me . My sister and BIL never throw anything away...when I ask why they didn't throw something away, they say, "I wondered when you were going to throw that disgusting stuff away!" Why didn't you throw it away? "I thought maybe you were saving it for something!" Yeah, right, slimmy remains of romaine and I'm saving it for something? Lord bless 'em, if I die, they're in trouble!

Oh Jean, you forgot I was on here :D
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Old 09-08-2006, 06:08 PM   #32
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My mother was a very good cook. And presented food in a lovely way. Meat and greens were purchased on a daily basis weekdays, but no shops were open in the weekend, so it was roast on Saturday lunch and and curried eggs on Sunday.
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Old 09-08-2006, 08:18 PM   #33
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Oh Dale, dont you just wish the shops were still closed at the weekends here?? Maybe then we could see families playing, sitting and eating together again.

Vera, your mentioning a gallon of milk and your bike reminded me of my Mum sending me across the 6 acre horse paddock every evening to fetch fresh milk from the neighbours. All went well until I dawdled and daydreamed one evening and dusk had just fallen. Didn't see the horse I swear!! Got a kick in the head and I dont know how I got home. I was 7 years old at the time!!!

My mum was an amazing cook, but she too would thaw things on the kitchen bench. Now I know why, maybe once a year, the whole family would come down with a ' tummy bug'. Hmmmmmm, "we caught it off someone" mum would declare but I NEVER heard of any friends/acquaintances having the tummy bug around same time as us!! lolol Nope. Methinks that chicky was to blame!!
With what we all know now, mum would never have let her food thaw on a bench. I use cold running water to hasten it along and feel very bad about wasting water!
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Old 09-08-2006, 08:56 PM   #34
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Yes Lyn, I do, but I fear we will never see that time again. When I lived with my grandmother milk was left at the gate in a billy can. The bread was in the post box. Bottles came later, the only place I have seen bottles in the last few years has been in Chch. The butcher visited 3 times a week for her order, and so did the fruit and veg man.
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Old 09-08-2006, 09:04 PM   #35
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Well, at least we dont have nightcarts anymore. lolololol

Sorry to hijack this thread Vera, I couldn't resist!
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Old 09-08-2006, 09:07 PM   #36
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I really don't know how my mom thawed meat but she sure turned me against vegetables. I swear she cooked them down until they were grey. I can rememer green beans simmering on the stove for hours.

It took me years to eat anything green besides salads.
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Old 09-09-2006, 09:43 AM   #37
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I had a mother who thawed meat on the counter, too. I do the same.

My mother was from the deep South and cooked every vegetable for hours, with a big hunk of some kind of fat (usually fatback or margarine) and a load of salt. No wonder my dad died of a heart attack at 50!

The one weird thing I really remember her doing is, at the beginning of every school year, she'd ask us what we wanted for lunch and you'd better be very careful how you answered because THAT is what you'd get everyday for the entire year! I still remember 8th grade - canned corned beef sandwich with mustard, a Little Debbie Swiss Cake Roll, an apple, and milk. Thirty-eight years later and I still can't eat canned corned beef! BLECH!!!
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Old 09-09-2006, 11:09 AM   #38
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give me another heart attack, now at 25. i'm nationally certified in kitchen safety. give me palpitations, tee-hee. my Dad thaws via microwave or under cold water or such.
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Old 09-09-2006, 11:50 AM   #39
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...the only thing she did that i won't replicate is her "norwegian eggnogs" for breakfast on cold winter days. she would blend a few raw eggs into chocolate milk until it began to froth. e voila'. you didn't mind the taste, and you grew a shiny coat.
it was the doggie biscuits in our lunch that really bothered me... (j/k)
Bt, that was too funny. You actually got a snicker from me with that one.

My mom was a great cook and did things properly. But she didn't cook often enough. My older sister did most of the cooking around our house.

When Mom made pancakes, they were always the silver-dollar sized ones. She always managed to turn steaks into shoe-leather as well. Other than that, she made phenominal, from scratch food.

Her quirk was to send all of us kids, especially me, away to freinds houses, or outside to play. She didn't really play with us. And her favorite syaings were, and I quote, "Kids are to be seen and not heard.", and "Do as I say, not as I do.". We lived a double standard in our house. Adults could and did swear, smoke, and drink moderately when other adults were over. But children were not allowed to swear, had to use proper English skills, and were expected to be out of sight and earshot of the adults. We were pretty much left to our own devices for play-time and such. But it was easy. I wasn't a troublemaker, had a huge river (thrity-five feet deep and 3/4 mile wide) to play in, woods everywhere, and a thirst for high-adventure. The lifestyle was great for me and allowed me to grow and become very independant and self-reliant. But each of my sisters got into some trouble during their lives. They all grew to be respectable adults however.

Also, my mother expected me to be religious, which I am, and she rarely went to church. So my mother's quirks were that she had a need to be socially accepted, almost a social butterfly, required and exceptional husband (and my step-father was just that), and didn't like to give her time to her children very much. And yet, she loved us, and genuinely cared about us. She wa a complex woman who had endured a hard childhood of her own. And it affected her throughout her life.

And I owe her a debt of grattitude, for it was her unavailability that forged the need for me to be the best father I could be for my kids, giving them all of my time and resources.

All I can say is that life is a strange thing. I got much of what I needed from my mother's weaknesses. They made me strong.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 09-09-2006, 05:01 PM   #40
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Yes Lyn, I do, but I fear we will never see that time again. When I lived with my grandmother milk was left at the gate in a billy can. The bread was in the post box. Bottles came later, the only place I have seen bottles in the last few years has been in Chch. The butcher visited 3 times a week for her order, and so did the fruit and veg man.
I'd kill to have a butcher come riding down my street, or the green guy! I'd pay dearly to have milk left in the box at the front door again!
I hate going to the supermarket because I hate giving them money! I love grocery shopping, and I love shopping for a meal on the day I'm planning it. Instead, I have to drive 5 towns away to get to the butcher, 2 towns away to get to a decent produce store, three towns away for good bread, etc...
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