Mom wanted to have supper on the table when Dad came in the door, so the sibling responsible for setting it would have to have everything ready. Mom would be at the stove frying supper--and it was always fried food--usually fried in Crisco or Spry shortening, bacon grease or lard (never oil). We would have boiled potatoes one night and fried potatoes the next night with fried meat--hamburger or pork chops, liver, sausage or ham steak.
Vegetables choices alternated between canned corn, green beans and pork and beans. I never tasted broccoli until I was an adult. The only salad we had was chopped iceberg lettuce with sliced bananas and a dressing consisting of Miracle Whip mixed with a little sugar and milk. We loved it.
On those occasions when we were treated to dessert, it was either canned fruit (called sauce) or cooked pudding with milk. During peach season, however, we had peaches and cream every night because it was my dad's favorite.
When supper was done, it was time to do dishes. One night it would be my two brothers and the next, my sister Karen and I. This would sometimes result in arguments over whose turn it was and who left the crusty pan soaking in the oven.
Years later when my own four kids would fight over doing the dishes, I posted this poem by the kitchen sink for them. (Of course, it didn't do much good.)
Thank God for dirty dishes,
For they have a tale to tell.
While other folks go hungry,
We're eating very well.
With home and health and happiness,
We shouldn't want to fuss
For by this stack of evidence,
God's been very good to us.