Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Suppertime, Westbrook MN--1950

Dad would come home from work for supper at 6:00. We always knew when it was 6:00 because the whistle on the town water tower would blow. It also blew at noon and for fires, but the supper whistle was the one that really mattered.
    (I was tickled to find the actual water tower on Google.)
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.
(Apparently nobody serves simple peaches and cream any more. I had a hard time finding an illustration!)

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.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Madison's Mustard Museum

I recently took a trip to Madison Wisconsin to visit my sister.  She took me to the Mustard Museum and it was a lively place. The photo was taken in the lower level.

We also visited the new HyVee store that had opened there. (She was not as enthusiastic about it as I am.) Later we went out to the zoo since it was a nice day. I was looking forward to seeing the chimpanzees that I remembered from a trip some fifteen years ago. They were no longer in the primate house so I asked a Docent why. She said that they only had two surviving chimps and they don't do well in small groups. For their own benefit, the two were sent to the Denver Zoo which has a larger population. I hope they're happy there.