Ashby's post isn't about cheese specifically, or things cheesy, rather about food more generally. But we're fairly open-minded girls. And we love food, even without cheese.
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Food Preparation - Peggy Style
I think Oprah may have been the first to characterize it – her relationship with food. Wasn’t that weird? As if food could interact. As if food was worthy of her attention.
Peggy was the opposite. Peggy had NO relationship with food. And so, her children did not either. No, it’s not like that. We weren’t nutty exercise-y fruitloops who thought of food as FUEL. No, we didn’t monitor our intake as if our bodies were being sketched by some engineer as Exhibit A to a Patent application. We just ate some stuff. Or we didn’t.
Food was just food. Here are the subcategories:
My Mom likes crunchy food. Celery sticks, Cheetos, Wheat Thins, Biscuits, Pancakes, Eggs. What? You don’t think eggs should be crunchy? Well, in my household if food was just ever-so-slightly overcooked, it was still fine, just “crunchy.”
Salad was kind of a mainstay. The crunchy kind. And for some reason, salad had to be very DRY. We had a gadget called a SALAD SPINNER that you put all the salad junk in and turned this crank and it made a whoot whoot whoot sound like a lawn mower starting up. When you were done, you had a dry salad!!
Then you could put Ranch dressing on it – or “slime” as Peggy liked to call it.
Peggy doesn’t necessarily like condiments. I’m not sure I’ve ever really seen her eat any condiments at all. She is more of a collector of condiments. The pantry has reproduced from one cabinet to three, and there are many, many plastic bottles of ketchup and barbecue sauce.
How can I describe how many? If there were ever a nuclear holocaust, and all that was left were zombie people wandering around and eating body parts belonging to their previous neighbors – you know, cooking people on a grill or something, Peggy could hook them up with some A1.
One time my siblings got hungry. I think they were in their 20s. Ginny and Will took notice of the multiplying condiments, the vintage condiments – which were more valuable by the way, 1999 was a good year. So Will and Gin put SIGNS on the inside of the pantry doors that said “Mom, Entrée??”
It wasn’t that Peggy didn’t know that meat kind of anchors the meal, not to mention provides valuable protein for her young children. She just didn’t know what to do with the meat. Chicken was out of the question. Dad grew up on a chicken farm. So he was like Bubba Gump except chicken – “we had chicken dumplings, and fried chicken and baked chicken and chicken pot pie and chicken biscuits and boiled chicken and chicken salad.”
She had to figure out what to do with a cow. And she was inventive! Once she bought a big vat of raw ground beef. She dumped that beef in a skillet – thunk. She added some stuff in little bottles – you know, stuff that shakes out in little flakes.
THEN, she had an idea. Get a bunch of those wrapped up cylinders of dough that you fold out in little bikini top shapes – croissants, yes, that’s it. You unwrap them ALL. You put them on a cookie sheet. All of them. You carefully slide the multiple pounds of browned beef that is brown all the way through and, let’s be honest, crunchy on the sides - - on top of the bikini top dough. THEN, you forage for some condiments. Mainly ketchup. And you squirt, squirt, squirt, “shut up Will, it does not sound like a fart” – the ketchup onto the crunchy ground beef.
Then, you carefully tuck the bikini top dough around the ketchup-covered-crunchy-beef-mound. And you squish the edges together so it will stay put. And you squish harder on those edges so it is more like a suture.
Peggy made a carcass.
We called Dominos.
3. Ice Cream.
There was usually ice cream in the house. For a time, Peggy tried to get us to wean off the ice cream – tried this crap called Ice Milk. This was before TCBY. The only ice cream that was any good was Coffee Ice Cream. We could have it any time of day, even though it was full of caffeine and it probably caused us to bounce off the walls. If we were special, and she loved us enough, she made chocolate syrup too. You have never had this chocolate syrup before. Trust me. It is so good when you are done eating it the sugar has burnt little holes in the side of your mouth. These holes hurt for days. It was worth it.
When I was engaged, Peggy’s friends had a Recipe Shower for me. It really was a cute idea. All of her friends were to write down a favorite recipe, and provide me with one ingredient or a utensil as a gift. I received some GREAT recipes. Beautifully written recipes on delicate recipe cards. I still have them all.
I even have Peggy’s recipe for Chocolate Syrup, written on an index card. Be sure and read the specific instructions.
Here it is:
Thanks Ashby for being our first unsolicited guest poster! You're officially a Cheesy Blogger now. Congrats... or sorry. Whichever.
Now it's your turn! Submit a link to your own food posts below. You might want to include your blog name in the link title, so people know that the link is a product of your own brilliance! I'll get the ball rolling, take a look: