Thursday, November 20, 2008
Red Letter Day
Red Letter Day! Happy Birthday Peaches!
Today is Peaches' Birthday! She is 89, and looks much younger and dances like she is 20. Happy Birthday, Mom! Peaches was born in Oakdale, LA November 20, 1919. She was born at home, and weighed only about 4 pounds, as she was very early. Her grandmother stayed up all night keeping her warm, rocking her by the stove. Some of the great memories we have of times past are the stories Mom used to make up to tell the grandchildren. Lara remembers spending the night with Peaches and Pop, getting her bath, and Peaches would put lotion all over her little legs and arms and back and tummy! The favorite story Lara remembers is about a fairy that lived in a pool. Mom used to always tell about the little blue bird that fell out of a nest and how (insert name) picked it up and saved it.
From Mom's cooking beginnings with Spam, she became one of the best cooks I've ever known. All of the brothers, sisters, grandchildren and friends will agree. But, don't ask her for a favorite recipe, it will have an ingredient left out. Dad was always bringing home exotic groceries, and getting Mom to try something new. He subscribed to Gourmet from the late forties until, well always, and seemed to have a new recipe for Mom every week. Elaine, my sister-in-law, remembers Mom going to Clout's grocery store in Atlanta and bringing home all kinds of delicious things. Clout's was fabulous long before Central Market. Carpeting and chandeliers. Elaine also remembers how Mom would tell everyone that she couldn't give out her secret salad dressing. Mom finally confessed to her good friend, Myrtle Hanson, that it was Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing. Aunt Dottie had given Mom some of the packets, and Peaches was able to keep her secret for about a year. In the early '60's Hidden Valley was just becoming popular in our part of the world. Elaine also remembers Sundays were family cookouts. Dad loved his huge Texas size Weber grill. One of the things Elaine remembers that Dad loved to cook, was a leg of lamb, served with mint jelly, and pilaf, and always a delicious salad. Dad would buy bulgar when he was in Atlanta, and Mom would make her pilaf with it. Saute some onions in butter, add garlic, stir in the bulgar, add broth, cover and simmer until done. Test for seasonings.