My dad was the consummate story teller, and one of my biggest frustrations at losing him is the rapidity at which I seem to be losing his stories. Just bits and snatches here and there—the gist remains, but the details that made the stories so wonderful escape my memory.
The lesson here is: Record the stories now. Write them down. Get them on video or digital format, whatever medium you can—just record them.
This weekend though, I discovered a treasure. While cleaning the basement, my husband found a letter that my dad sent me not long after Mom died. It contained one of those little anecdotes that had escaped my memory. I present it here now, as Dad wrote it, because I can only improve on his spelling and punctuation—not his storytelling.
Since the passing of your mother, I have done some experimenting with preparing my own meals. There have been some mild successes and few failures.
Using the crockpot, I have achieved some success. Recently I purchased some chicken breasts and froze them because I wasn’t going to use them right away. Some days later, I removed them from the package with vegetables and a half a can of chicken broth. The next morning I was rather sick. I discarded the remainder of this meal, and consulted my two daughters, who both agreed that using the leftover broth was my mistake; it had been in the refrigerator for some weeks and had a small black spot in the plastic container.
I determined to retry this project so I purchased another package of chicken breasts, but didn’t freeze them since I was going to prepare them the next day, and I used fresh broth. The chicken was much easier to remove from the package. To my surprise, I discovered the stuff, which I had previously taken to be chicken skin after cooking on the first try (and discarded), was actually the padding from between the chicken and the Styrofoam® container. Also, the creamy substance in the original preparation was probably the paper tissue that had been between the pieces of chicken. My second try turned out much better than the first, and I did not feel ill at all the next morning.
P.S. Thought you might enjoy this.
I think there are several take home messages here:
- Parents, teach your children (sons and daughters) to cook.
- What doesn’t kill you probably does make your immune system stronger.
- Be a pack rat. Save those letters, cards and tidbits. They are worth more than gold.
Happy tales to you and yours.
© 2014 Michele Arduengo. All rights reserved.