Friday, January 15, 2010

What Persephone Couldn't Resist

That's a Good Day
Thank You Marba Rose
Thank You Nita Sue

Thank you Celeste Thank you Susie

A long time ago, I had a Grandma.
Marba Rose.

"Grandma," I would say, "I'm hungry.

"What do you want for lunch?" she would ask in this very sincere way, as if she ever expected me to eat anything other than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

"Peanut butter and jelly."

As if there existed any other edible anything when it comes to lunch.

She would make a sandwich like this:
Two slices of Shepherd's Bread from the Von's on the corner of Lamb and Charleston in unincorporated Las Vegas, Nevada.
Jiff peanut butter spread so thick on one slice you could lose a marble in it.
Margarine on the other side, but only a bit and only to accentuate what came next-

Le Piece de Resistance
Homemade, from homegrown, pure magenta, sweet-tart a la perfection in a Kerr jar
Pomegranate Jelly.

Slice that bad boy in two, serve with a well chilled glass of 2% milk and feel it stick to the roof of your mouth in pure ecstasy.

Plus, my grandma was a genius and knew pretty much everything, like how to love my Dad and his brother through the teenage years.
And other important things like-
"A glass of milk with a peanut butter sandwich provides all eight of the essential amino acids."
I still don't know what an amino acid is, but my Grandma sure made me feel good about eating my daily peanut butter and jelly.

I have a Mom.
Nita Sue

She lives in the house my Grandma lived in all the years I was growing up. She tends the pomegranate trees planted by my Grandpa way back when. She harvests the leather-skinned fruit. She juices the impossible seeds. And every time she comes to visit me she brings quart jars full of the sweet nectar for me to make into jelly.

She taught me to make the jelly.

I have a friend.

She taught me to make bread.
Not just any bread - the delicious kind, that people fawn over, including myself. The kind we have to ration so as not to eat all three heavenly loaves that just came out of the oven, before Matt gets home to enjoy a slice.

I have a Mother-in-law
Dear Susie

She taught me there is more to life than peanut butter and jelly.
And because I lived in her house for two years and cooked elbow to elbow at her stove, following VERY precise directions all along the way, and because she works culinary magic with any morsel of food that makes its way into her kitchen (including.....onions...) I can now whip up a little dish that makes me feel so sophisticated. Like I should have a bit of lemon sorbet before I eat it to cleanse my palette of all the ordinary things that passed by there throughout the day.

This is it - Carrot and Onion Soup
A bit of butter, a bit of chicken stock, a bit of cream
A whole lot of sauteed carrots and onions

And think your life blessed that you
Peanut buttered and jellied for lunch
with your own homemade pomegranate perfection
and your own "pain du jour"
and you grew up for dinner
eating onions in ANY form that would have once been worse than eating dirt
and is now better than eating candy

If the peanut butter and milk provide the eight essential amino acids, the carrots and onions must provide the for-the-pure-joy-of-it amino acids.

I love women.

We hand things down in a way that the men generally only appreciate at the table,

and that we appreciate in the soul.

Bless you women.

And ain't magenta pretty?


shelley said...

I too love our mothers. I love your mother for her sweet and tender love for all, for her part in bringing you here so we can share you, and for her other-worldly-beyond-description-pomegrante jelly.

I love my mother for her love and devotion to her family, and for making amazing food for us each week--the kind I want to eat but usually not bad enough to make it myself. I have, however, made that carrot soup and it is divine. I'd make some, but tomorrow is Saturday again, so there's no need. I heard a rumor about fresh frozen lemon tarts...

aubtobobtolob said...

Im crying.... missing the Grandma we had a long time ago.

excited to see mom soon, and eat said jelly!

wondering if you are going to make me your bread, and maybe just maybe share the magic?

Dana said...

Absolutely beautiful tribute to the special women (and food) in our lives....