Mother was somehow able to make meals that were the absolute right amount of food, as there were never leftovers. Since she rarely sat down with her family to enjoy the sumptuous feast, my sister Abby and I always were amazed that the food was always eaten up.
Dad, Abby and I did not truly enjoy her culinary masterpieces since we did not find food floating in grease appetizing. I usually gagged down as much as I knew I could get by with to escape her wrath. She loved to remind us that we better eat up because it was a long time until breakfast. I am not sure if that was meant as a threat but I was happy to get away from the table. Mother did not believe in snacks, except for herself of course. After school treats were unheard of in our home.
They were also unheard of in Beatrice’s home also but for very different reasons. Mother snacked all day so there were never any treats leftover and Beatrice did not allow anyone to mess up the kitchen. Our stepmother felt the less time you spent in the kitchen, the less chance for messing up her pretties and her museum.
In Mother’s home, the next morning, all the food had been eaten up from our dinner. It was sort of mysterious until we realized that Mother was a closet eater and found her appetite in between the binge drinking and pill popping.
This was true of most food that found its way into our home. Bismarck puffs, cookies (very rare and never homemade), lemonade, any sugary treat, all were always gone shortly after they arrived. The funny thing is that Mother never owned up to eating the treats, even with telltale powdered sugar all over her face and clothes.
It’s not that we wanted to eat more of her ptomaine delights, but we did learn a valuable lesson: Food still has calories even it you eat while standing and find yourself all alone!
Interestingly enough, our stepmother Beatrice also made food that was eaten all up at one setting. Her food skills were not much better than Mother’s but it generally didn’t make you rush to the bathroom. Beatrice would say there was no food leftover because the four of us were all chow-hounds. Yes, we all loved a good meal and still do. Like Mother, Beatrice was also a sneak eater and liked to blame the kids when the food was gone.
My sister Abby and I love leftovers but only when we know the name of the chef. In fact, we always make sure there is plenty of everything just in the off chance that we have unexpected guests. Sometimes we even find ourselves with an over abundance of leftovers which hearkens back to our childhood and wondering sometimes if there would even be a meal available.
Having a larder filled to the brim brings us great comfort, especially me. No, you will never show up at our homes without leaving feeling full and comforted with a warm meal and possibly a story for your own web site.