Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Jello and Fried Fish with Eyes

Thinking back on my previous post, "This is good eating!" and the toast concoction Daddy used to make me eat on Saturday mornings; I quickly thought of my maternal and paternal grandmothers. They were both interesting church ladies who seem to have some sort of fondness for making me eat their latest masterpiece at their kitchen tables. On hindsight, perhaps I should have reported them to social services for some type of child endangerment or traumatizing a young child with food. This post probably has more of a "Wow" or "Ewww" factor than humor.

Mother Gertrude

Looking in my grandmother's refrigerator, I asked, "What's this pink stuff in this container, Ma Gertrude?"
"Oh, that's brains. I can scramble them up with some eggs. Want some?" she asked.
"Good God no!" I thought to myself. I continued, "No, thank you."
"Want some grape jello? It should be ready," she offered.
"Yeah, that would be great," I replied with glee.

Taking a seat at her kitchen table, Mother Gertrude placed two spoonfuls of jello in a bowl and placed it in front of me. Excited, I reached for the spoon that was beside the bowl and took aim and the shaky dessert in front of me. My grandmother quickly interrupted me. "Wait a minute. I got something else for you," she said.

Appearing out of no where, my mother's mother stood over me with a pot and a heavy spoon. She then drowned my jello with what seemed like a ton of a white, creamy sauce until the jello was buried deep within the bowl.

With eyes wide open and mouth agape, I stuttered, "What is this?"
"Custard. You like custard," Mother Gertrude replied.
"Like hell I do. I never had this crap before," I thought to myself. I continued, "No, I haven't."
"Well, eat it. It's good," she said, walking toward her bedroom to watch her stories.

Years had passed; and I was still sitting at her kitchen table. Actually, it was probably more like a few minutes. But, looking at a bowl of custard with small peaks of grape jello made my young life seem like it would last forever. So, the french poodle, Zsa Zsa, walked into the kitchen to check on me. I lifted the bowl from the table and placed it in front of her on the floor. The poodle looked at the bowl, then at me and returned to her hiding place.

Papa arrived moments later from the outdoors. I was sure my grandfather would help me. "I can't help you with this one," he said. My Aunt Ellen and Cousin Tommy both delivered the same response. Then, my teenage cousin, Tee Tee, arrived.

"Please, help me," I pleaded.
"Ugh, what's that?" she asked.
"Custard with jello. I don't want it," I replied.
"Let's dump it in the trash and cover it over," she offered.
"Really? That's all?" I asked.

Later, Mother Gertrude asked, "Did you enjoy the custard and jello?"
"I sure did!"

Crisis averted!

Mother Sadie

(Setting: Friday night dinner at her house)

Menu: Fried fish with the head and tail attached. Canned spaghetti. Hash browns and corn bread.

There is nothing more unsettling than trying to eat a piece of hot, fried fish while it is watching you.

Noticing that I wasn't interested in eating the fish, Daddy said, "This is good eating!"
"Not that again! This is worst than that toast stuff you made me eat last Saturday!" I thought to myself. "You really think so?" I finally asked.
"Yeah, it sure is. You don't want it?"
"Heck no! I'll suffer through this yukky canned spaghetti, first. Jesus, help me," I thought. "No, I'll eat the spaghetti. You want my fish?" I asked him.
"Give it here," Daddy commanded.

So, Daddy ate the fish along with the head and all that it contained - much to my amazement. Mother Sadie must have noticed the exchanged between her son and me and decided to fix fried chicken the following Friday. "Thank God!" I mumbled at her kitchen table. I'm sure she thought I was saying my grace.

Until next week...

Much love to each of you and keep praising His name,
Sir Charles

(My novels and ebooks are available on - Charles Carroll Lee)

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