Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday Memories--Chris' Suppers

“You know you’re a Chadwick if lunch is dinner and dinner is supper” is one of the lines in a family scrapbook. And how we could tell if new kids that moved into our school were town kids or country kids was what they called the evening meal. (Yes, you're so right. Nellie Olsen would have correctly snarled, "Coun-try girl" when she met me.)

When you have seven girls in a family, you’re bound to get some specialists. My sister Chris was the cook. We all liked it when she fixed supper because she cooked with flair. She wore an apron, or at least tucked a dishtowel in the waistband of her levis. Chris went beyond cookies and brownies; she made jelly rolls and layered cakes. She fixed individualized salads (which also meant twelve extra plates for the dish washer) instead of a mega-salad in the center of the table. She used the Betty Crocker Cookbook for Boys and Girls and made Raggedy Ann salads from peach halves, or just invented salads like graham crackers with applesauce and whipped cream.




But my favorite thing Chris would cook when it was just us little kids for supper was . . . Leftovers. She would shoo us out of the kitchen, tuck in her dishtowel, and pull everything out of the fridge. She artfully arranged each plate. One plate might have spaghetti, while another one had meat, potatoes and gravy; a third plate might have a hot dog and potato chips, and the fourth a bowl of chicken noodle soup. Sometimes if we were lucky, a bowl of cereal was one of the meals. No matter what was on the plate, each one looked appetizing by the time Chris was done with it. Chris set the table with the different plates of food and covered each plate with another plate or bowl so that we couldn't see what they were.

We had a dinner bell that hung on the edge of the cupboard and that is how everyone was called for meals. But before we could sit at the table on Leftover night, we had to draw a number. The numbers determined which plate we ate and where we sat.

As I recall, Chris wouldn't let us switch plates once we uncovered our dish. We had to eat the plate we drew, even if weiners made us throw up. But it was worth the gamble, it was almost as daring as B-I-N-G-O. I used this same idea with our kids and they liked it as much as I did (Calvin not so much).

I appreciate Chris. She has fed me well through the years . . .

10 comments:

deidra said...

What a great idea for left-overs! If only I had more than two mouths to feed. I'd know which plate was which, and couldn't be counted on to play fair.

For now, maybe just getting rid of the left-overs that have over stayed their welcome in the fridge would be helpful with dinnertime inspiration.

Ande Payne said...

Yes, she is a great aunt. I always think of homemade donuts when I think of Aunt Chris. And sugar. Lots of sugar.

Cali said...

My favorite meal (when you would do this for us) and the one I would HOPE I got was Kraft Macaroni and Cheese with hot dogs cut up in it. Ahhhh, gourmet! I loved it when I got that one.

Deanna/Mimi said...

I absolutely loved this story. Oh how I wish I could have lived in such a fun family...if you knew my "history" you would understand that statement. Thank you for the delightful story. I am still smiling.

Derek-Jenny-Kaitlynd-Ethan-Dylan said...

What a great memory to have recorded!
It reminds me of my sisters and our silly memories growing up.

Barb said...

I'm totally doing this for leftovers. And luckily leftovers are normally saved for a night Ken won't be home, so that will work out nicely.

Tiffany Fackrell said...

Oh you can bet I am tucking this little gem away for a leftovers day!

michelle said...

So clever! A game of food roulette! I especially liked the fact that you considered a bowl of cereal to be a special treat.

Amy said...

This made me laugh out loud. I LOVE the idea and can totally picture the scene at your house. Ha!

Rachel said...

I can picture all of this in my head and I love it! Especially Aunt Chris tucking a dishtowel into her jeans!