Monday, March 7, 2016

Monday Memories -- Trophy Wife

Several years ago Cali, Ande and I were finishing up the supper dishes. The girls were talking about “trophy wives” and wondered why some men want them.

When I grew up, my mom stored the trophies we won at school or the fair in gunny sacks. The biggest, newest, brassiest ones sat on the living room shelf for a few months, but they soon ended up in the trophy graveyard with all of the others. Mom wrapped them in burlap feed sacks and we buried them in the dust of the barn attic.

I clearly remember my mother and her friend Josie Pastoor discussing the uselessness of trophies on the phone one day. My mother said, “I just don’t understand why they don’t award the kids something useful like blankets instead of trophies.”

Her tone told me trophies were unproductive and worthless.

Evidently I unknowingly passed down those same trophy sentiments because as Cali and Ande discussed “trophy wives” they echoed my mother’s opinion of our school trophies: “nice to look at, fun to hold, not real useful, and soon grow old.”

Calvin came into the kitchen to get a drink of water near the end of their conversation and the girls blindsided him, “Dad, did you marry a trophy wife?”

They snickered, knowing full well I’m a “blanket” wife.

Calvin was helpless; his mom didn’t store his trophies in a gunny sack. To him, trophies were medals or, at least, wild game big enough to fill a freezer. He grinned from ear to ear and said, “OF COURSE I married me a trophy wife!” and winked.

And I’ve never told him otherwise because Ogden Nash said,

To keep your marriage brimming,
With love in the loving cup
Whenever you’re wrong admit it;
Whenever you’re right shut up.


One day, when we were newly married, Calvin asked what I was fixing for supper. I said, “Tacos.” He was pretty excited when I said I needed to make some shells first. He grew up on authentic Mexican food and now his “trophy” was going to make her very own taco shells. But having never eaten jalapeños, chilies, cilantro or authentic Mexican food before we married, my shells weren’t quite what Calvin was expecting. Each in-law was similarly amazed at our private recipe. As one in-law said, “You know you're a Chadwick if you put ketchup on your crepe and call it a taco.” 

Chadwick Taco Shells

½ cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
Pinch of salt
1 egg
1½ cups water

Sift flour, cornmeal and salt together. Mix egg and water and stir into flour mixture until smooth. Pour puddle of batter (about the size and shape of a pancake) onto a hot griddle and cook until dry on top. Flip and brown lightly on the other side. Serve with unseasoned hamburger, shredded cheese, lettuce and ketchup. If you’re feeling real spicy, serve with diced raw onions, too.

1 comment:

Haley Krumblis said...

We introduced Abby to these the other day and she told us her dad always puts plain hamburger and ketchup on his tacos. It is a Chadwick thing but these taco pancakes are the best!