The moments I remember with a smile or chortle involving my mother, all seem to deal with food, or at least the taste buds some which way or other. Here are some examples:
“A little corn with your butter, Mom?”
My mother, Anne Kurilovitch Woods, would wait till her corn on the cob was cooled a bit before adding a sizeable dab of butter – to each bite. She didn’t want it to melt and run down the other side and drip off – she wanted every creamy speck to go into her mouth. I can’t eat corn on the cob without thinking of that maternal habit.
Now, I’m not talking the little hairs on your arms standing up straight, oh no! When my mom added horseradish to her pot roast – she put, again, a sizeable dollop on each bite, and we all watched as steam, as it were, came shooting out her ears and the hair of her head raised up a few inches off her scalp, and her eyes popped out before flooding with tears as she, red faced, broke into a sweat. You would think she would remember the last time it happened and be more careful, but I suppose she actually loved the thrill of the full body sensation.
I double dog dare you
As a college student at Indiana University on a full tuition academic scholarship, the only thing my mom had to pay for was housing. So she lived with a wonderful family and helped with the children for her room and board. One day in town, the father of the home challenged my mother saying he didn’t think she would dare eat a raw oyster. Mom had never had oysters before, and there before her were all-you-can-eat raw oysters on the half shell. Not one to back down from a dare, she downed not one, but a dozen one right after the other! Reality struck a few moments later – and there on the sidewalk, up all twelve of them came, even faster than they had gone down. This time she DID learn her lesson – she never ate oysters again!
Just a sample
Mom loved to try the taste samples at Hickory Farms stores, though she knew full good and well how they tasted from repeated visits. The store didn’t care, they knew that anyone coming into the store for a sample was more likely to become a customer than if they simply walked past. In the grocery store, however, the philosophy was different. How my mother knew when to “sample” the Brach’s Candy display I do not know, because when my cousin and I tried it, we were escorted out of the store, despite our explanations that we were “just having a sample!”
One day while cleaning up in the kitchen, Mom spied something white and powdery on the kitchen counter, assuming it was sugar she wet her finger and dipped it in the substance and popped it into her mouth. ACK!!!! Spit! Cough! Choke! No, alas, not sugar or anything quite that edible – it was dishwasher detergent! On another occasion, she picked up a used fork and popped it into her mouth only to discover it was cat food – another scene of coughing, spitting and hacking ensued. And what did I do from the next room? Laughed myself silly. Years later as a mother, I enjoyed telling my children this story about their grandmother. Well, what goes around comes around, and in true mother-daughter fashion, I licked up some unknown substance in my kitchen to find it was some type of cleaning product as my children watched from the next room – and, like mother like daughter, I coughed and spit and hacked into the sink whatever it was – and like mother like sons – my boys laughed themselves silly, the irony not lost for a moment.
I have a grandson. I look forward to my day of retribution!
These are tasty family stories passed from generation to generation, told repeatedly, usually over a meal, always bringing a good laugh and fond memories!