Friday, September 22, 2023

No Wonder My Dreams Involve Cooking For The Masses

We now have two more Grandparents' Day decorations in our kitchen to go along with four others that Gibson and Owen made us. I think that Maggie really enjoyed having her two grandmothers and her grandfather come to eat lunch with her today. Jason's mom was there and we all ate together. Maggie loved her lunch, from the Pringles (my favorite!) to the watermelon and sandwiches and pickles and elegant cake slices with raspberry. I forgot to mention yesterday that when her mama asked her what she'd like for me to bring for this lunch, she said, "Fish." 
Magnolia June loves fish so much. That just made me laugh. What second-grader wants fish as a treat meal? She is obviously a fine Florida girl.

Lily pointed out that fish would get cold before we could eat it but Maggie countered by saying that there are microwave ovens in the cafeteria which we could heat the fish up in. We will definitely have fish the next time Maggie comes to spend the night. 

I have to tell you that these lunches are always a source of a lot of anxiety for me which I realize is completely ridiculous. I dreamed early this morning that I was making food for so many people and that I was cooking it in giant iron vats of pots on open fires and that portions of the food spilled out into the fire and I could not keep track of everything. I mean, I get that I was concerned that I would make a lunch that Maggie would like but must I take it to that level? 
It would seem that I do.
Also there was the issue of getting there on time, figuring out where to park, finding Maggie, etc. Mr. Moon had gone into town earlier to work out so he was meeting me there and that was another anxiety- would I find him? And yes, of course we both have cell phones and no, it was not a problem to park, and it was quite easy to find our girl and she did like the lunch but Christ Almighty! I had to worry about it all like I was preparing to climb the Himalayas and was responsible for all of the food and the navigation. 
It wore me out. I swear- I've been good for nothing the rest of the day. 

Of course I did laundry and I also replaced two buckles on a pair of overalls that I use for gardening. I'd been holding the straps on with ancient diaper pins. No kidding. Those things last forever. And that is about it. It's really not that difficult to replace the buckles. You have to rip out the stitching on the straps and unthread them through the whatever-those-things-are and put the buckle on and then rethread them and stitch them in place. However, as I have said before, you might as well ask me to put together an entire Ikea kitchen set-up when it comes to something as simple as that threading process with the straps. My brain just does not work that way. 
Oh well. I caught up on a few episodes of Call the Midwife which continues to be a sweet and even timely show as they explore issues which affect us very much to this day like homelessness and single motherhood, poverty, race, religion, family and death, as well as birth, of course, which is endlessly fascinating. At least to some of us. 
Me, for instance. 
Hank just sent us all a text with the Facebook memory he'd gotten today from fourteen years ago which said, "Baby Update, nothing yet."
Oh, how we were all breathlessly waiting for Lily to go into labor with Owen. He was taking his own sweet time, which is every baby's right if you ask me. Or almost every baby. There are always exceptions. 
But that's a whole other subject and no need to go there now. 

I don't have a whole lot to say today about the body issue. I think that I will try to mostly just relate my own personal issues with my body, with hunger, with shame, with... well, all the things I've dealt with, experienced. And try to make some stab at figuring out how these things may have arisen and developed. 
"Hunger" may sound odd, especially in the context that I never suffered from lack of food. We were certainly not rich and we ate a whole lot of bologna and white bread and canned soup but there was always enough. 
And yet, somehow, there was never quite enough for me. I look back and wonder if I was missing some biological trigger that people are supposed to be born with that tell them when to stop eating. I distinctly remember going to a restaurant after church in a place on the Indian River, a bit north of Roseland, called "Em's." Or at least that's what I think it was called. A large group of people from church, including the pastor and his wife and my grandparents and some of the lovely retired folks that were my grandparent's friends, all went there and ate at one huge table. The food was served family style and it may have been the best food I'd ever eaten up to that point. I absolutely recall Em's pot roast with vegetables and how delicious it was. My grandmother's cooking, and my mother's, was adequate but very plain. They did their culinary duties but there was no joy in the food they cooked. Em, however, obviously knew her way around both a kitchen and a cut of meat and fresh vegetables. I ate so much that Sunday that my stomach hurt. And I did not like that feeling at all. But I could not stop myself. 
This was probably my first experience with overeating and it was, at once, both orgasmic and very painful. 
I was probably about six years old. Maybe seven. 

So that's my memory for today and I do not have much of any sort of insight as to why I could not stop eating that good food. Was it because, like I said, I was just born with a grand appreciation for what tasted truly good? That may have been part of it. I've always had a palate which has served me well when it comes to being able to concoct dishes that will please others and, yes, myself. And knowing how much pleasure I receive from eating good food has informed my cooking in that I want to give pleasure to those I cook for. 

So. Blessing and curse? 

Who knows? Not me. 

Martini time. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. Eating to the point of discomfort in front of everyone else at the table--when I was that age, and more, I would eat more of what I enjoyed in the kitchen, out of sight of adults, while putting away the left overs. So I had food issues, too.
    When the grands came to live with us, they all were very overweight. It soon became apparent why, they indulged in food eating contests. After supper each night, they would go back for "seconds" that were the equivalent of their first helping. So I instituted a rule: fill your plate with all you want the first time, as much as you want, and eat it all. No seconds. Within a year they all looked much better. And felt better. We talked about it. But when they were grown and left, the bad habits returned.
    I don't know the answer. Neither does Oprah.

    1. Your last line truly got me- Neither does Oprah. All her money and intelligence and obvious persistence and she still is a woman who loves to eat and I hope she's come to an acceptance of that.
      Early eating habits are almost impossible to break, I think.

  2. We never overate.... our portions were doled out for us by my Mom and we were expected to eat every bite, no more or no less. and....we we always had relatively healthy food, though not entirely creative or full of love. If there was something I really hated (liver and rice yuck) or rice and sauteed celery drenched in soy (Mom's idea of asian)........ and if I didn't eat it all......I was relegated to eating the rest of it the following morning. No joke. How's that for pure torture? And Mom was not into experimental cooking...she cooked what she was comfortable with (european basics but much of it pretty good).....sigh...... but....thinking back to the days before Owens birth.....I recall it well......have been *with you* that long here.......and I remember to this day the great anticipation and then joy at his arrival and the love shared all around. I lift my glass to Owen tonight! And to you!
    Susan M

    1. Your mother's belief in how children should be taught to eat was not uncommon when we were children. My mother didn't really have strict rules about finishing everything as far as I can remember but when my stepfather moved in, things changed. He was raised poor as could be and he insisted we eat everything on our plates. I remember one time he made me eat cabbage and I vomited at the table. I have always been proud of that.
      It was so good to see Owen today! He's growing up so good!

  3. I wonder if your body gets used to certain amounts. More is too much, less and you're hungry. I know though that for some people it simply isn't that simple. They can eat less and the body goes into starvation alert so they still don't lose weight. It's much more complicated for them than just portion control.

    I hear you about anxiety around school events even though they sound simple and fun. I do wonder with things like grandparents lunch, what happens to kids without any, or any local enough? There are father-daughter dances at schools here sometimes, same issue for kids of single moms or two moms. I don't like the enforced family structure it implies. Yes, I feel this as someone whose g parents died long before I was born!

    1. I tend to agree with you on the "what if there are no grandparents/daddy/ or two mommies". It must be really difficult for children whose home life isn't the same as everyone else's.

    2. Some people absolutely have higher metabolisms than others or at least something that helps them burn more calories than others. I believe this. But I think you are quite right about the body becoming accustomed to certain amounts of food. This makes sense to me. If we overeat and then try to cut down on portion size, we feel as if we are being starved. It's a real issue.
      And you're also right about the kids who don't have grandparents who can come to these lunches. There was a little girl sitting across from us yesterday who thought her grandmother was coming and she never showed up. That child would not eat one bite of her lunch or take one sip of her chocolate milk. We tried to get her to go ahead and eat but she would not. Glen, Joann, and I all felt just horrible about this.
      And Daddy/Daughter dances should be banned in my opinion. Not only are there so many families without daddies, some of the daddies are not good ones at all. I remember a daddy-daughter dinner my Scout troop had where the horror I experienced being there with my abuser will never be forgotten.

    3. At a Daddy Daughter dance here, one of the daddy showed up with a holstered gun. He wanted the world to know he was packing. There was some outrage about this, but the police decided that while it was a school event, it was not being held on school property and so no weapons did not apply.

  4. Love the picture of Maggie, she is so adorable.
    I wonder now if your "hunger" was for taste, flavour and texture, not for just food.

    1. I do think that played a part in it. My mother's and grandmother's cooking was entirely uninspired. And Em's cooking was the exact opposite. It was like an awakening for me.

  5. I never fully appreciated having a Dad who was a Master Chef and Culinary Jedi until I moved out and had to make my own meals. His DNA for that Gift sadly skipped over me and landed on my Brother. I've been fortunate the Menfolk in the Family were Blessed with the Gift, The Man and my Grandson-In-Law are exceptional Cooks.

    1. That is pretty cool. We don't have any notable man-cooks in my family.

  6. I would think that your dinner at Em's and how much you ate was more a reflection of being presented with really tasty food which you didn't get otherwise unless of course you gorged on baloney and white bread but somehow I doubt that. I mentioned before that I was skinny into my adult life and one reason is I didn't experience hunger and when I did it was usually accompanied by a headache which made it hard to eat. I didn't start experiencing hunger until I started working out at the gym and the trainer was insistent on me eating four times a day (3 meals, 1 snack) and I put on 20 pounds.

    1. I did probably eat an inappropriate amount of white bread and bologna. Even then, though, I experimented with different flavors. Bologna sandwiches with ketchup and pickle relish aren't horrible. Okay, they probably are.
      It's so odd that you did not experience hunger. That is such a basic human thing. You probably got headaches because by the time you did feel hunger, you were practically sick. Poor Ellen!

  7. I am glad Grandparents' Day went well, despite the anxiety dreams! It IS funny that Maggie asked for fish. She is her own person, isn't she?

    1. She is most definitely her own person. Amen, brother.


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