So, I get home from Toastmasters this evening. Which is good, because I go most every Wednesday night, and it's always nice to be able to get home from something, because that's what's all about. Getting home from work. Getting home from the doctor's. Getting home from the hospital. Shows you're still among the living.
I got home from Toastmasters this evening. Patricia had taken the bus and was watching television. She gestured toward the kitchen and indicated there was something on the stove for me to have for dinner. Which is good, because I had not bought something on the way home.
It was the meal that my mudder always made for us growing up. Hamburger hash.
Now, before you reach for the phone and call 911 and arrange for the Department of Justice to kick me out of my home under the proceeds of crime act, let me tell you that "hash" is, to poor folk, just fried, diced potatoes, usually in some kind of oil. Hamburger hash is hash with cooked hamburger mixed in. If you want to get fancy, you can add some other vegetables like peas or carrots. Onions are a nice addition, too. It is a simple, hearty meal, so don't overdo it on the other ingredients.
Grew up eating that stuff. I'd grown tired of it by the time I left home in 1988, but over the years, my cravings for it have only grown stronger. It is a treat for me to eat this stuff when I go home to see my mother now. She tries to make sure I have it once a month or so. She eats a bit of it and then cedes the rest of it to me. I spoon large quantities of it onto my plate, add some ketchup and salt, and start eating, holding the plate in such a way that the fork and the plate itself can be used as weapons against anybody who tries to take the food away from me.
One time a year or so ago, I ate 3 heaping helpings of this wonderful dish. I only stopped eating because I wanted to keep some for my lunch the next day.
Dad barely understood my interest in this meal, because after I moved out, my mother continued to prepare it, until Dad was so sick of it that I'd almost swear some of his ambulance trips to the hospital were a way for him to get out of eating it. But I went several years without having hamburger hash, and only started eating it again when I mentioned to my mother how much I missed it. She got the hint (well, it was more like me begging her to make it for me!), and now it's a semi-regular edition to my Annapolis Valley diet.
Why am I telling you this?
Well, Patricia made it for me this evening. And every time I think of it, I think of home and a simpler time that is gone forever, as sad as that makes me. Sometimes, these simpler reminders are just a way to take me back to those times, and that will have to do.
Patricia's hamburger hash was good. Real good. But I wish she had made more. Only had 2 platefuls.
See you tomorrow.
Ahhhh, the memories of childhood that come flooding back....
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