Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell Dec. 18, 2007

I am proud to report that I have electricity this week. I am ashamed to say that it is extremely difficult for me to write without my computer, in fact, it is almost impossible. But I feel that I must say a huge thank you to our electric co-op. We had power out all over the county and they worked until we were up and running again. I asked one the crew how much sleep he had and he told me that he had four hours in 48 hours. I cannot imagine having a job that I would be my busiest in the worst conditions that Mother Nature has to offer and to top it off with little or no sleep. I think our power company CMS is the best around.
With Christmas right around the corner I want you to watch your family table manners. While I was in northern Kansas cooking for hunters, I noticed something that really bothers me. In camp there were only four hunters and two guides so I set the table just like my mom had taught me when I was a little girl. They did not sit at the table and pass the food, not even the salt and pepper. Each one got up from his chair and got the food that they wanted on their plate. The first night I thought maybe they were not sure what was going on, but by the third night they were not doing any better. It got me to thinking why this has happened and the only explanation I could come up with is buffets and restaurants. People do not eat at home as much as we used to and I think that we have lost something. As a child growing up some of my favorite memories was at the table. Mom always had good meals; we always had meat, vegetables, fruit and dessert at every meal or almost every meal. We raised sheep so it was not uncommon to have lamb or mutton or our own farmed raised chicken, beef or pork. The folks never made a big deal over what we were eating- We ate heart, other parts, and once in a while, we had liver and onions too. After I was older that was not one of my favorite meals. Mom made sure that there was something that we would eat. I can not remember any time that there was any trauma over what we ate or would not eat. We took what we liked- It seems to have worked out okay as there are very few things that I do not like. Dad always bragged on Moms cooking so if I did not take something dad would brag on it and make me feel like I must have really missed out on a delicacy, so I would make sure and try it the next time. Not only did we have our own meat we had eggs- and milk, too, which meant we had lots of fresh cream- and one of dads favorite menu items was gravy.
At the table was when we talked about our day- either what we did or what we were about to do. Mealtime was never the place where correction took place, unless it was on our table manners. In the morning at the breakfast table Mom would read the daily devotions and the daily scripture. The one rule that Dad had was that we were never to sing or hum at the table- but once in a while we would play some sort of a game at the end of the meal- I would want us to do something fun and long, especially if it was my turn to do the dishes. I wanted to put that chore off as long as possible.
One time I was at a friend’s house and meal time was when the dad would point out to each family member what they had done wrong that day. I can tell you that the meal that his wife had worked hard on did not set well, at all. It was an uncomfortable feeling and it made me feel bad for everyone concerned.
When you sit down at the family table the next time, watch and see if you can actually pass the food to each other and remember to enjoy the food but more importantly each other.

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