Thursday, April 7, 2016

RICH MEMORIES





 
 




This morning's still-drowsy thoughts of silly teenage memories before getting up for coffee---

We had newspaper delivery when I was growing up, and after Sis was born, our milk was delivered by a milk-man in a snazzy little white truck.   And besides all the garden produce we planted and picked and canned and froze ourselves every Summer, and the "spoken for" quarter of beef, received from Mr. Neighbors' Meat Market in neat white parcels, all smoothed and creased with the artistry of those exquisite Japanese gift-wraps, we did belong for several years to the "Rich Plan."   It was a sort of precursor to Schwann's and such, for they brought you frozen meats and vegetables, and oh, those frozen peach slices in deep cold January, rattling into a pie crust for a taste of Summer!

 





I loved looking at the crisp colourful pages of the thin "catalog" which pictured all that little toy food---the brightest peas in the history of peadom, the berries, each frozen whole in its little crust of ice, and filling your mouth with its popsicle Summer flavor, and all sorts of "made" stuff.   We'd always made every single item in our own kitchen---salmon patties and all our own pasta dishes and casseroles and breaded chicken, and there they were, each and every one more vivid and enticing than anything in the Betty Crocker book with its stylized outlines of fish and chops in their wee frilly toques and pictures of anemic pastel desserts less alluring than the spread at a Heckle and Jeckle picnic.

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  Just the variety of Rich's shapes of pineapple, like little kitchen Legos, fascinated me with their infinite possibilities. 


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   And those exotic Stuffed Crabs---our only exposure to the taste of crab was on occasional trips to the coast or Pensacola, and a day's "fishing" off the pier with a bit of chicken liver on a string, as the determined little crabs hung on to their catch long enough to be pulled up into the small dip-nets.   We'd have one night with a "crab dinner" in our motel kitchenette, cooking the little fellows in a huge pot Mother had brought from home (stuffed full of Sis's clothes and toys for economy of space in the trunk).  Those were messy affairs, with little hammers and the brought-along nut-picks and wet dishrags and bedtime showers for everyone after, especially after a day in the sun and 
sand---and the luxury of all that hot water, with nobody having to wait for the water heater to regroup and refill.

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But The Rich Stuffed Crab, now---those were special, and Mother doled them out like ortolans, precious and rare.  They were probably a ratio of twenty parts bread crumbs to one part crabmeat, stuffed back into the strange little bony shells and baked til golden on top.  Those were my dreams of what Movie Stars probably ate, and I helped Mother make great occasions of the special dish---homemade tartar sauce and cocktail sauce and moon-smiles of lemon, and it seemed quite a grand affair, there at our little kitchen table so far removed from the ocean.  And no, I didn't eat them, but I was piqued by such fiddly, interesting ways to "do" food, even at that young age.  

What a silly morning, reminiscing about such far-ago things as crab shells and frilly little panties for lamb chops.  I'm sure that's partially where I got this odd tendency to gussy up food.  Oh. Well.  

Happy April to everybody!




9 comments:

GSL said...

Bravo Rachel! Our milk man used to incite my pup Bandit when he placed our 1/2 gallon bottles in the fridge...Bandit wouldn't let up until after his milk truck was a 1/2 mile down the road.
Lamb chop panties will make me smile all day!

Susie said...

Rachel, I love going on the family vacation with you and Sis' s duds in the cooking pot. So funny. We had a milk man when my daughter was a baby..for about six months. I think way back when not every family had cars at least they didn't have two. So home deliveries were a blessings. I kind of wish they had that now...cause I just hate grocery shopping. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

Kathy said...

We had a milkman too. I think everyone did back then. He brought butter as well as milk. My grandmother used to buy bushel baskets of peaches and tomatoes and can them so we would have them to eat all winter. You brought back lots of good memories. Thanks!

Latane Barton said...

Oh my goodness, I want Rich delivery!!

donna baker said...

You too Miss Rachel. I've been toting a package in the back seat of my truck this week to the city and it's going out today. Hope you enjoy.

donna baker said...

Oh and, it used to make me mad when Mom always made angel food cakes. I wanted the chocolate buttermilk sheet cake, not that damn angel food cake.

Jeanne said...

Hello Rachel, I have two minutes to tell you your memories are a lot like mine. My parents had the 'rich Plan' after we moved to Fl. We are in Fl and forgot my charger.

sending you love and a happy weekend,
Jeanne

The Project said...

Hope you can recreate some of these flavors you cherish. That all sounds so special and delish! No milk man or Rich deliveries for me in the country Midwest... But I did watch Heckle and Jekyll...Jeckel? I Need to look up spelling..

Gayla from Oatmeal and Whimsy

Kim S. said...

You are bringing back memories! I've always been enamored of 'delivered foods'.