Friday, December 21, 2012
Tsp Revisited Bearing a Gift
I related my inability to cook in a July entry called Seesaw Wisdom . I repost it here so you can follow the update.
My mother was obsessed with cleaning and her kitchen. No one could help her wash dishes or clean. Only she could make sure it was done correctly. And she most definitely did NOT teach her daughter how to cook. I am 58 and I still do not know how to cook. The language of cooking is as foreign as the language of Martians. To get my Brownie badge, the one exception was made and I entered her sacred kitchen to make brownies from a boxed mix. The directions were quite clear- "50 strokes by hand." Hmmmm. Must be a reason you cannot use a spoon, it clearly says by hand. So...... squish...one..squish...two... My mother entered the kitchen and to her horror her daughter was mixing the batter, by hand. Lesson over. Later, regretting her lack of wisdom, she gave me a Barbie Easy Cook Book for children hoping I would learn to cook...I was in my 20's and living away from home. I tried. Finally in frustration I called her. She could tell I was mad. I had been to every store, asked every clerk and no one, no ONE had tisp flour! How were you supposed to make the recipe if you could not get tisp flour! A long silence. Then in her ever so slow southern drawl, she asked me to read exactly what the recipe said (perhaps remembering the 50 strokes by hand). I did. Another looooonnng pause. Quietly she informed me that "tisp" was an abbreviation for teaspoon - tsp. Not a brand or type. TSP mean teaspoon. Sigh...and giggle.
Tonight, Friday 12/21/12 - Perhaps the season, but my mama's presence would not leave me and created a desire for toast made in the "thing" (aka oven) with butter and cheese. Do not know why, but felt I needed to make. Four phone calls later, finally found someone at home who told me what kind of pan to buy at the store and to call them back when ready. With phone on speaker, and yes, much laughter, they told me how to put the butter and cheese on the bread, and using the photo of the thing's (aka oven) knobs told me what to press and turn. And then, quite exhausted from their laughter, told me to call later to make sure the house did not burn down.
And so there I sat, on the floor, with the light on so I could see. Have you ever watched bread turn into toast? Folded cross legs holding my hands I squiggled and sat and watched it all happen. No, there is nothing in the picture, the thing is empty...and yes I remembered to turn off the light. I sat there looking into the empty cave of the thing, drinking my coffee and eating my mama's cheese toast and heard the thread.... perhaps that is Christmas .... daring to look beyond what has never been done, into the light with the eyes of a child. Magic. Wonder. Giggles and sweet tears.
Merry Christmas mama.... thank you for the present.