No mixing

When I was growing up, there was no mixing up the silverware in the silverware drawer, no hands on the wall, no burping or sneezing at the table, no elbows on the table, no hair in your face, no singing grace slowly, no mistaking the word bring for the word take, no dangling participles, no saying, “you know”, no talking too long about trivialities, no reading the comics before the front page, no taking apart of the newspaper, no guessing the facts, no asking for definitions, no eating more than your fair share of food, no leaving food on your plate, no using the clothes dryer if the temperature outside was higher than 32 degrees, no blow dryers, no 10 minute showers, no slouching, swearing or using the Lord’s name in vain. No saying, “sure” after a thank you–“you’re welcome” only. No scraping the knife of the last bit of peanut butter or jelly back into the jar, after spreading the bread. No calling somebody Mister, if they were a doctor. No tipping chairs. And no eating ice cream out of the container. The only sign posted was the one about tipping chairs.
It was a long time ago; I may have forgotten a few.
From the beginning I got great pleasure from cheating. My thrill was a chair leg 1/2 an inch off the floor. Even my mother–the day my step father died–came home, opened the dishwasher, and tipped out the silverware into the silverware drawer in one fell swoop. And then she ate ice cream straight from the container. A tradition I carry on.
When the going gets tough, right to the bottom. But I’m climbing back on the cooking train and searing myself some chicken skewers tonight, marinated in fresh mint, basil, mint and oregano–I want to taste the whole garden–lemon zest, garlic, a little vinegar, sea salt and dreamy olive oil. I am going to serve it with a chopped tomato and nicoise salad and a tiny pool of hand crushed pesto. It was my favorite magazine in the whole wide world that saved me. Bless mindless page turning, and Saveur for their persistence tempting us with what dinner could be.

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