Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Foods my mother fed me

1.  Vienna sausages

2.  Spam

3. Deviled ham

4.  Hot dogs split in half and fried

5.  Chocolate sprinkles on toast

6.  Cream of wheat made with whole milk

7. Jello "salads"

8.  Dunford doughnuts

9. Canned green beans

10. Brown bread (homemade)

11. Margarine

My mother was the only one in our family who was allowed to eat butter.  She had her own little plate of it, which we were not to touch.  The rest of us had to eat margarine.  I tasted her butter, and I wanted to eat it on my toast instead of margarine.  "No," Mother said.

"Why do you get to eat butter and we have to eat margarine?"  I asked. (My life has been a long series of "why" questions).

Her answer:  "Because I have a rheumatic heart."

I believed her for years, until I was in my twenties and lived in Cambridge, Mass. 02138 and realized one Sunday afternoon that her answer made no sense at all.  I called her long-distance and said, "You lied to me about why you got to eat butter.

She laughed hard, unrepentant.  When she caught her breath, she said, "Butter was too expensive for a big family, but I can't stand margarine."  Laugh, laugh, hoo-haw, laugh.

Mother: 1.  Louise: 0


  1. I have huge respect for Mothers Who Dissemble. Great story, Louise.

  2. Thank you for this story! A morning smile with my coffee.

  3. Love it. Sometimes it is nicer to lie. Since I'm not nice, I would just say, "Cause I'm an adult and you haven't even graduated from High School."

  4. Haha, what a great story! I bet your call made her laugh whenever she recalled it.

    In my family we call margarine "butter" and butter "real butter" and we only have real butter on Christmas.

  5. It's all in the language. How could you possibly have a boterham without the boter? There is no translation for margarine. At least your mom made brown bread. Her little brother slathered butter on WHITE bread and then sprinkled WHITE sugar on top!

  6. Used to be Mother would make Spam Gourmet style with a brown glaze sauce. I don't think I have eaten spam since I was a kid. I loved it. Did you?