Plan is to Not to make you cry
So apparently I need to lighten up on the writing. (Someone complained...Alicia)
It’s not intentional. I just get lost in my feelings and thoughts...I live in my memories...I never realized how grateful I am for all of my memories. Having a stroke as big as I did, I am so so so grateful that I didn’t lose any of my memories. I had lost very recent ones...but they all came back.
True story ... as soon as I could talk/be understood I wanted to know two things.
Was Donald Trump still President?
Was Betty White still alive?
Why? I knew they were trying to impeach Trump, so I didn’t know if he was President, and I knew they’d be asking me who the President was. Needed fo be prepared so I got it right. And well I guess I was very concerned about Betty White...it may have had to do with Alicia playing the golden girls non stop...so she was on my mind.
I should have asked what day it was. Because I kept telling the nurse it was November(in my mind we were still getting ready for the road trip-so I lost a month of memory)
I guess I lost a lot more memory but it all came back naturally...talking about things, hearing things...seeing things. Some things threw me off - my mom had put a hummingbird, and angel ornament thing in my room - and I could not remember what they were, or why they were there. I know my mom and sister were there-I thought Alicia was a total hallucination, because that’s when I thought I’d been shipped off to a dump hospital in New Orleans and was trying to pass some weird testing. Alicia abandoned me there because she wanted to go find Chinese food, and left me in New Orleans to fend for myself. She also finally found me in some weird puzzle with a mask on that almost suffocated me. After almost suffocating I was scared to death, and back in another hospital and she was rolling me around looking for someone to fix me. Finally she found someone and was going to leave me again and I refused. I didn’t want her to go anywhere...I was terrified of these people.
So I legitimately thought she was a hallucination. Same with my mom. She was a psycho wanna be physical therapist. I was so confused about why she thought she did physical therapy with Jennifer. I didn’t understand. My Aunt bev was the housekeeper and she kept messing with my machines. It was such a weird weird time. I know my mom was there because I remember seeing her the day I had my swallow test. I believe she was leaving, and she was sad because I wasn’t passing any of the tests.
I think the day I took the swallow test is the first day I remember anything.
Anyhow. I have all my memories. So I’m glad of that...sometimes they randomly pop in my head and that’s all I can think of. But they’re there.
One of my favorite memories is food. Food was always very important. So many different things...and so many receipts that I have and that I treasure, and remember.
If the house exploded in fire...the things I would grab without question are
The framed photo Of Johnnie that I gave to Trey on our first Christmas
The Roberts family cook book
My red leather cookbook
MaryAnn & Johnnies recipe boxes
Those are the things that are not replaceable, and things that I use all of the time. They all sit in my kitchen right where I can easily get them, except Johnnie is by the TV.
I’m that dork. I like old things with meaning. Even if I don’t know that meaning personally - heck we used to have a leather recliner chair - it was Johnnies, I never met her, never been to her house...nothing. But when it was time to get rid of that chair I think I had a harder time than Trey did. I get attached to things, bad.
We used to always have a little blue thing you’d look through and it had a picture of grade school Brenda, it always sat by a clock that was in the dining room. Now the clocks gone, and the photo of Brenda... and I still find myself looking for that viewfinder on a regular basis (brenda has it and the clock, but I’ll still panic about it) and I check on that clock everytime I go over to the Strocks. Change is hard.
But, back to recipes.
I have used The Roberts family cookbook for the past 20 years. I can’t believe it’s been that long...but I go to it all the time for things that I’m craving. I’m constantly surprised by things in there. I’m constantly surprised at what’s in there - lately I have been really enjoying just basic jello for dessert. The other night we had pistachio...and it had me thinking about every family get together we ever had. Aunt Patty would bring this green jello salad with nuts in it, and marshmallows. It was never my favorite, it just was there at everything we had. Thanksgiving, green jello, Christmas, green jello, every single family dinner...green jello. And now I NEEDED that damn jello. I called my mom, and told her to get me the receipt...a month later...oh it’s in the cookbook. Well damn. I should have thought of that.
I think that one simple little cookbook The Whitfill’s made....actually I think it was all Audra, is the most used thing I’ve ever had, it’s traveled all over with me...and many kitchens. It’a definitely the best Christmas present ever. Just reading through it is like tripping down memory lane. Just the memories of grandmas kitchen, the squeak of the table, those plastic table cloths she always had, the rotary telephone, her list of phone numbers on that shutter thing...the brisket explosion. Christmas games in that kitchen with Aunt Donna. Uncle Donny throwing a frog on the table while Aunt Twila was talking about pots and pans or something. So many memories...in a cookbook.
It’s the same with Johnnies receipt boxes. So many memories...most not mine, except memories of me trying to make them, and Trey saying ‘yeah, no’
I don’t think I ever made ANYTHING quite right. It was always just a little off. Just missing a little something.
And then I made a trifle. Trey LOVED it. We went out right then to buy a trifle dish. He wanted one that would be just perfect and not all old lady looking. That was it. All I could manage to make was a trifle.
One thing about the Strocks. They’re nothing but Blunt when it comes to food. Trey and Tommy VERY blunt. ‘Yeah, No’. ‘This ain’t even close’ - or the worst ‘good try’(nice way Of saying this sucks) or ‘give it another try’(your not even in the right ballpark and this is horrible). You could make something be so proud of it....and then get a ‘meh, it’s alright’
A couple weeks ago I got very close to getting biscuits right. They weren’t right, and I knew it. They were alright...just not great. I packed up Two biscuits and we drove the hour long drive to Boca Vista in traffic so I could see one persons reaction. I knew his reaction would tell me what I needed to do. And sure enough...
Brenda said mmm this is good. Whatever, I knew who to look at. And before he even tasted it I knew. It needed more milk...and then there it was...That Strock look that I was looking for....‘oh god I don’t wanna hurt feelings...but this ain’t it’ look.
All from food.
Memories in food...
and this is where Trey would say “I need to get me a little somethin’ somethin’ to get this sweet outta my mouth”