SWEET TEA

Monday, February 1, 2016

Potatoes

It's blustery cold here today so I thought it the perfect day to put a roast, carrots, potatoes, and corn on the cob into the oven.  The warm oven and the smell of all that yumminess makes a winter day seem kinda earthy and special.  

As I prepped the potatoes to go into the pot my mind drifted.  I thought of the countless times I had watched my Dad peel potatoes, "back in the day".  Born in 1920 he knew well what it was like to live during the Great Depression.  As best as I've been able to piece together, his family were tenant farmers, always living on someone else's farm and working the land, then moving on to another farm when another crop was available for workers.  I've tried to imagine just what that must have been like for him, his Mom and Dad and three sisters.  Hard work was the norm for them as it was for  all the people they knew.  This was their world.

My Dad was a very rugged, blue collar worker.  If the weather was above freezing he worked long hard hours when I was a child.  But, when the Oklahoma temps were low there was little work.  On these days he often gave Mom some relief in the kitchen.  I can see him in my mind now.  He would pull the trash can to the middle of the kitchen, then scoot a chair up close to it and begin to peel potatoes.  His work was slow and meticulous.  The potato skins were removed in thin, almost transparent strips as they fell into the garbage.  His method was an art.  None of the meat of the potato was wasted.  None. I've never been able to duplicate him - I don't have the skill or the patience.  When I peel a potato it's a quick, rough process.  I'm sure he'd laugh and shake his head to see my potato skills.

People pass, but the sweetest, and sometimes the most trivial of memories remain and bring warm happiness on a cold day in January.

10 comments:

Latane Barton said...

sweet memories that you can cherish always. Amazing how a dang potato can dredge up such warm thoughts.

Cheri said...

My mom would tell me about those same days. My grandfather worked from job to job also and there were times my mom said they made all kinds of dishes using potatoes because that is all they had for food for 10 people. We are very fortunate for sure.

Nonnie said...

I have been criticized more than once for peeling potatoes too quickly and wasting a lot of the potato. Often I just scrub it and leave the peel on the potato. So many sweet memories come back to us as we do things we saw our parents do. My dad was also a rugged blue collar worker and his dad a tenant farmer too. My siblings and I are very mindful of the struggles our parents went through during the depression and sometimes I wonder what will be the things that trigger those kind of thoughts in our kids and grandkids.

yaya said...

These days the simple potato gets a bad rap...carbs and all. But it's full of potassium and good things so enjoy that spud and all the wonderful memories it's brought you!

Linda said...

Beautiful memory! Funny how these moments are triggered by association!
I grew up on potatoes and would have them at every meal if I could!!

Mindy said...

One thing I thought of doing with my parents is to take pictures of them doing their normal things. The things that will become memories some day and I want to have memories. I do ask them a lot of questions and write things down now. I know they both have regrets, as I do, for not talking to their parents more and hearing their stories.

I wish I had a picture of my Gramma rolling out sugar cookies. They were her favorite and she always had them in her cookie jar. I have the jar on my counter but it is never filled with anything homemade. I smile when I walk by, knowing what she would think about that. :)

Thank you for making a beautiful picture in my mind today.

Changes in the wind said...

I loved this memory of yours...thanks for sharing.

Mountain Mama said...

Sweet memory of your dad....love this. Potatoes are near and dear to me as my family is all from Ireland. We learned to peel at an early age but my method is like yours - quick and done!!

Wild Okie said...

I love your story about potatoes! One of my favorite foods. True story...when I was a teenager, my grandma had me peeling potatoes with a paring knife. I did such a bad job that she laughed and had me peel the peelings...

Denise said...

amen, such a sweet post

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