Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Meat and Potatoes

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Dad, prepping to dig clams with us ...
even though he hated clams.
November, 2011
I lost my father this past week, on January 17th.  Just over a year ago, my husband lost his father.  We have never fully found our feet again after losing one father and grandfather and now we are reeling from the lose of another.  Although these were 2 very different men, they were both in their own ways an important anchor to our lives.

My father was a meat and potatoes man.  His happiness was found in a really well prepared slow cooked pot roast and a side of potatoes, preferably peeled and mashed, but any form would do.  If you really needed a token green thing on the plate, he would do an iceberg lettuce salad with mayonnaise as a dressing.  He ate simply.

I am not ready yet to go back into my kitchen.  Today I made bread for my family, the first home cooked item that takes more than 30 minutes to prepare from start to finish I have done since the 17th.  I did find my usual joy in the feel of a really great bread dough and the side of rolls with dinner tonight were that touch of love brought to the meal by me.  But.  I can't seem to sustain that inner peace and creative energy to do more than just get by.

So.  I think it will be a little while more before I get back into the swing of things.  I do have a jar of fermenting salsa sitting on my cookbook shelf to tell you about, and some thoughts on Super Bowl entertainment ideas.  Those will have to wait.  Today I want to share a poem that was read at my father-in-law's memorial service, and will be read at my father's as well.

"If I should die and leave you here awhile,
Be not like others, soon undone, who keep
Long vigil by the silent dust and weep.

For my sake turn again to life and smile,
Nerving thy heart and trembling hand to do
Something to comfort weaker hearts than thine.
Complete these dear unfinished tasks of mine,
And I, perchance, may therein comfort you."

                                                                                                     --Thomas Gray