What’s Cookin’? – Another true story

marinated-beef-tenderloin-md109611_vertI’ve enjoyed sharing my short stories with you, but this is one that’s about a real incident in my life. It will make you realize all families have a bit of craziness. That’s why they’re fun.

 I grew up in a time when wearing brand name clothes wasn’t heard of by the average home. People were grateful to have a couple pairs of shoes, and Sunday dinner meat the whole family sitting around the dining room table, enjoying a roast beef or roasted stuffed chicken. 

But times have certainly change. Today, brand names are a must and eating Sunday dinner together is a lost art. Today’s teenagers, even younger children, wouldn’t think of wearing hand-me-downs or turning mom’s old dress into a skirt. Now, designer clothes and fast food are a way of life.

 One thing I remember back in those special days is the way my parents made things last. Worn-down heels went to the shoemaker. Dad’s woolen sweater, shrunk in the wash, was shifted to the eight year old’s closet. I recall when one of my favorite skirts became faded and mom came home for the store with a box of bright blue dye.
“What’s this for?” I asked, holding the packet in my hand, already guessing.
“I’m going to dye your skirt. It’ll look like new.”
It wouldn’t to me, I thought, but back then we didn’t sass parents.
So I watched mom put the large roaster on the stove, heat the water, add the dye, and drop in my skirt. I walked away disappointed. The next day when I came home from school, my mom had dried and ironed my dyed skirt, and to my surprised, she’d been correct. The skirt looked like new. I wore it to church a couple Sunday’s later, wondering if anyone would notice it had been my old skirt. No one did.
That same afternoon, we sat in the house smelling the wonderful roast beef mom was preparing Sunday dinner. We looked forward to those fancier meals than we had during the week—chipped beef, macaroni and cheese, and salmon patties with creamed peas.
This Sunday potatoes and carrots were boiling on the stove and mom’s homemade bread was sliced and waiting on the table with a crisp salad. The wonderful aroma drew us to the kitchen and caused us to salivate as we waited until mom lifted the lid. Her roast beef was always melt-in-your-mouth tender, but today as we gathered around, something different had happened.
When Mom lifted the lid, our mouths drooped open as we gazed at our bright blue pot roast.
“What in the world,” Daddy yelled. “What’s wrong with the roast?”
Mom looked at me, and I looked down at my bright blue skirt.
“I used the roaster to dye Gail’s skirt,” Mom said. “I scrubbed it out really well.”
Needless to say, the family didn’t have roast beef that Sunday afternoon, and Mom got a new roaster.
© 2005 Gail Gaymer Martin


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  1. Paul Dawn November 16, 2013 at 10:04 am #

    Hi Gail,

    Your story brings back a lot of awesome memories of my family way back when. Indeed times have changed for sure, though my two daughters and especially my son, all in their late twenties and early thirties, love to wear the old things, the hand me downs. It is a real hoot.

    What a hoot, I don’t think I ever seen a blue roast, that was so funny, it’s those memories that make you smile, thanks for sharing it!

    Reminds me of the many meals with family and also remembering my mother breaking out the pot, always dying something.

    What I miss the most is the family dinners, everyone sitting around, eating, talking, sharing, being family. Now days it seems there is competition at the table with smartphones, etc. When my son was hear recently, He shared how his fiancé shared, that when together, traveling, they shut off the social apps.

    Also shared how when their friends and they get together, especially out to eat, that they set a rule, that the first person to pick up their phone to text, check social apps, would paid for all the meals, needless to say, there was a lot of interaction.

    Thanks for sharing your story, for sharing your memories and causing me to remember memories of my family!

    Blessings from Smyrna, Georgia

    aka The Mayor 🙂

  2. Carolyn Lewis December 2, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    It’s the memories that bring joy to our hearts as we relive them in thought.
    I remember making a cake for my sixth grade teacher “all by myself.” Well, it turned out that I didn’t know as much as I thought I did about making cakes. Mama took pity-sakes on me and helped me patch it to get it looking reasonable so I could surprise Mrs. Durham on her birthday.

    Please enter me into the book giveaway drawing for January.

  3. Gail Gaymer Martin January 28, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your memories.

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