To quote Oscar Wilde via Lady Bracknell “To lose one parent… may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.”
My parents died in their early 70s. I had good relationships with both of them and very few regrets. And yet this quote always hits home to me. Maybe I should have taken better care of them and yet, not really the duty of the child as they were both grown, functioning adults. My mom has been gone for 9 years, my dad 3 years. The initial sense of loss has faded. I still miss them at odd times, or a memory will surface that blindsides me. And yet as I see friends with parents in their 90s and starting to go through the same caregiving support issues I went through over 13 years ago, I can’t help but feel I was careless somehow. Or maybe I went first so I could help others?
The reason this all started to swirl around in my head was well…sliders. Ham and cheese sliders to be exact. My father would buy a ham bone from Honey Baked Ham, cut off the remainder of meat to make sliders and use the bone to make Ham & Beans. Now while I am not a fan of H&B, my mother in law is so especially in the cold months, I try to make a batch and freeze it in individual portions for her. Hence, my recent ham bone purchase.
Both parent were good cooks, however neither parent believed in such thing as a recipe. This made their tab A fits in slot B child, a bit nuts. My father would make sliders with the ham from the bone and they were so flavor filled, with just the right amount of crispy and gooeyness. I have tried three times to recreate this, to no avail. Don’t get me wrong, they were yummy, but just not IT.
The two most favorite things my mother made were creamed spinach and banana bread. I know, odd mix. The spinach she would use bacon fat and small bacon pieces as her starter. It was amazing. I could easily eat an entire package of spinach in one sitting. The banana bread was from bananas that had gotten too ripe and were then stored in the freezer until she had the right amount. Warm bread with butter (ok margarine, we were not butter affording people), is one of my most delicious childhood memories. And again, I have tried to recreate these but it has not worked out so far. They are good, but not Mom good.
I could blame it on lack of recipe. I have at times blamed it on lack of recipe. Except for the fact that I DO have the recipe for banana bread. I believe it has more to do with making food for another person. It is such an intimate show of love and caring, especially if it is one of their favorite dishes. And for me, that someone has cared enough to put a meal together for me, or bake me brownies or invite me for coffee with some snack they have made, makes me feel good.
My last day at work, one of the circulation people made an apple cake for the 6 of us to enjoy. Now I am not a human that really enjoys cooked apples. I can smile and nod through an apple pie, but baked apples or the like, that is a hard nope. But this cake was really, really good. I had 4 pieces (no judgement they were small) and while I did not love the apple slices, they were not that big and they whole thing was made with friendship.
In the conversation starter of “if you could what 3 people would you like to have a dinner party with”, I would probably be picking the menu instead.
One thought on “Sliders”
I love your stories. When I read the ones about your family and what you recall of those moments, I feel like I’m right there. ❤️