“Aunt City, can I have some of your country ham and cheddar spread?” I asked.
“Yes, honey,” she said, and then she would move her big body around that small kitchen.
With Dad and my three brothers in there too, aunt City might bump into you four or six times, just putting things on the table. I think she enjoyed the contact.
“Stevie, do you want that on homemade bread and Ritz crackers?”
“Yes, Aunt City, and a big glass of your spiked Egg Nog please.”
The calories consumed in the next hour probably totaled in the millions.
I heard my dad yell up the stairs, “Boys, we’re going to Aunt Sity’s after church.”
I put on my best blue sweater. My Aunt Sity was a real chef–I had seen a picture of her with a chef’s hat on. She would welcome us into her kitchen with kisses on our cheeks and big hugs. She would then start filling the kitchen table with foods like country ham and cheese spread, that would go on a Ritz cracker. It was so good, cheesy and salty.
Home made kinklings, square donuts designed to hold more powdered sugar. I ate one at the table and ate two later when I hid in the broom closet. I was sneaky like that, but Dad did ask why my sweater was covered with sugar.
She served a powerful eggnog. I drank a cup and threw up in her spotless bathroom.
Uncle Joe and Aunt Sity a been eating this good food all their lives, and they were both quite large. Uncle Joe’s back was three feet wide. He could really block your view of the TV. Aunt Sity had big ankles which carried her through a loving life of cooking and taking care of Joe, a railroad worker.
When mass ended and the priest said, “The mass has ended. Go in peace,” my brother and I would smile and reply loudly, “Thanks be to God!”
We knew we were going to Aunt Sity’s.
When I’m the chef at Sunday dinner,
There’s not a chance of growing thinner.
White wine, small talk and cut the cheese,
Dip and crackers, meant to please.
A seafood starter, clams in butter,
“Good God that’s good!” I heard one utter.
Country ham sliced paper thin,
Scalloped potatoes so good they’ve sinned,
Asparagus with hollandaise,
Fold your hands, give God the praise,
But it was I who cooked this meal,
Shouldn’t I be the bigger deal?