a quote from my favorite author

“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Veggies and Dip


The Slice of Life Challenge is hosted by Two Writing Teachers
 I take all the vegetables out of the fridge and lay them out on the peninsula of countertop. 

I select a cutting board—I am in a red mood today. 

I dig the knives, the carrot peeler, the colander, the Tupperware out of drawers and cabinets. 

The most important bowl is saved for last.  I open the bottom cabinet to step on its shelf in order to reach the ceramic bowl on the top cabinet’s second shelf.  For as long as I can remember this white bowl with the blue painted design (is it flowers?) has been our family’s dill dip receptacle of choice.  I am not sure how I got away with snagging it for my own house, but perhaps that was a bonus of my parents getting divorced.  Some items got lost in the fray. 

There is something about chopping fresh veggies and mixing up a batch of dill dip to go with them that makes time feel well spent.  That extra little treat with our meals each night will make the week feel like a holiday.  It is a reminder that the weather is shifting, a reminder of special occasions, a reminder of my family. 

Our best moments as a family took place in the kitchen.  We were famous for sitting at the island bar, heckling whoever was busy doing the work of cooking at the moment.  As the responsibility shifted, so did the target of our humor. 

Even now, after our family has drifted in separate directions, my mom still gets excited when she is invited over for some good ol’ dill dip and veggies.  And my dad’s new girlfriend, who loves to cook, has finally mastered the dill dip recipe enough to make me feel at home when visiting. 

I place the white ceramic bowl on the counter and grab a handful of green onions. I quickly get lost in the rhythmic chops.  I am home.   

14 comments:

  1. It seems "your home" in so more ways than one. I can tell this brings you right back to many happy memories and the making of new ones! Nicely articulated!

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  3. Isn't it fun how food and the dishes we use speak home to us? I love the line - "Our best moments as a family took place in the kitchen." I'm headed to OK in April for spring break, and I've already put in a request for chicken and dumplings!
    And I love your closing sentence - "I am home."

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  4. I like the memory of the bowl, simply and thoroughly mixing and chopping and bringing the dip, and all the family, together. I have a few 'memory' bowls too, Christy. Your writing brought them back into my memories too. How nice to have something so special. I like that last paragraph, good wrap-up.

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  5. I also love the line 'our best moments as a family took place in the kitchen.' That describes my formative years and I have tried to add that same flavour to my own children's childhood.

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  6. Flavors that signal good times and changing seasons puts us in a good state of mind. Enjoy your dip and veggies each evening, it makes summer seem that much closer.

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  7. Food and family - great connections. I love that you have a special bowl to use. I have one that I brought home when my parents moved to their retirement place and it makes me think of mom's kitchen.

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  8. We have a "Taco Dip" that brings us all "home". We have all made it into our own variations, and that has now become the center of the heckling. When I make it, it is too bland. My brother's? Too spicy. Mom's? Just right. :) Thanks for the slice idea.

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  9. I love the whole paragraph where you describe the bowl and the last line about how things got lost in the fray. Great description, Christy.

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  10. Our family has certain bowls or other containers that seem to be just for certain things. When I'm at my mom and dad's, I still pull out the "right" thing to put food in, and my kids have learned that certain things just belong in certain containers at our house too. Love this post!

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  11. When you wrote: " .on the top cabinet's second shelf.." i thought for a moment that this would turn into tragedy. I was glad to find out that the bowl stayed in one piece and filled its role in continuing traditions. What I found most fascinating about this piece was that through writing about simple cooking you wrote about not so simple family history.

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  12. I love the "peninsula of countertop". And, you are right, fresh cut veggies and dill dip don't sound right for winter - the weather must be changing.

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