Luncheon at the plantation.

17 09 2003

I just made a smoothie for my dinner. It’s yummy, too. Blueberries, strawberries, half a peach, and some vanilla yogurt. Mmmmm. I can honestly say this is one of the nice things about being responsible for only me. When I don’t have to cook for someone else, meals are ubersimple.

I’m not a big eater anyway, but tonight I’m especially not hungry. I had a bigger than usual lunch. A very sweet couple from our church invited me over to eat with them. They heard that I’ve been abandoned by the masses, and they pitied my orphanhood. So they took me in. At least for one lunch.

I think you need to be introduced to these people. Picture Ward and June Cleaver as grandparents, and you have a pretty good idea. They are the same age as my parents, and I’ve actually known them for more than twenty years. Long before we moved to their town, I met them through their son, who was a college friend of George’s and mine. So when we moved here, they adopted us. Words that describe them? Elegant. Proper. Southern. Very, very southern.

I arrived and was met at the door by the wife. She looked only slightly less sophisticated than she does at church. Dress slacks, a striped blouse, belt, pumps, accessories, perfect hair, flawless make-up. The husband, who came home from work for the luncheon (oh yes, “lunch” simply won’t cut it here), was dressed in a suit and tie. I had on blue jeans. But I did wear a cute shirt, and I put on make up. I also combed my hair. Yeah. So, we sat in the living room while the cook/housekeeper, who was dressed in a white uniform, finished preparing the meal. Then we moved to the dining room.

China. Silver. Individual salt and pepper shakers. Cloth napkins. And the food? Grilled cheese sandwiches and potato chips.

Heh. Not really. We ate beef stroganoff, asparagus cooked in olive oil and topped with cheese, waldorf salad, homemade biscuits with jam, and homemade bread pudding for dessert. Pretty much what I have for lunch around here most days. Doesn’t everyone?

I love to listen to them talk to each other. It’s an interesting combination of southern gentility and the familiarity belonging to almost fifty years of marriage. Before I left, I asked the wife what she planned to do during the afternoon.

“Well, I’m going to write some notes and make some phone calls.”

I can’t even picture myself living this woman’s life. I’m sure I’d go crazy. But they are so dear, so generous, so precious. They fit who they are.

I thanked them (and the cook) for the delicious meal when I left, then went to the grocery store, came home, dusted my house, worked out, took a shower, and made a smoothie. Now I’m sitting here at the computer in an oversized t-shirt and gym shorts. No make up. No shoes. I didn’t even drink my smoothie out of a crystal goblet. I will never, ever be a southern gentlewoman. But I’m glad I know one. And I’m glad I’m loved by one.

I should get that recipe for bread pudding. I may decide to cook again some day.



6 responses

18 09 2003

you better cook again! im coming home for Christmas you know! i want some home cooking dang it!


18 09 2003

You don’t want smoothies for Christmas dinner?

C’mon Luke! Where’s your sense of tradition? Twinkle lights, Christmas carols, stockings, wreathes, and fruit smoothies by the fire.

Don’t worry. I’ll cook when everyone’s here. I’ll be a mad cooking machine. Or something.

18 09 2003

I can love all kinds of places. In fact, I do. But, nothing…nothing at all will ever compete, to me, with the South. Even with the bad, there is something so rich and elegant about it all.

I loved this post.

18 09 2003

The South is an onion. No wait. That’s Shrek.

The South has layers. Like a Mona Lisa or an enigmatic poem, you can look forever and always find something new. It fascinates me in the same way Victorian England does. The manners. The dignity. The pride. I’ve lived my whole life in Texas and Virginia, but I always feel like a foreigner when I encounter a true southerner.

19 09 2003

mmmmm bread pudding

hey, when you make that bread pudding, make sure and use lots and lots of rum sauce. Mmmmmm. rummmmm sauce…………yummy! Oh, here’s a great idea! You could make a bread pudding smoothie. Either way, don’t skip on the rum sauce.

Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle (or two) of Rum,

19 09 2003

Re: mmmmm bread pudding

Now, how would someone like E.T.B.YOU know anything about rum and/or its sauce capabilities? You got some ‘splainin to do, mister!

Your comments are a gift. Please know I read each one with gratitude.

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