Whenever I see an avocado pit balanced on toothpicks over a jar of water I think of my mother. She always seemed to have one sprouting, with its slim green stalk. I think of her just about every time I cut an avocado around its circumference, pull the two halves away, and whack the pit with my butcher knife to twist it out.
It’s those simple moments that bring long-gone people back into my everyday.
At least thirty years have passed since I’ve left my toaster plugged in. Back in my television production days at the cable company, my boss Brian’s wife departed for work with her toaster still engaged and somehow burned down their kitchen. Now, after the English muffins are done, as I’m yanking the plug from the wall I think of him.
My mother may have been a champ with avocados, but she was a bit casual about housework. It wasn’t my mother but my neighbor Nancy, who had obviously been raised better than I had, who pointed out to me the benefits of washing the sink before you did the dishes.
And just about every time I peel one of those annoying stickers from a piece of fruit I think of Linda. It was lunchtime in the faculty room and I was grousing about the sticker on my apple. When she said that she always removed hers when she washed her fruit, my apple suddenly felt like it had a neon light on it shouting, “UNWASHED! UNWASHED!”
Ouch. My fruit would shout like that too. And my mother wasn't a queen on the housework stakes either.ReplyDelete
You could have all that information and more from my grandmother, and not for the asking.ReplyDelete
I love this post about things to remind us of times and people long gone. Lovely! :-)ReplyDelete
I asked someone once why they washed their fruit and they quite seriously answered, to remove those chemical sprays...never realizing that those sprays go INTO the fruit, not just on the skin.ReplyDelete
Some years ago I got after a grocery store clerk for bagging bananas in clear plastic bags and he said, well, to keep the fruit from getting germs on it...I said, when was the last time you ate a banana peel...
My mother was a 'what will people think" housewife, I am the "omg I've only got a week to get this mess cleaned up before company comes..." And as a good friend of mine said once, people who come to see you don't care a rip about your house, and if they do, maybe they aren't your friends after all...
I like your train of thought.Delete
Do you wash your sink before you do your dishes?? I am of the opinion that washing your dishes actually serves as washing your sink, but then I'm not going to win any house keeper of the year awards. I also might have eaten some unwashed fruit in my days, too.ReplyDelete
Funny the things that stick with you, though. -Jenn
I sometimes think of my mum when I'm picking up the detritus at the end of the day, newspapers and unwanted junk mail out to the recycle bin, other things put away, no dishes in the sink which is wiped dry, all so that we can rise to a fresh clean kitchen the next morning.ReplyDelete
We unplug the toaster, but I have always been skeptical of the need to do so. I wonder how fire happens.ReplyDelete
I suspect it happens because of faulty wiring either in the toaster or in the plug itself.Delete
I had a (running) toaster oven catch fire once, and simply have no memory of the 40 feet I traveled or the towel I ended up with in the process, to yank the plug. The toaster oven (which I had never liked anyway) was a dead loss.
I never unplug the toaster except to clean it out, because the plug itself is in an awkward place to reach. My mother always put hers away after breakfast, why, I do not know.
I do my dishes in a dishpan, in the sink. We have a soapstone sink, and it can really do a number on glassware. Not a lot of give, there.
hmmm. I don't unplug the toaster though my sister does and then she puts it in a cabinet. I only wash my sink when it is too grungy even for me and I have a high tolerance for grunge and consequently I'm not the greatest housekeeper either. I never used to wash my fruits and vegetables but I do now, not so much for chemicals but general dirt and germs and bug poop.ReplyDelete
Funny, those different little details of everyone's lives.Delete
I know what you mean about little everyday activities bringing certain people to mind. I'd sprout every avocado seed if I could -- but then, what would I do with all those avocado plants?!ReplyDelete
This is such a great post. I have a neighbor who eats around the little sticker on her unwashed fruit. I think about mama every evening when I'm washing dishes...I pile all the dirty dishes in my dish pan and start washing. Mama arranged her dishes in the dish pan; silverware in a little pile on the left and the plates stacked, largest on the bottom up to the smallest. All the other dirty dishes were stacked neatly on the counter, waiting to be washed. Whew!ReplyDelete