And on that farm was a mom.
A mom who knew how to stretch a buck.
Especially during those lean times just before the cattle took their little trip to market, leaving us flush with cash again for several months.
Oh, good times!
So, yeah. My mom was the coupon-clipping, bargain-shopping, it’s-not-on-the-list-so-I’m-not-buying-it-I-don’t-care-how-much-you-want-it type of farmwife who helped build this great country of ours.
Between saving a few bucks and that whole “There are starving children in Ethiopia so be happy with what you’ve got” mantra that was popular in the ‘80s, we had leftovers gracing our table a night or two each week.
No surprise, it’s the same in my own home all these years later.
But now, thanks to recent events, none of us may never be able to eat.
Sausage. Rice. Green beans. A little garlic.
I turned the corner into the kitchen where my husband was busy making a little feast from the fridge’s leftovers. I was all full of “oohs” and “aahs” and “that smells awesome” as I made my way over to the stove.
Then my husband dished it up and handed me the plate.
I’m not gonna lie.
The smell was simply camouflage.
The dish itself? It looked sooooo not. very. good.
The “oohs” and “aahs” I’d made just moments earlier went
But wait a sec.
This is my husband, the man who cooks like a dream, the guy I married so I wouldn’t starve in my geriatric years.
(I kid, I kid. I married him for lots of other great reasons. ...Give me a second and I’ll think of one.)
So taking past history into account, I sat down, slowly leaned over the plate and took a really good look at it.
Oh, dear God.
It didn’t get much better looking during the trip from the stove to the table. To say it resembled the critter that burst out of that guy’s stomach in “Alien” would be an insult...to the critter.
I looked over to where our nine-year-old son sat. On HIS plate was a piece of leftover cheese pizza.
Lucky little twerp.
I leaned over and went, “Pssst. Hey. You.”
His eyes snapped up and he was all like “What?”
I nodded toward his plate, “Whatcha got there?”
But he knew where this was heading. For some reason, the little bugger didn’t trust me.
It’s a shame, really.
He grabbed the little slice of heaven off his plate and shoved half of it into his mouth before I could make my offer.
I shrugged. Guess he’ll have to buy his own Ferrari then.
My husband sat down, grabbed his fork and brought a heaping pile of...uh, dinner...to his mouth.
Then he chewed. Then he swallowed.
His reaction was...no reaction.
Well, that was...encouraging.
I picked up my fork, poked around my plate for what seemed like 43 minutes then decided to take the plunge. I scooped up a bite and plopped it into my mouth.
“Upon reflection,” my husband confessed as he took in the expression on my face, “I shouldn’t have added the parmesan cheese.” He paused. “Or the cranberries.”
Holy Mother of God.
It tasted like feet.
Son-of-a-bitch, it was some nasty, nasty stuff.
I braced myself for the big swallow, praying to whatever deity is responsible for keeping vomit at bay to do just that.
My fork dropped to the table with a loud clank as I reached for the large glass of milk by my plate.
But between you and me, there wasn’t enough milk in the world.
Because this is it. This right here. This is what’s gonna kill me.
“What do you think of the casserole?” my husband asked with a smirk.
Casserole?! That’s what we’re calling it?! I thought Exhibit A had a better ring to it ‘cuz I’m pretty sure it’s gonna come up at the trial.
He nodded because even he knew it was a fight he’d lost and said, “I’m calling for pizza.”