I made myself a treat the other day. It is a pear salad that my Mom used to make my brother and I when we were kids~only my brother, who has an aversion to Mayonnaise, ate his with NO mayo. It is very simple... lettuce, canned pears, cheese, mayo and I added a maraschino cherry, Mom didn't use those.
I made mine with a different type of cheese than she used... I adore extra sharp cheddar. Plus I was fresh out of the government issue sliced American.
Times were very lean when it was just the three of us. My Mom worked two jobs to make ends meet, as a Dental Assistant during the day and as a Shirt Factory seamstress at night. I spent lots of time with my Grandmaw and Papa and my three Aunts. I remember making biscuits with my Grandmaw in her big round biscuit bowl, scooping out the flour and lard from big metal containers in the pantry. She never measured the ingredients or followed a recipe, she just knew how to make them from years of practice. I helped my Papa in the garden, he grew corn so tall that it towered above us and row after row of ripe juicy tomatoes. Green beans, squash, okra, cucumbers, onions and the best cantaloupes I have ever eaten.... from this my love of cultivating the earth was born. My Aunts played with me and pampered me, especially my Aunt Doris who was a young teenager when I was a child.
As an adult, I can understand how difficult it was for my Mom, how tired and worried she must have been. There is a picture of the three of us on Easter Sunday. I must have been three and my brother was 1. We are all dressed for church, me in my white bonnet with little yellow daises, my brother in a striped jacket and clip on tie and my beautiful mother is dressed in a pale yellow sheath dress that details how thin she is. We are all smiling, me with a silly grin that stretches from ear to ear, but under my Mother's eyes are deep dark circles.... she is not even 20 years old in this photo. I cry every time I think of it.
It was not until I was older that I came to comprehend the sacrifices she made for us. Because as a child, I was happy and I was loved, and that was all that mattered.
Funny, isn't it ? How a simple pear salad had the power to transport me back almost 40 years.~Rhonda