Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Turkey's Farewell Appearance

I was about ten years old when our peripatetic family spent a month at the Connecticut seashore with my mother's sister and her family. Growing up in the Navy, we usually lived far from our extended families and our cousins and grandparents were rare visitors, so it was a summer filled with discovery. We swam and learned to water ski, sailed and searched the tide pools, and generally got to know our cousins much, much better.

I helped our grandmother capture her honey bee swarm back into the hive.
I watched in anxious awe to watch my Big Cousin (he was 14, you know) row their pram out into an approaching thunderstorm to secure a light on their wave-tossed motor boat. We heard stories of our mother's youth from her closest sibling, blackmail-worthy stories that we relished gleefully.

My mother gathered shining black mussels from the rocks and steamed them to deliciousness
in white wine, much to the cousins' surprise - their mother is deathly allergic to all seafood, so they never knew that mussels could be a treat. I gathered a big, fat live clam from the beach and kept it in an old coffee can beside my bed until its putrid exhalations drove me in the middle of the night to creep out of the house and down to the shore to return Mr. Clam to Long Island Sound where he clearly belonged. We visited the memorable Maple Shade, an ice cream stand that served satisfyingly towering ice cream cones to which we were treated by Aunt Sally, who really knew the way into our hearts.

Aunt Sally was a casual hostess, a wonderful change of pace from her exacting sister who would never have dreamed of simply setting out two kinds of bread, the jars of condiments, and the makings for sandwiches with paper plates and napkins - I loved making my own exactly as I liked and never guessed that it was a much easier way for the hostess to feed seven hungry kids and four adults, as well.

It was that summer that
I was introduced to the king of sandwiches, the BLT. Cousin Ted was astonished that I had never before had a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. Being a few months younger than I, it was important to his budding manhood to have something to lord over me and this sophisticated sandwich knowledge was enough. I never lived it down.

But I have loved ever since a good BLT, and even embellished it with the addition of the last of our Diestel turkey, lightly toasted sourdough bread, and a few rashers of the Range Brothers bacon. The swan song of the turkey brought back childhood memories that still make me smell the salt air and smile 50 years later.


Blogger Dagny said...

I still love that bee plate. And I don't eat sandwiches often but that one looks too good for words.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007  
Blogger BuzzB said...


What great story!

Thursday, October 04, 2007  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Dagny, we often get compliments on the bee plates - wish I could remember where I got them!

BuzzB, thought you might enjoy it! :-)

Thursday, October 04, 2007  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

I think the bee plates came from Pottery Barn. I have four little frog plates given to me by Cranky. No special reason for the motif, though. We're not jumpy.

Sunday, February 14, 2010  

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