Friday, February 19, 2010

Mothers' advice

I don't think I'm giving away any big secrets here, but in case I'm letting the cat out of the bag, my apologies to the cat.

One of my mother's pieces of advice to me (which I've never much used, nor needed to use) concerned cooking. If a hungry husband was hanging around, asking about dinner, she advised frying an onion. This makes it look and smell as though something is going on, and gives the cook a couple of minutes more to think about what is for dinner. The onion can then go into just about anything.

Another mom I've talked to offered advice concerning small specks of matter that occasionally appear out of nowhere in food. If it's small enough to be inconsequential and difficult to fish out, add pepper to disguise it.

My great-grandmother's advice to my grandmother, though still about kitchen counter self defense, was of a very different nature. In an earlier era, she advised buying everything on the best possible sale, but telling him you paid full price, and keeping the difference tucked away for a rainy day.

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