Thursday, May 20, 2010

How to impress your mother-in-law

Each night, Susan will ask me what I want for breakfast. I had mentioned recently that I didn't like eggs much, whereas she does. That surprised her but now she's worried about what I haven't enjoyed. Last night was the discussion how she gets up to cook me breakfast and then packs me a huge lunch (this was the only request I made of her when we got married because for years I watched my dad rummage for something/anything to eat/pack because my mom didn't do this for him). And then she has to spend the day planning and making dinner. And we wondered how food controls our thoughts.

I remember my mom had this large cupboard. It was hinged to fall downward, at waist level and in our home it was filled with dry milk/powdered milk.
We would use the scoop to bring out a measure of the milk and then added a gallon of water. No, it wasn't nice-tasting milk but it was all we had. It tasted like chalk or variations thereof.

Years later when we had more money perhaps (or maybe this was just my mother's quirky way to economize) we graduated to Carnation dry milk in a box. That was high class. That was name brand! It didn't taste much better but it was more palatable. It did help to pour it over the mush we'd have almost every day. We were also given canned milk (evaporated) to pour over our mush.

For a real treat, in concert with my older siblings, we'd steal away with a can of sweetened condensed milk, sharing it to the full, slurping it straight til it was gone...and then we'd pass out in ecstasy.

In 1971, while visiting my future wife in Ohio, there was this tall, slender glass of ice cold milk at my place setting at the table. I put it to my lips. It was like heavenly choirs singing. I glugged it right down, and slammed the slender glass down hard on the table. My to-be mother-in-law was startled and before she even sat down saw that my glass was empty. She had offered me more and then I realized, "ohoh...faux pas". I looked around as if to say, "the cold mug made me do it!"


  1. That's awesome! And how I LOVE milk! I slurp it too, but thankfully never had to drink the powdered stuff! That's a funny story. Where did you get those pictures?

  2. It's funnier knowing the participants in your story. We used to mix powdered milk and regular mild half and half when in college to save money as newlyweds. You lucked out getting a wife to cook, and make!