Air Conditions


Air Conditions

Grandma was neither meek nor mild and she was not abused.
The thought of any man ruling her makes me most amused.
But she was parsimonious when it came to waste,
scraping each bit of cookie dough to give us all a taste.

The weather could be sweltering before she used the fan.
“No need to run the light bill up just because I can!”
she’d quip when we expressed our feeble pleas for cool air,
but she allowed no wasteful behavior in her private lair.

Though she was far from venal, one tactic seemed to work,
for along with penny-pinching, my grandma had one quirk.
Her appetite for sugar was beyond compare,
so we’d produce the chocolate and then flip on the air!!!

She’d rifle through the chocolate box for caramels and nuts,
for when it came to favorites, she expressed no ifs or buts.
For summer after summer, this was Grandma’s rule.
So long as supplies lasted, everything was cool.

Prompt words today are sweltering, parsimonious, meek, venal and abused.

19 thoughts on “Air Conditions

  1. SAM VOELKER

    This reminds me of pre central air conditioning. My mother would come into our room each night and sprinkle a few drops cool water on our bed. It would keep us cool until we could get to sleep…That was a looooooong time ago~! She only made two kinds of cookies… Tea Cakes and peanut-butter cookies. I was not real fond of tea cakes, but if I was feeling bad Peanut-butter cookies and milk helped me feel much better.

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      1. SueW

        In the U.K. a teacake is similar in appearance to a burger bun, it’s a sweetened bread bun containing spices and dried fruits, usually currants, sultanas and peel. It is split in half, toasted, and served served warm, with butter. Usually served with mid morning coffee or a mid afternoon cup of tea.

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      2. SAM VOELKER

        Oh wow Cookies can be almost anything, and we are about to get off into a subject that is most confusing~! What we call a biscuit, is called in England, a scone, an a British biscuit is a cookie. The teacakes we grew up with were only slightly sweet with sometime a little sugar sprinkled on top, almost hard like a cookie and they were sometime “dipped” in our milk, tea, or even coffee – I have seen them also called “sugar cookies”. And a teacake in England is called a “huffin” and is actually what we would call a muffin here. Confused enough~? It goes on and on and on..

        What you know of in New Orleans as “beignets” were made by us Creoles outside of New Orleans by our mother when she made light bread. Some of the sweet bread dough was rolled out cut about two inches wide and four inches long with a slit long ways down the center of it and fried, then with powdered sugar on them… delicious and exactly what you get in New Orleans but long and narrow, not cut square is they do there. So this is what is made in “French Market” and called (rightly) a beignet but we Creoles as New Orleans natives actually are, called them “langue de beouf” (in English “Bull Tongue”) for what they look like. This is not a donuts at all because it is not as sweet and is great with dark coffee~!

        Careful, you can also get Langue de Beouf which is actually the tongue of a cow in a stew like base, not a doughnut at all~! It is also at times ground up and pickled, somewhat like what you know as head cheese or souse~! Oh wow be careful what you ask for which, as you must know, having traveled too~!

        When I was in Haiti I saw Langue de Beouf on the dessert menu and asked for it…. It too was great, but fried more hard and very sweet, not the same but good in another way.

        https://bonbonlakay.com/blogs/bonbon-lakay-blog/what-is-langue-de-boeuf

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          1. SAM VOELKER

            Well if it is not one end, it’s the other. I once went to one of those neutering parties up in your part of the world and they had a special BBQ cookout. But I will admit that the Creole also have strange foods and it is true that the only thing they miss is the squeal. Laws have stopped “red boudin” though, but white boudin is one of the best Creole things you to eat.

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          2. SAM VOELKER

            It is actually part of Hog’s Head Cheese and actually rather good on crackers~! Like mountain oysters you just close your eyes and enjoy, knowing it was well cooked. Now in Bolivia I was treated to BBQ Cow Udder called Ubre Asada. I did not like it because it sort of tasted like milk~! I like my milk in a glass, thank you~!

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            1. SAM VOELKER

              Yes they use most of the head, ears, tongue and even the brains, the jowl is a real prime part of the pig~!. When I was young, before deep freezers were common in the fall a farmer would have what we called a “bucherie”. Several farmers would get together and butcher a hog, and yes everything was used, including the blood which made boudin. Each of the women had a special knack for making their own specialties. This gave them enough fresh meat to last several weeks, then it would pass on to the next farmer. It actually turned into a great party, eating sausage and cooking down the fat gave us “grattons” , cracklings or pork rindes to you. I always enjoyed this and for years after we were married we had what is called “Cochon de lait” each fall. It was a pig just passed the suckling stage firmed up on corn, and roasted in a very special way… Vertical to render the fat without it dropping into the fire. This is much better than BBQ~! as the meat is actually sweet and falls apart, with no sauce is needed. We did this until Shirley died, sometime we would have as many as 60 to 80 people each year~! I will try to write more about it with pictures. I know that you folks had about the same type of “BBQ” but with mutton or “Gigot”, I have been to them too.

              WE even did this in Algeria where getting a pig was more of a problem as they do not eat pork. We would arrange to get a wild pig called a “Sangre cochon”,,, litterly in English Blood Pig ( I don’t know why~!)
              DON’T KNOCK IT UNTIL YOU TRY IT~!!

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      My mother once put a small box of chocolates in each of our Xmas stockings, as she did every year, but by the time Xmas came around and we opened them, they were all empty. Over the week or so between the time she stuffed them and Xmas Day, she had one by one raided them but left the empty boxes in our socks. Ha!!!!!

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