Thursday, January 17, 2013

Peelin' Carrots

Man... two posts in a row about my kitchen and my mom. **Somebody's homesick!!!** I seem to have flashbacks of my childhood when I'm in there, peeling, chopping, shredding, cooking, cleaning. I think kitchens remind me of my mom because that was sort of her domain when I was growing up. It was really comforting to come home from school every day and smell something amazing on the stove or in the oven. I hope I get to be that kind of comforting presence in our home as our kids grow up.

Today I was peeling carrots for a chicken soup, and I had a funny string of memories about my family, specifically my mom.  I was probably l0 or so, and we had gone to the New Hampshire State Fair. We came home on an emotional high. It was like we had seen one of the Seven Wonders of the World. At least that was how I felt. Dad bought me my first ever pocket knife while we were there. It was wooden on the outside, nice and sharp on the inside, and with it I was sure I could do amazing things. I planned on whittling things no kid had ever whittled and impressing everyone with my skills.

My mom was having her own thrill. She has always been a passionate person. Black or white, in or out, all or nothing, she has no middle ground really. At the fair, there had been a man selling vegetable peelers. Not just any vegetable peelers, friends. Oh no, these were the real deal, made to peel with great ease and comfort! They had a funny handle that was easy to hold, and the blades... the blades would slice through the thickest of squash skins with never a sweat broken. The man charismatically showed off his prized peelers, and we watched in fascination. Mom was hooked. She immediately bought two. I remember how excited she was because for the next week or so (maybe several weeks, because it's burned pretty well into my memory), she told everyone about them. She exhibited them in front of friends and family with flare. She openly cast aspersions on the old peelers, and she asked everyone she talked to what kind of peelers they used. There was a new way to peel vegetables, and we were on the cutting edge. We had the best vegetable peelers in all of New England, and maybe the world, right in our house! I was sure of it. So was my mom. It was a joyful time indeed.

All this came rushing through my mind as I peeled my carrots today. To this day, I take pride in my peeler. It isn't the same funny shape as my moms, but it glides over my vegetables just like I remember my mom's doing. You have to have a good vegetable peeler. I learned that from my mom.