MILLEDGEVILLE — Based on the quality and quantity of food Mama put on the table I should have turned out big as a sugar barrel but such was not the case. Through no fault of hers I wound up skinny despite eating copious amounts of groceries in the form of roast beef, ham, pork chops, a few selected vegetables (which I’ll get to later) and enough pies, cakes, and other sweetmeats to put me in a permanent diabetic coma. I’m still a notorious lover of all things sugary and can to this day still elicit a few appreciative oohs and aahs from my dinner companions when dessert time rolls around.
Mama took good care of us in the food department, and as a result our overall health rating was superior. In fact my brothers and I rarely missed a day of school or had any kind of illness. Thinking back that could have also been partially due to the fact that Mama also had a two-pronged approach to medicine she used if we got sick.
Part one was a potion that would, she believed, cure anything from the common cold to malaria. The other part of her therapy for sickness was a good old cleansing enema, and I won’t elaborate further on that. I believe her concoction was comprised of one part castor oil, one part horse liniment, with a double ration of bat droppings. It tasted awful and it was so effective that just the thought of taking it would help us get better. I think she stole that recipe from a witch doctor, and it definitely worked wonders for our constitution. Had Mama’s double-tiered medicinal theory been in place during the 1500s it would have stopped the Black Plague in its tracks.
With those things noted I must admit that a few of the items routinely found at our dinner table did not suit me at all. At the top of the list were diced carrots and those little round English peas. When those evil tasting veggies were served I would break out in a cold sweat because I knew that the rule was to clean my plate. You could have laced them with ammonia and they wouldn’t have tasted any worse to me. Every time I was made to eat them it caused me some severe gastric difficulties varying from the green apple quick-step, to the vapors, to the plain old dry heaves.