December 18, 2020
I haven't done Thursday Thirteen in a long time,
so here is a thursday thirteen about childhood memories.
1. Eating the crusts from a chocolate cream roll
My mother often made a chocolate cream roll--things I see on Great British
Baking Show these days. She would make the sponge cake and turn it out
onto a powdered sugar sprinkled towel and cut off the four crusts before rolling
it up to cool. My sister and I shared the cut off crusts. When the
sponge was cool, she filled it with whipped cream and then frosted it with a
bittersweet chocolate frosting. Haven't had anything like that since I was
2. Hockies (fried bread dough dripping with real
Hockies were our favorite breakfast. I don't know where the name came
from. My great grandmother apparently made them (she was from Germany) and
they were always called hockies. My mother would get bread dough from the
local bakery and pinch off bits to flatten and fry, which we would spread with
butter and eat. My sister and I would have contests to see who could eat
the most. I think I won with 12. My mother sent me to the bakery once to
get the dough and they had to call her because nobody there had ever heard of
3. working puzzles
I always loved puzzles, as did my mother. when she volunteered for Hospice
of Marin's thrift shop she brought all the donated puzzles home to work them
before they put them on sale, so they knew if all the pieces were there or not.
I bought a puzzle recently that I thought would be fun to work during quarantine
and somehow I just couldn't get into it. Ned has worked about 3/4 of it.
I did work on it a bit today, though.
4. Playing baseball in Stephen’s tiny yard
My friend lived in an apartment complex that had a concrete yard. One side
was the stairs to his building, the opposite side was the wall to the set of
flats where I lived and the two short ends were walls. We had no bats and
used our forearms. My mother often opened our kitchen window so she could
peek out and watch us.
5. My father's potato salad
My father made The Best potato salad. I don't miss anything about him
since his death, but I sure miss his potato salad. I've tried making it--I know
how it's made--but it never tastes the same.
This was the only game I remember playing as a kid. My sister, mother, and
I would play but my lord did it take a long time to finish!
7. Reading in the big maroon chair with the
broken seat springs
Oh, I loved that chair. the broken seat springs meant that you sank down
into it and it had big plush arms so it was like being wrapped up on someone's
arms. I would sit there for hours and read.
8. The year my mother read us “A Christmas Carol”
My favorite Christmas. She read us bits every night and we loved it.
I thought she would make it a holiday tradition, but that was the only year she
read to us.
9. Gathered around the radio with my mother and
sister listening to "One Man's Family."
My mother was a big soap opera fan and listened to soap operas every day.
Mostly she shooed us outside to play but "One Man's Family" came on at 8 p.m.
and we listened to it together every night. It was set in San Francisco,
so that made it special. I ordered a souvenir book about the show once and
was so disappointed that nobody looked the way I pictured them.
10. My father playing the piano – perhaps the
only time he was ever really happy
He was not a good piano player, but he loved playing the piano and he was
adequate. After he retired he had a brief stint as a piano player in a
bar. He played songs from the 30s and 40s and original compositions.
His song "You Didn't Quite Know Me Yet" was a favorite, though it still bothers
me that "bloom" and "tune" don't rhyme.
11. Roller skating and longing to be able to
afford shoe skates
Oh how I wanted shoe skates. I had the kind that attached to your shoes
and tightened up with a key. I skated on the Union Street, the flat block
up the hill from Leavenworth St.., where we lived.
12. Bringing home 6 books a week from the
I went to the library every week and carried six books home up the hill, not
quite a mile from the library. At first it was books about animals -- Lad,
a Dog, The Black Stallion, etc. and then as I got older, it was books about
careers for girls, e.g., Sue Barton, RN. Every time I read a book about a
different career (I remember one about a girl who interviewed people), I changed
my mind about what I wanted to be when I grew up.
13. My mother sitting at the kitchen
table peeling apples for apple pie.
My father made the best potato salad, but my mother made the best apple pie. She
could peel an apple without breaking the skin (and I loved to sneak bits of skin
from her garbage bowl). I'm sorry I don't have a picture of her peeling