With the end of summer here, I’d like to share this story with you:
Some time ago my brother, Steve and his wife, Trish visited us in the country and at dinner that weekend, Steve told us a story I had never heard before.
He talked about wanting to spend time in the summer with our Uncle Tony (my mother’s older brother) and Auntie Casmira when he was probably five or six, young enough to still take a nap. He likely requested to spend time there to get away from the chaos of our large family – his little “vacation”. Uncle Tony owned a grocery store and meat market. He was a butcher and followed in my grandfather’s footsteps. So Steve wanted to work in the store.
Uncle Tony was the nicest man. Whenever we visited them for family parties, they would let all of us (6 kids) into the closed store and allow us to choose any candy or soda we wanted – both forbidden in our house.
Their three daughters (all older than Steve) pitched in and helped out at the store. So he remembers Julie’s fiancé, Bob, delivering groceries for Uncle Tony on steamy, hot St. Louis summer nights in a big ole’ station wagon with the rear panel down, letting Steve sit on that, dangling his feet (my mother would have died had she known), while he drove slowly around the neighborhood making his drops.
He remembers Auntie Casmira mopping the store floor and if there was a stain she couldn’t get out, she’d pour a little of Whistle Orange Soda on it, and that would take it out! Can you imagine what’s in that soda that we used to drink?
And he remembers being coaxed to take a nap (they lived in a lovely home in the same building, upstairs from the store), and if he did, when he woke up, there would be a cookie or two in a napkin at the foot of the bed.
Isn’t that the sweetest? Those cookies, while not necessarily homemade, were lovingly wrapped and waiting for him.
I hope that this blog is helping you to create your own food memories with your family, with some inspiring recipes.