Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Beleaf It or Not
This is me (on the left) with my younger brother Matt, circa 1967 or so. It's fall, and we're in the backyard of our home in suburban Houston.
Even though we lived in a nice middle class neighborhood, we were often cash poor, so we were forced to resort to some unorthodox practices to make ends meet. Here, you see Matt and I with our harvest of leaves for that night's dinner. My mom would soak them in water for hours to make them tender, and then she'd steam them and baste them with a little butter and salt. Boy, were those leaves tasty!
Usually, Mom would serve the leaves with sticks, which were dipped into a paste made by crushing acorns and then mixing up the paste with spices, and with milk we'd get from the squirrels we could catch. If it was a big occasion, like Christmas or the day the Publisher's Clearinghouse contest application arrived in the mail, Mom would serve fried pine cones dusted with brown sugar for dessert.
Even though we were poor, those were good days, let me tell you.