“Please mom, may I’ve some more?”

My mother, a splendid cook and never one for following a recipe, on Sundays only, always prepared a roast. Whether it was the traditional roast beef or a succulent loin of pork I recall the aroma as if it were yesterday. The evening always began pleasantly, peacefully, as my family sat around the dining room table. And then the roasted potatoes arrived. Six roasted potatoes in that beautiful Lenox bowl, for six of us, including my 6”4 father. And at that moment, the dinner deteriorated with the frustrated pleas of my father as to why, why? my mother couldn’t make more than six potatoes. She never really gave an answer, but simply disappeared into the kitchen. This ritual went on for as long as I can remember during those Sunday night dinners and the question forever unanswered. Though I do recall her saying on more than one occasion that you should leave the table just a little bit hungry. It makes you remember how delicious the meal. I believe she just didn’t like peeling potatoes…

My best friend Janet, a fixture in my home during those years, always summed it up perfectly. “Your mother made the BEST hamburger I had ever tasted. But I always felt like it was the size of a meatball!”

Another old friend, well familiar with my mother’s cooking or lack of, used to taunt me “I hope you never have boys. They drink QUARTS of milk out of the refrigerator and full boxes of cookies at a sitting. And forget about it if they bring their friends over! They will eat you out of house and home!” Her words left me paralyzed with fear and right then, I secretly prayed for girls.

Three adjectives that come to mind in describing my mother’s portions… taste, spoonful, sip. “Give Kathy another taste of the string beans.” “Your father would love a spoonful of the turnip.” “Can you pour me a sip of orange juice please.” Get the idea?

I fear that I have carried on her tradition. My two sons, aged 12 and 14 are of average weight and seem to be satisfied with my portions but it is their peers that take notice when their plate is a little lacking. Just yesterday, a friend of my son asked politely if I would mind filling up his entire glass rather than only half. “Seconds” are a word so unfamiliar in my home that it is only understood as a time value. And, yes I guess I have to admit that when I make hamburgers for the family they are more slider than burger. Actually, my mother may have coined the term slider 50 years ago without even knowing it!

But unlike my mother and the potatoes, I am open to change. While preparing my list for the supermarket this morning I have made a decision. I will buy twice the normal quantity of everything. For tomorrow, let there be leftovers!
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15 thoughts on ““Please mom, may I’ve some more?”

  1. Your post made me smile and brought back memories of mum’s family dinners, she loved cooking and would cook up a storm hoping for visitors. So the table was always laden. My dad comes to us for dinner once or twice a week and there if there isn’t a huge pot of potatoes on I know there will be trouble between him and my husband fighting over the last potato. (But we are Irish so what else should I expect?)

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    • I am proud of you! I too hosted Easter and in my mother’s tradition baked a lovely home made apple pie. One pie for 15 people! Thankfully both my sisters contributed two additional desserts so no one left the table hungry.

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  2. Wow you have a big family! The result of my work was not as spectacular as I would have hoped…The ingredients I found here in London seem to combine differently from those of the original recipe (Italian). My Easter Cake ended up a bit too watery but it was still good 🙂

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  3. Hysterical! And right up there with Dad saying “why can’t we have more potatoes”, was always “why can’t we have more then 1 salt and pepper shaker on the table”. I believe we finally gave him his own, sitting right in front of his plate! Thanks for the wonderful memory!

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  4. We had this problem because there wasn’t really the money. Our house LOOKED martha stewart and HAD to appear PERFECT, no matter what. Therefore, I lived a long time in true abuse, not knowing that the food thing was really because there wasn’t anything more. The things parents try to make normal…. 🙂

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