Wisdom from a generation fast disappearing.
|Once when I was very young, my Grampa and I, were sitting on the steps learning to whittle. He was whittling and I was learning. (Gramma’s rules, she had a lot of them.)
Grampa was whittling away and telling me how poor they were during the “pression” when nobody had nothing, and everyone was doing their best just to feed themselves. He said my daddy liked to turn into a potato in them days, seeing as that was about all there was to eat, and they ate them three meals a day. But Sundays were special.
“On Sundays, your Gramma would make up a big pot of wiener water soup.”
“What’s wiener water soup Grampa?” I asked.
“Well” Grampa said with mock gravity. “Wiener water soup is about the best thing a boy ever tasted. You just ask your daddy and see what he says.”
“But how do you make it Grampa?”
“Well, what you do is, you put a whole mess of wieners into a pot of water and you boil em’ up. And then when all the good flavors are out of them wieners, you take em’ out. What’s left is “wiener water soup”. Put in a few potatoes, and carrots and onions and pinch of salt. Man! It was so good, you’d almost swear you had died and gone to heaven.”
“Hmmmm” I said as that information sank in to my 6-year-old brain.
“But Grampa, I gotta question”
“Fire away son, don’t be shy”
“If everyone was so hungry why didn’t you just eat all them wieners?”
Grampa sat up with a quizzical look on his face, pushed his hat way back, turned to his grandson and said: “Well, everyone knows that when you make wiener water soup, you always save the wieners for those folks who have less than you. There were a lot of people in need in those days, and though they never got any of our wiener water soup we were happy to give out those wieners.
“Oh yes! I heard tell, that some folks would boil them wieners again and get their own pot of wiener water soup before passing them on. No telling how many pots of soup they got out of them wieners.”
“Wow! Those were some days huh Grampa?”
“Some days indeed son. Let’s go. Time to fire up the grill and make some hamburgers”
“And maybe some wieners too, huh Grampa?”