EDITOR'S NOTE: For many Georgians, the pleasures of preparing, sharing and enjoying foods and dishes bring back many wonderful memories of their childhood and family. The Georgia Humanities Council, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, and the Federation of State Humanities Councils are bringing to the McDuffie Museum in Thomson from Jan. 10 through Feb. 22, 2009, an exhibit entitled Key Ingredients: America by Food. The exhibit will only be presented in twelve Georgia cities. It will explore the connection between Americans and the foods they produce, prepare, preserve and present at their tables. This article was written by Lucy Adams as a part of the promotion for the exhibit.
When the digital 5 in the hour position on the microwave clock faded to a digital 6, the front door opened and slammed. He walked in the kitchen and unexpectedly saw me standing over the stove. For sure, it gave him a serious jolt. He looked even more stunned when he noticed that I held a spoon in my right hand, stirring something in a pot. The smell of homemade spaghetti sauce bubbled up his nostrils and our kids actually sat around conversing civilly with each other.
He did what any male in his situation, with a wife like me, would. He panicked!
For the first time in maybe ever, he didn't come home from work to find me writing column ideas on the backs of soup labels, unable to recall my initial plans for the soup or which labels went with which cans. My unusual behavior sent him into a tither.
He flew over to the range like a killer bee seeking a victim. "What are you doing," he exclaimed. "What's this?"
Before I could respond, he swarmed to the pantry, back to me, then buzzed over to the fridge, which he opened, looked in, and shut.
Turning back to me, he spotted the glass in my left hand and the amused expression on my face, and insisted on knowing how many times I had refilled my stemware. Had he given me a chance to answer, I would have explained that such rare events as me cooking are cause for celebration.
Not believing that I could actually finish what I had started, he looked in the pot. "You didn't make enough noodles. Look," he pointed, "that won't go around. There're six of us."
Determined to maintain my composure, I quietly let him express his agitation. It looked like more than plenty to me. "I think you're scaring the children," I chided. Besides, "Enough is as good as a feast." I remembered seeing that somewhere and had waited ages to use it on someone.
He ignored me. "What are we going to do?"
"Well," I started in, feeling like I faced a 4-H project inquisitor, "down at the feed and seed today I overheard a couple of guys talking about an armadillo one of them caught by the tail and threw into an oil drum."
"He wanted to keep it for a pet, but it banged around so much and made such a racket, he gave it to a few of his employees from south of the border. Said those guys were thrilled to death to get it."
My spouse started to loosen up a little as I presented him with his own beverage and drew him into my tale. "Why'd they want it? What're they going to do with an armadillo?"
"Eat it! Ewww," squealed the kids, wrinkling their noses.
"And if we don't have enough dinner," I giggled, "I'm sure they will gladly share a little 'dillo on the half shell with us."
"Gross," the children all yelped again.
My groom, calmer now, pestered, "Seriously, Lucy, I don't think you have enough noodles here. What's your plan?"
I spoke slowly, carefully enunciating each word, "If - we - don't - have - enough - I - will - make - more." Seemed perfectly logical to me.
The beeping timer saved me from further cross-examination. I served plates, allotting portions according to each person's dining prowess.
When everyone finished and we cleared the plates, for my husband's benefit and my fun, I asked if anyone was still hungry, "Because if you are, I know where we can go to an armored possum picking."
"No thank you Mama," said my serious second child. "Like you said, enough is as good as a feast."