Thursday, October 27, 2005

Foodie postcards: The Male and Female Characters

Today is my parents' 32nd wedding anniversary. Here's a postcard I sent them on the occasion. It is another postcard by Annie Tempest, called The Male and Female Characters.

He makes coffee:


She makes coffee:


Yes, I know it's sexist and reproducing gender stereotypes. But my Mum for sure agrees with the message. My Dad, you see, does no 'female' housework. I remember him saying that as he has three women in the house, he doesn't need to contribute to the household chores!!! Aaaargh. (To be fair to him, taking the rubbish out, fixing lightbulbs, heating the house & our wood-fire oven, getting the sauna ready, feeding the dogs, cutting the grass/shovelling the snow etc classify as 'male' tasks in our household, so I guess they both work their fair share).

Most importantly, my Dad doesn't cook. Yes, he can make a strong filter coffee, he's quite good in grilling the meat during summer parties, and he can re-heat the food lovingly prepared by my Mum and left in the fridge for my Dad. But that's pretty much all. There are, however, couple of food memories related to my Dad that I maybe should have included in my childhood food memories MEME.

These involve feeding a baby, feeding 2 toddlers and feeding a family. Which I find hilarious. Here they are:

Feeding baby Pille
My sister Merle is one year, 3 months and 6 days younger than me. Which means that in the glorious hot July of 1975, my Dad was left alone with his first-born (alias me) for a while. When my Granny came to check on her son and first grandchild one afternoon, she found me naked, tied to a tree by foot and smeared with chocolate. My Dad, you see, is a car freak - he was a semi-professional rally driver until my early teens. And on that glorious summer day he felt like fiddling with his racing car. Which can be quite tricky when a one-year-old is demanding all your attention. In order to avoid changing nappies and me 'escaping' to neighbouring gardens, he tied me to the tree, strip naked. And kept me oh-so-content by feeding me chocolates (well, Fluff was unheard of in Soviet Estonia). And that's how my granny found me - a happy naked & extremely content baby playing on the grass under the sun. I still love my Dad dearly, so this unconventional babysitting method was fine, I guess:) Though maybe I should blame my chocoholism on him??

Feeding toddlers Pille & Merle
When we were kids, semolina porridge - mannapuder - was a staple breakfast for kids. My Mum wasn't around and Dad decided to cook porridge for us. The right way to make it: bring the milk to a boil in a saucepan, add some semolina, stir and cook for another 7-8 minutes, until semolina has expanded considerably. Season and serve. My Dad had seen my Mum do this, but he didn't know that semolina expands. So he kept pouring semolina into the milk until he was happy with the thickness and consistency. But only then semolina started expanding.
Let me say, it was not a nice fluffy porridge of my Mum, but an inedible stone hard concoction. I guess we ended up eating chocolate again:)

Feeding himself & the kids
Another food memory related to my Dad involves pasta, or makaronid as they're called in Estonian. My Dad likes pasta that has been boiled and then fried in oil or butter with an egg thrown in at the end. But again, he hadn't really focused on the exact process.
He took a box of dried pasta from the cupboard. Heated some oil and butter on the frying pan and threw in the pasta. .................... Yep, he threw the DRIED PASTA into the oil. Not the leftover cold cooked pasta from night before, like my Mum always did. You can guess the rest..

Anyway. My Dad is a lovely man but not exactly a skilled cook. And somehow the above card seemed very appropriate for today. I guess that's why I sent it to them in the first place:)

Palju õnne, kallid emme ja issi!

6 comments:

Dagmar said...

Hihi, I can imagine how cute and content you've must have looked all covered in chocolate :-)

The postcard was very funny. I hope that your parents will have wonderful anniversary.

Melissa said...

Those are really funny stories! My dad's certainly no chef, but with my mother not knowing much about cooking either I guess he had to learn. Nobody ever left me covered in chocolate and tied to a tree, however... :)

Spinning Girl said...

Getting the sauna ready! Pagan, aga küll ma igatsen sauna!
Tule vaata 11.5 -- "A Child Named Estonia"
Tubli!
SG

Paz said...

Love the stories (especially the one of you tied up to the tree, LOL!) and the card!

Happy anniversary to your parents!

Best,
Paz

J said...

hi pille, fabulously eloquent post...it sounds like quite the childhood you had...as for gender stereotypes, hey! i say there's no smoke without fire...

Pille said...

This is totally unacceptable, but I just realised I never replied to your kind comments. Apologies, and as one says, better late than never!

Dagmar - I bet I was cute indeed. Sadly, no photo-evidence has survived all those year. I guess my dad didn't want anyone to find out about his, well, novel, child-minding methods:)

Melissa - well, even if cooking bug didn't run in your family, you've turned out to be a wonderful cook yourself! Sometimes I think that if my mum had been more adventurous in the kitchen (she's a decent homecook, but that's it), then maybe I would have never began experimenting in the kitchen myself - and that would have been sad..

Spinning Girl - mina tunnen ka saunast pidevalt puudust;( Aga kuna ma kolin peagi Eestisse tagasi, siis saan ka iga nädal - ja soovi korral lausa mitu korda! - saunas käia;)

Paz - thank you:) I thought the story was worth sharing with fellow foodies, because it did involve chocolate!

J - no smoke without fire indeed. At least not in our household:)