Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Old Grinder In The Cupboard


Funny how something simple can trigger memories-like the old steel manual grinder my mother would bring out from a kitchen cupboard during the Holidays. Taking all the parts out of the cardboard box, she'd give them a good washing before she attached it to a leaf of the table and put it all together. Then she'd place her big yellow bowl on the floor underneath it to catch the juices from whatever she'd be grinding. For Thanksgiving that meant cabbage and carrots-maybe an onion; for Christmas that meant cranberries, oranges, and apples. We all loved doing the grinding-especially the cranberries because they popped when going through the grinder and the juice would squirt all over the place. When my mother wasn't in the kitchen, I'd load it with cranberries and grind them as fast as I could. It sounded like fireworks-blending right in with whatever Christmas album my mother had playing in the other room.
Among the vegetables my son brought home the other day from Steps 2 Grow Garden, was a cabbage. Not your ordinary super market cabbage-but one heck of a huge cabbage.It was an armful. And he carried it in the house smiling all the way. I knew I had to do somehing with it sooner than later and today-with the rain falling-I thought of that old grinder. You see, I have that grinder. It sits in my cupboard in the same carboard box as when my mother was its keeper. I am not one to use fancy blenders with endless options and zillions of buttons or coffee pots and toasters with brains. I don't even have an iPhone. That old grinder is my speed. I treasure it-and so today as the rain kept falling, I pulled it out-washed it off and set it up alongside a kitchen counter. I brought out carrots and cleaned them as well as an onion. I put a bowl on the floor to catch the juices and called my son to come and help.
I explained how the grinder worked as I cleaned that magnificent cabbage and sliced it into wedges. Then I asked him if he wanted to keep filling the top with the vegetables or do the grinding. He said he'd try grinding.
We started with cabbage because there was so much of it. Once we got going, he'd mix it up with a carrot-a slice of onion. Soon he was going full speed-telling me when to add what and to make sure the bowl on the floor was catching all the juice. And while we worked, we talked about that old grinder. I told him about Holidays of long ago when I was a little girl out in the country. I told him about the times I'd get in trouble over the cranberries popping out onto the kitchen floor and the time my mother got laughing so hard when she was the cranberry grinder and one jumped out and hit her in the face. He told me he might not be able to eat the salad we were making because he might choke. You see he has a fear of choking after choking on a candy bar one day years ago when we were in the car. Since then, he stands to eat-thinking that will help him if he chokes. Introducing new foods is sometimes tricky.
But not today! I gave him a small poriton just to see what happened-that led to two more helpings! He loved it. He asked if we could bring the rest of the cabbage/carrot salad to Steps 2 Grow on Monday to share.That's what it takes-one Step at a Time and each Step is one more Step out of the Darkness.
That old grinder proved its worth yet again. And now he wants to grind cranberries when Christmas gets here!

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