I was hurrying along through Aldi, list in hand, gathering up groceries as fast I could with four children in tow. This was the last store, and we were tired of shopping. Suddenly, there they were, Mom. Memories washed over me as I gazed at the pile of acorn squash with their sale price waving like a flag in my face.
Ahh, how you loved acorn squash, Mom. You would accept them happily from dear old 'Ervin Dorothy', who always seemed to end up with an abundance of them. We would all groan, knowing exactly what was coming next: acorn squash with meatloaf tucked inside was sure to be on the supper menu. We turned up our noses, even daddy, who willingly ate almost anything. The only redeeming factor was the meatloaf and even that could hardly make up for the stringy, yellowish-orange squash that also had to be eaten.
Standing there in the grocery store, memories flooding my mind, I hesitated only a second, Mom. Then I picked a pretty, green squash from the pile and added it to my cart, just for you....well, sort of.
Actually, your efforts to teach us to like all kinds of food paid off, Mom. Somewhere along the line I acquired a taste for acorn squash and the sight of them there on the pile made my mouth water. I would buy one, just for me.
The past week has been hectic, Mom, and the acorn squash lay neglected til I noticed, with alarm, it had developed a bad spot and needed to be used. I intended to fix it yesterday but time got away from me and I finally had to give it up. Today, though, I was determined.
I cut the bad part off and reduced my meal to half a squash - two halves would have been too much anyway. Then I scooped out the seeds, tucked some hamburger inside and popped it into the oven. As I scurried around finishing up other projects, I looked forward to my lunch. But I hadn't taken into account one thing, Mom. Or maybe it was several things.
I never asked you how to make acorn squash, for one thing. Then again, maybe the ones grown by your dear friend were just that much better than Aldi has to offer. Whatever the case, my lunch didn't turn out to be that great. I dabbed on the butter and sprinkled the salt but it still lacked the flavor my memory had envisioned. Quite possibly it should have been baked longer but I was in a hurry, so I ate the softest part and pitched the rest and thought of you, Mom. I'm sorry I didn't carry on the tradition of making my children learn to like all kinds of food but they were quite happy to hear I was buying the squash just for me!
Some things you just never forget and acorn squash will always make me think of you, Mom.