Don’t Drink the Milk, Why, It’s Spoiled!

by Sheila on July 23, 2010

This post is about The Lil’ Rascals, food,  family, primal eating, friends and Edna Lewis…oh and mush!

Mush is up there with lima beans – I’ll get to this…

One of my favorite cooks was Edna Lewis.  I somehow got my hands on one of her cookbooks, In Pursuit of Flavor years ago. Over the years, I tried many of the recipes.  This book is one of only 3 cookbooks of my many that I actually refer to often.  I still roast a chicken in the exact way that she describes which is not conventional and it is perfect every time.

I loved her stories of the food and how food is love.  I’ve always felt this.  There is really not much else that brings me as much joy as cooking for those I love.  Sitting at a table with friends and sharing a meal is when I’m most happy.  Well, and I love the actual cookng part too!

I just learned recently that Edna spent the last 14 years of her life living in Atlanta with a 45- years- her junior, gay, white man –  Scott Peacock.  They thought at first that they only shared a love for cooking, but they shared much more.

Edna taught Scott to love his southern heritage and the wonderful food of southern cuisine.  They lived together and cooked together and wrote books.

When Edna became ill with dementia, Scott lovingly took care of her.  He tells a story of how near the end (she died just short of 90 yrs old) the only thing that could bring her back to him was watching the Lil’ Rascals.  She became herself again while watching the kids and laughing with Scott.  He thanks God for the Lil Rascals.  Her family did not feel the same way.

Edna’s estranged family  took Scott to court to gain legal custody of her citing one big reason was that exposing an old black woman to repeated episodes of a show that employed broad sterotypical  images of African Americans was cruel and insentsitive.  It lacked dignity.  The judge disagreed and Edna was allowed to die with Scott.

The day she died, Scott “played her favorite music and coated her lips with honey and a bit of Virginia country ham so she could leave this earth with the flavors of her youth.”  She died in 2006.

Scott said he learned to appreciate his birth family by creating this new family with Edna.

Family does come in all kinds of shapes and sizes.

I’ve always loved the Lil’ Rascals – especially Spanky.  My niece, Mollly, is a little Spanky and it cracks me up!

In my primal program, dairy is to be eliminated or at the very least limited significantly.  I had already been trying to do this as I was tested and found to have a sensitivity to dairy.  This means I can’t have my “beloved” milk!

I was sharing my milk sob story with a friend who uttered the words, “Don’t drink the milk, it’s spoiled” and I laughed and said,  “That’s the Lil’ Rascals”!  I immediately recognized it.

So, now when I go to the grocery store and longingly look at the glass bottles of Hartzler’s milk with the ring of cream on the top,  I think of this line and it helps…just a bit. Thanks for that, T.

When you watch the video clip below that I’ve included in this post, you will hear that mush is also mentioned.

You know how in your family you call something something that no one else does?  This is what I thought mush was for our family.  I had never heard of the stuff in anyone of my friends’ homes.  Just what is it?  My dad would make it in a loaf pan and cut a piece and fry it up in a skillet and eat it.

I couldn’t stand to hear the name of it, say the name…let alone eat any of  it.  I’d miss 15 Halloweens to avoid this stuff.  Somehow no one ever made me eat it.  Must have been because my dad coveted it.. Thank God!  My friend, Cynthia, used to come over and eat that mush with my dad and he would just love her.  She put maple syrup on it, I remember.

Well, I discovered it does exist in the outer world as seen in the video clip AND I think (I’m not sure) they actually fancy it up and call it “polenta” in hoity toity circles.  I still won’t eat it.  And now I won’t have to since I’m not eating grains.

I’m thinking Edna cooked some mush.  I would have probably eaten hers.

So what were your family’s “something no one else has or eats”?  Or, it doesn’t have to be about food. Come on…drag those skeletons out!  Let the family freak flag fly!! Enjoy the video:

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