Friday, May 11, 2012

Politics, potato salad, and a beautiful memorial service

Jordan, my former neighbor and Canadian daughter, Sue, and I went to Susan's mother's memorial service this morning. It was one of the loveliest services I've ever been to, each component carefully chosen. The congregation sang, "How Great Thou Art" and 'Here am I," both favorites of mine. the string quartet carried each of us away into private meditation; the eulogies were moving and made me wish oh so much I'd known Kay Halbower in her heyday; and the Twenty-third Psalm brought tears, as it always can in such a situation; our minister delivered a moving but very celebratory message, stressing that Kay was charming, caring, and unconventional. I see all those traits in her daughter, my friend Susan. I told Jordan to take notes for my funeral, and she said to put them in my file. When I complimented Larry, the minister, I said it was just what I wanted my funeral to be and after thanking me, he said, "Don't be in a hurry." I'm not, but I was truly moved by that service this morning.
From that emotional topic, on to politics. There's a Facebook page called Dogs Against Romney, all built around that infamous time when Governor Romney drove his family to Minnesota or Michigan or some far place, with the family dog in a crate on the roof. The idea outrages animal lovers, as it should, but I long ago decided I don't need to see pictures every day of dogs who ride inside. A friend who did not know of the site, said, "Now that's absolutely silly," when I told him about it. But couple that with the stories of Romney's bullying tactics in high school and I truly begin to think he's not the kind of man I want to lead our country. Romney denied the stories, then admitted maybe some of his pranks got out of hand--we'll never know the truth but I just heard the family of the "victim" said the story was distorted and they were angry it was used for political purposes. But there's that old saying that you can tell a lot about a man by the way he treats his dog. Those of you that know me, know I wasn't going to vote for him anyway. These are just idle speculations.
And finally potato salad--I've labored in the kitchen a lot this week, and today I made a huge batch of potato salad for our family reunion tomorrow. What bothers me--really bothers my back--about making potato salad is all the standing and chopping, but I did it in stages today. Peeled and diced the already cooked, cold potatoes and then sat at my desk for a bit; then the celery and another break; finally pulsed the onions in the food processor. There are a couple of dilemmas here--one is that my mom taught me you should peel hot potatoes and pour some kind of vinaigrette on them while they're hot and will soak it up; the recipe I use calls for cold potatoes and, trust me, it is so much eaiser! Sorry, Mom.
The other dilemma has to do with food safety. We will drive at least an hour to get to the ranch tomorrow, and I began to have doubts about unrefrigerated potato salad. Besides, it has a lot of sour cream in it, and I think it gets watery pretty quickly. I talked to Cindy, my sister-in-law, and she thought I should make it tonight to let the flavors blend. Compromise: I've put on all the dry seasonings--salt, coarse pepper (lots of it!), celery and garlic salt and dill pickle relish. I'll put the mayo and sour cream in a refrigerator container and mix it all up when I get there. The recipe I use is from a barbecue restaurant in Austin and San Antonio so I don't feel free to repeat it, but if you want you might search Google for County Line Potato Salad. Like the casserole I made the other night, this will feed Cox's army.
A long, lazy evening looms, and and I welcome it. Jamie, Mel, and their girls will be here "after work" depending on how long it takes them to drive from Frisco--lately the Friday night traffic has been awful, and they're not known for fast starts. I don't expect them very early, but the guest apartment is ready, the a/c on. And I'm happy.


Jackie said...

The potato salad sounds wonderful!
Hope you all have a great reunion.

The dog story is true, I've heard. The story is the dog had diaria on a family trip, so they had a choice of keeping the dog in the vehicle with them or strapping it safely to the top of the car until they reached the stopping point for the day. Nor sure what I would have done, and I'm a huge animal lover.

Judy Alter said...

Jackie, good to know there was a reason behind the roof trip. The way the story comes across in public is just that there wasn't room in the car for the dog. I agree that's a touch call.
Trying to post a picture of the reunion now. May not get it done--it keeps coming out sideways!