When it comes to cranberry sauce, I love the made from scratch kind. The one I make has a lot of orange in it, and it’s sweet and tart and amazing. It’s super easy to make, so buying the icky canned stuff seems wrong. The kind I make can be used with turkey, mixed with some mayo on a sandwich, as ice cream toppings. Or–if it was a particularly good batch and I’m living by myself and not sharing–straight out of the jar with a spoon.
My mother, however, loved the canned kind. She loved the sound it made when it came out of the can; she loved the lines in the sides; she loved that she could slice it with a knife.
Mom was weird.
When mom was first admitted to the hospital, and they finally found the cancer and started treatment, she was there for over a week. Her blood pressure was naturally very low, and other than the cancer riddling her body, she was pretty damn healthy, so she wasn’t on a restricted diet. The food was pretty bland, so on the first day she was able to keep food down, instead of bringing her flowers I brought her a baggie with salt. She always said that was the best gift I ever gave her.
One day she decided she’d take a chance and ordered the “Turkey Dinner.” It came with turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, veggies and “a side of cranberry sauce.”
She gets served a plate with the turkey and all the other stuff, and a “bowl” of cranberry sauce.
You know when you go to a restaurant and ask for jelly and you get those little packets you have to open? That’s what this was. Maybe a little thicker, but not by much. If it was more than a teaspoon, I’d be surprised.
We always wondered WHY they served it in a BOWL? Was mom supposed to open it up and dish it up into the bowl? Or did they think it looked more festive? Either way, it was ridiculous. Especially as the bowl was about the size of a cereal bowl, so that should give you a better sense of scale.
Whatever their thinking, we laughed until our sides ached. The nurses came and checked on her because her vitals were going haywire and we were making a racket. All we could do was point and laugh even more.
I have very few good memories of that week, but that was one of them. And it still makes me laugh.
Lynda the Guppy
aka No Ridges For Me
aka The Fish With Sticks