He had just slurped down the last of his 3 way, the chili-topped spaghetti with a mound of cheddar cheese. It’s one of our family’s favorite meals from a local mainstay, Skyline Chili.
With most of our Chambers-Morrissey family members growing up in the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky area, it makes sense that our taste buds nudge us to frequent it often. Even though it’s available now to buy from Kroger’s and fix at home, we all still enjoy going out for our favorite “way”. Officially that means adding onions or beans or both to the basic version.
For almost eight year old grandson Oliver, however, it’s the chili crackers that are brought to the table as a side that makes the meal. He has an on-going challenge with himself to see if one refill of crackers will be just the right amount to finish off the chili. Can’t have one without the other!
That reminds me of something my dad used to do. He loved his biscuits, any time of day and with any meal. His favorite way, though, seemed to be enjoying a couple with his morning eggs and fresh-squeezed orange juice before we scurried off to the bus stop and he left for work.
Things slowed down after he retired from his dental practice. Mom kept the biscuits coming, but breakfast took much longer than when I was growing up in Tennessee. When my daughter Sara and I visited her grandparents at their home in a Senior Community, the reason why became quickly evident.
Dad felt the need to make it “even out”. First he made sure the two sections of the small glass bowl were filled, one side with peach or grape jam and the other with honey. He’d slather a spoonful of honey on the first bite of biscuit, twirling it high above until it stopped dripping.
The next bite was topped with jam. Then honey, then jam. It had become a contest between the two condiments to see who got the last bite, so to speak.
The thing was, he always went on to enjoy biscuit number two. If the toppings ran out before the biscuit, more were added to the bowl. On the other hand, if the second biscuit was gone first, a third was called for.
He joked that he would keep “topping it off” forever, until it came out even. Of course, being a math and science teacher before dental school, he had worked out a precise way of proportional eating so he didn’t end up consuming more than he could handle without a belly ache.
We never figured out his system, but lingering with him and mom over breakfasts through the years allowed us to hear lots of stories from his growing up and young adult life that we might not have gotten to otherwise.
I’d say that tops it all!
I’d love to support you in capturing similarities in family members’ mannerisms or habits like topping it off. Have you found that something has “skipped a generation”? Let’s chat today about adding some of these tales into your Legacy of Family Memories!
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