Saturday, December 4, 2010

larrupin' pie

Holiday meals always make me think of Steve's mother, Alice, with whom we shared many Thanksgivings, Christmases, and Easters (her personal favorite, I thnk).

Alice was not fond of cooking, though she did like to make sure people were well fed. Preparing the ritual feasts was a chore for her. She would put a turkey in the oven by 5:30 in the morning, and do a lot of tenting, basting, and fussing until the meal was finally served around 2:00 p.m. One year she added oysters to the stuffing, under the impression that this was a tradition my mother and I had followed.

Garrison Keillor has spoken of daughters-in-law not being trusted to cook Thanksgiving dinner -- especially the iconic turkey -- until they reach their late forties, and it's very true that a mother-in-law is reluctant to pass this particular torch. So it was with Alice. But when I finally proved myself as a holiday hostess, she was full of praise and would often describe a dinner or one of its components as "larrupin'."

Like swan (the verb), another of Alice's words, larrupin' is a multi-regional American colloquialism, but has gone upscale as the name of a pricey ($$$) cafe in Trinidad (Humboldt County), California, and its line of signature sauces.

Steve and I have kept swan alive in our dialog, but danged if larrupin' isn't in danger of slipping away. How I wish I'd told our daughter-in-law her Thanksgiving pies were larrupin'. There will be another time.

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POSToccupations by Frances Talbott-White is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License