Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Granny Matt Memorial Lunch.  Granny Matt was my paternal great-grandmother.  She lived for several years with my paternal grandparents when I was growing up.  She had a great appetite and enjoyed all kinds of food.

My grandmother, frugal sometimes to a fault, worked hard every summer to can and freeze fresh vegetable from the gardens she had at the farm.  There were pantries and freezers full of produce in her home and in the farmhouse.

One summer’s day when I was about ten years old, we were at the farm when a large corn harvest was brought in.  Lunch was vegetables from the garden.

Granny Matt limited her lunch to corn-on-the-cob and buttermilk.  She slathered the corn with fresh country butter, salt, and pepper.  As she finished an ear, she stacked in on a plate to her side.  When she finished a dozen ears, she sat back, smiled, belched loudly, and said, “Excuse me.  This corn is good!” and continued to eat six more ears, stopping at times to drink a big drought of buttermilk.  We watched in silence and amazement.

Each summer I plan to have a memorial lunch in her honor.  It will be two ears of corn, with butter and salt and pepper and a small glass of buttermilk.  The year’s lunch was yesterday.  I used much less butter, salt , and pepper than I remember her using.  The lunch was delicious.  Here’s to you, Granny Matt.

Notes on Reading.  Fiction.  Charles Dickens, David Copperfield (1849-50).  Everyman’s Library, 1991.

I  have changed greatly since my last reading of the novel in 1974.  It was one of my favorite novels then.  Now I wonder why I ever liked it.

I admire Dickens’s plot structures, ability at characterization, and incorporation of social issues.

But the sentimentality is excessive, the coincidences of characters re-entering the story are unconvincing, and the depiction of inane, vapid women are dated, if every accurate, and almost offensive.  If I were to read one more novel that featured such a woman as Dora, I would join the ranks of feminists.

The reading of the last 360 pages tried my patience with the written word.  The handsome cloth bound edition is now missing from my library shelf.  I will be passing it on.

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About billwednesdayblog

Retired high school English and French teacher.
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4 Responses to Wednesday, September 7, 2016

  1. Ben says:

    Bill,
    I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog and look forward to it each week.
    Ben

  2. Hi Bill, the story of the corn feast is hilarious – I could see it almost live. I think you should brace yourself and go for at least 3 ears of corn :). On the David Copperfield reaction – it’s a good thing that we humans have a lifetime of experiences, and some of us grow and develop from them, otherwise, what’s the point… and therefore the world looks mightily different to us in our 60’s versus our teens, thank God; though for some humans it remains unchanged… Trump comes to mind…

  3. Joyce says:

    Bill,
    I loved the Granny Matt lunch story–it sounds like Jimmy!
    Joyce

  4. readingintheroot says:

    Hi Bill – thanks for the Granny Matt story! I also recently re-read David Copperfield and was also disappointed. Makes me wonder what other favorite titles from 35 or 40 years ago would now disappoint. . .

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