Thursday, May 01, 2008

Here's To You Uncle Don!

Things hit you at the strangest times.

Last night I went out to dinner with my gorgeous wife and her parents out in Tehachapi. Don't know where Tehachapi is? Draw a line between the middle of nowhere (aka Bakersfield) and Egypt (aka Barstow) and exactly half-way in between lies Tehachapi.

Lest, I digress - I have this strange quirk where I have to order a chicken fried steak (or country fried, depending on the part of town you're from), whenever I eat at a new diner-type restaurant. You know, the type that calls it 'supper' instead of dinner, or uses terms like 'with all the fixin's'.

Ordering that entree at a new eatery is always risky because some places use the worst cuts of meat, pound the crap out of it, then fry it and cover it with gravy to conceal the evidence.

Even though I've been eating healthy, I walked into that diner knowing that I was going to get a chicken fried steak. It was the largest steak I had ever seen, accompanied by mashed potatoes, gravy and corn. I cleaned my plate long after everyone else had finished, giving them time to box up the leftovers and pay the bill. I was still hungry and there was some gravy bits left on the plate so I thought I'd mop those up with a piece of garlic bread.

The in-law's had already doggie-bagged up the garlic bread so there was none to be had, leaving that leftover gravy to sit and go to waste, something I'd never done before. I guess I was visibly upset at this because my mother-in-law asked me what was wrong. That's when it hit me...

My Uncle Don shared that same chicken fried steak quirk with me, and at family meals he always ate everything on his plate and had to have a roll/biscuit/slice of bread to mop up the remaining bits of sauce. If there were none to be had, he would get upset. He passed away a few years ago after a brave battle with cancer. For such a remarkable guy, it's nice to know that some of his lesser-known quirks will be carried on.


Anne Knowles said...

I love this blog and I miss Don. Mom