Rice Goop

The grieving process is complicated.  Yesterday I started thinking about the things the departed Joan used to cook.  I would qualify her as a poor to middling cook.  I mean usually the stuff was not burned but she showed little imagination and didn’t take any real pleasure, that I could tell, in the preparation.  Though perhaps that was due to money restrictions as well as limitations imposed by WB’s particular and limited tastes—involving most especially things that had been fried.


Among the things I remember Joan cooking:

Rice goop as we affectionately called it.  This was a non-fried meal, involving rice, a couple of cans of chicken of mushroom soup, hamburger, all mixed together, and put in the oven and made into a casserole.  This was OK with butter melted on top, and I would put butter on bread and make a rice goop sandwich.

Also I recollect the notorious catsup stew which involved one of the lesser cuts of beef, rather flat, though wide, as I recollect and well fibered with fat, which was placed in a pan and covered with a whole bottle of catsup and then bake in the oven causing the meat to break down into chewable form and producing also a little sort of catsup stew gravy to be poured over rice.  I liked this too, though there never seemed to be enough of it.

I would list these among Joan’s specialiaties; not every body cooked them or would want to for that matter.  The rest—though I am probably forgetting something—was rather common fare: pork chops (once a week maybe) with rice; fried chicken (once a week maybe) with rice; a meatloaf (so called) with some form of potatoes, I think; an occasional tuna fish casserole, with a can of tuna or two dumped in a casserole bowl along with some noodles and more chicken of mushroom soup; also ham, fried of course, sometimes with fried or more precisely clumped potatoes, usually burn on one side and sort of congealed together. 


And of course for WB those damn black eyed peas to be covered with some sort of tomato sauce that had a lot of pepper and maybe two cups of sugar mixed into it.  I know I am forgetting stuff.  Oh, chicken fried steak with rice, of course, occasionally.  And on Friday evenings for some reason, WB would stop and buy a barbequed chicken at the local grocery.  These were always scrawny birds and not enough of it, so I would butter a couple of pieces of break, stick some chicken meat in between and have a white bread, butter, and chicken sandwich.

I have a strange food related memory.  Once we had fried ham, fried potatoes, and cabbage and as we ate a fire truck came up the hill, maybe because somebody had lit a trashcan at the elementary school on fire.  And the next time we had that—a couple of weeks, maybe a month later—the same thing happened.  A fire truck came up the hill.  The third time we had that I thought, hey, a fire truck is going to come up the hill.  But it didn’t.


We had a bit of a heat wave for a couple of weeks with temps down where Steve lives near a hundred and up here in the 90’s.  But it broke yesterday.  Above find "before heat wave snapped" and "heat wave snapping" pics. 

2 Replies to “Rice Goop”

  1. Cousin Nick, the tomato, sugar and black pepper blackeye pea accompaniment of which you speak is actually a rather delectable side dish properly called “stewed tomatoes”. It’s actually a great “gravy” not only for any kind of peas or beans, but is also quite tasty on biscuits (which should first be covered with freshly stewed corn – a whole different story altogether)or rice or mashed potatoes or loaf bread (as opposed to “corn bread), or even boiled okra – yum .
    Of course, you can always just eat stewed tomatoes with a spoon right out of a bowl – that is, if the bowl isn’t already filled with warm cornbread, black pepper, and sweet milk (as opposed to “butter” milk).
    I have lots of other Southern delicacies I can expound upon if you are interested – and not yet violently ill.
    Love and heartburn,

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