Thursday, January 8, 2009

Three things from my childhood

I just returned from three nights in Southern California. My mom turned 80 on Tuesday and my sisters and I threw a birthday luncheon for her. It was a quick trip, but one that was greatly appreciated for many reasons, not the least of which was that temperatures there were about 60 degrees warmer than those we left here.

More on the party later, but here are three items that surfaced while I was home, evoking strong childhood memories:

A swatch of the sturdy cotton fabric (called kettlecloth—remember kettlecloth?) from the first garment I sewed—a "shift" (anyone remember shifts?) in eighth grade home ec.

A pillowcase, one of the pair I embroidered as a gift to my mom. I must have made these during high school or even college, when embroidery was all the rage and apparently I only knew the chainstitch. I loved embroidery and covered my overalls and blue workshirt with images. I've still got the workshirt.

And a trip to the grocery store revealed that XLNT tamales still exist--ah, the many times I enjoyed these for lunch. In those pre-microwave days they had to be boiled in the wrapper for about 30-40 minutes I think, but the wait was worth it. I very carefully did NOT check to see what was on the ingredient list—I'm guessing the lard content was high, which may well have been why they were so tasty.


Maggie said...

I just want to know what XLNT stands for. And could they compete with MY tamales???

lkm said...

Don't you think they stand for EXCELLENT (or its Spanish equivalent)? And I'm sure they're nowhere near the standard you set with your tamales. But they're definitely a part of where my love of tamales was honed. I was also remembering that in the pre-microwave days, when you had to boil them, they came in plastic wrappers that were tied at either end, like a big piece of taffy.