Some Things Never Change…

Much as I delight in change, there is comfort to be found in tradition, in “we always…”, in little things that can be relied on. The kids and I recently took a trip back to Ohio. My mom fixed a traditional dinner while we were home. And this time I not only enjoyed the little “always” things, but took a few photos as well.

Mom fixed a ham, and I snitched a few bits of the dark, crunchy bits of skin. There were also olives and 5-cup salad. Olives are enough of a family tradition that my little sister made a special hand-crafted fired-clay olive holder in art class one year. And 5-cup salad? It is a tradition handed down from my mom’s mom. “Salad” is really a misnomer—I’m not sure there is a single healthy thing in the dish. It is made from one cup each of mandarin oranges, crushed pineapple, mini marshmallows, coconut, and sour cream. Yum!

cranberry relish

Yummy "red stuff"

And no family dinner is complete without “red stuff” as my kids used to call it. Cranberry relish is a sweet and tart addition to all special meals throughout the year. Mom makes up large batches of it each year: grinding up fresh cranberries and oranges in her hand-cranked counter-mounted meat grinder then adding sugar to taste. Dinner sized batches are frozen for later use. To my mind, the relish must still be half frozen. To my little sister, it should be thoroughly thawed. She wasn’t present this time…so I got my way and enjoyed the icy taste!

Another tradition is using the “roly-poly glasses” for special occasions. Years and years ago, my Dad’s little brother worked in West Virginia and my mom bought a bunch of these special glasses at a glass factory in the area. I always get to use the pink one—and have fended off my sisters for years.

roly poly glasses

"my" pink roly-poly glass

I share most things with my kids, including tastes of bridge mix and starbucks frappucinos. I share food and books. I share shoes and clothes. But…I do NOT share “my” pink roly-poly glass. Sorry, Anna! Some things I just won’t share!

After all, traditions are traditions, and some things are not meant to be changed…

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