Thursday, May 19, 2011

Extra Protein

My great-grandma Boyer's name was Alma. She was my grandfather's mother and was an excellent cook. She raised her family in a time when her husband came home from work and her kids came home from school to eat lunch. And she was faithful to always serve a full meal, from salad to dessert. "I don't remember us never having dessert," my grandfather said, "we always had dessert." This was the norm in the Boyer house.

My grandfather, Dinon, was the oldest of the three kids in his family. His brother Daryll is five years younger than he, and his baby sister Glenda is five years younger than Daryll. They were living in Wisconsin Rapids when Dinon was 11, and one day, as usual, he and 6-year-old Daryll walked home together for lunch. They met their father at the dinner table and sat down to the meal their mother had prepared, everyone - even Alma - unaware of the bonus protein lurking in the salad bowl.

"Well, we're sitting there eating, and we're attacking the salads," he tells the story, "And it had lettuce with maybe jello on top. Anyhow, my brother goes to take a bite of salad...and he gets it about here..." - he said, holding an imaginary fork an inch from his mouth - "...and it moves."

On little Darryl's fork, woken by its near-consumption, was a fat wriggling lettuce worm the size of a pinky finger.

"That really freaked him out!" my grandfather laughed. "He really had a tough time eating the rest of his salad. And we kidded him, of course, unmercifully: 'Oh, you like lettuce worms now, huh?'" He laughed again.

"And, of course, my mother was mortified because she always tried to be very careful when she prepared the meal. But it was just one of those things that slipped past her, and it gave us all a big laugh, and I can say that I really enjoyed it."


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