When my mother was a little girl, children were not privy to adult conversations. That did not stop Mum and her sisters’ from hanging around the adults trying to overhear a choice bit of gossip.
One day while visiting with Uncle Don (grandpa’s brother) and his wife, Aunt Lorraine, the conversation turned to a topic not meant for little ears.
Nona and Aunt Lorraine were engaged in conversation when Aunt Lorraine abruptly got up and said “Come into the kitchen with me Elva, while I cook the meat.”
This piqued my mother and her sisters’ curiosity and they followed their mother into the kitchen only to be shooed out.
Obviously, this was an “adult’s only” conversation.
Thus the legend of “cooking meat” was born and to this day, when my mum and one of her sisters’ need to speak of something private they say are “cooking meat”. They’ve even shortened it to just “cook meat”. As in, when my Mum needs to talk to Aunt Debra about something important and juicy she’ll call her up and simply say “Debra, we need to cook some meat”.
And so it continues….
It was a Christmastime that I had my first adult experience with “cooking meat”.
I was at my father-in-law’s house for a family meal. After the meal, my sister-in-law and I lingered at the table desultorily chatting about our lives. I began to notice that we were speaking in lowered tones, and whenever a family member would drift into the room we would cease what we were currently talking about and begin speaking about something general.
It didn’t occur to me until I was driving home late that evening that I was carrying on the proud tradition of cooking meat.
Yet another sign that I am a “grown-up”