Friday, September 14, 2012

In the Secret World of Mothers

I guess I have a secret.

Not that it's intentional, but I find that mother's are not always truthful.

I was clearing out a cabinet this afternoon and came across a box that brought to mind a confession from my momma.  And a smile.

I was a wee thing yet, when momma would whip up a batch of chocolate gravy in the kitchen.  My sisters and I would crowd into the kitchen, sitting in the chairs with the ends of our nightgowns pulled over our toes.  We giggled as we eagerly awaited mom's masterpiece of chocolate heaven that she spooned into bowls.  We quickly learned the tastiness of a fat pat of butter melting in the middle.

Over the years we had chocolate gravy less and less.  I'm not sure why, but I suspect life just got busy, rushing to prepare for school.  There were no more moments to linger in a warm kitchen, inhaling the bliss bubbling on the stove.

MY son was a couple years old when we were visiting on a cold winter's morning.  In a moment of delight I told my son that perhaps he could ask grandma to make him a bowl of "chocolate gravy."  My mother stared at me with that "deer in headlights" look as my son, her first born grandchild and absolute de-LIGHT of her world began to plead for "chocit gavie".

My father was kicked back in a recliner, snorting.  There was a story here, but I didn't know yet what it was.

Mom went to the kitchen, rummaged through some cabinets and then set about making "chocit gavie" with her grandson at her elbow.  She soon brought in her iron pot of chocolate hotness and poured some into a bowl with a fat pat of butter and I taught my son the delights of blowing on the goodness until the top was cool enough to spoon up.  Between slurps I told mom, she really had to share her chocolate gravy recipe.  To which my father, stopped slurping his "gravy" long enough to choke, chortle and chuckle.  Mom gave him the stink eye.  She sighed and told me it was time I had the recipe for chocolate pudding.  She pulled the main ingredient out of her pocket.

"But this is pudding!" I objected.  She nodded and then explained.  She grew up with a grandma and a mother (MY grandma) who made chocolate gravy for them to pour over biscuits on special occasions.  But she preferred it just like we were eating it - in a bowl with a fat pat of butter.  But good chocolate gravy takes time to create it's chocolaty sweetness without lumps or bitterness.  And it was time that she wasn't given by 4 impatient daughters.  So she tried telling us that chocolate gravy was only for SPECIAL CELEBRATIONS.  But she found we were extraordinarily successful at finding reasons to celebrate.  I grinned as I recalled at least once declaring that we should have chocolate gravy to celebrate the event of my little sister sleeping all night without wetting the bed.  (She slept with me at the time, it WAS great cause for celebration.)  So somewhere in that time, mom happened upon a box of cook and serve chocolate pudding and tried it.  We did not notice the difference.  It was easier, quicker and she liked the texture and flavor better.  So unknown to us, Jello cook and serve became my mom's version of chocolate gravy.  It does not take the delight out of our enjoyment of sitting with a bowl of hot cook and serve chocolate pudding with a fat pat of butter melting on the top.  ahhhh

So I happened upon the boxes of pudding this morning (checking out my pantry for Amish bread pudding choices).  I recalled moms confession, grinned thinking about her deception.

Then I recalled a deception of my own making.  My son was three years old when he informed me he was too old to sit in a "baby seat".  Now he had graduated to booster seat at this point, but it did not matter to him.  It was meant for babies in his eyes.  So as tired moms do, I sighed and told him he had no choice, "It's the law for little boys and girls to sit in booster seats while the car is moving."  He glared at me, shook his little shoulders and climbed into seat grumbling about the "waw was wong".  I chuckled despite his indignation.

Several nights later, he objected about eating his veggies and declared he was not going to eat them, but he would have jelly toast instead.  Sighing I shook my head again and told him, "I'm sorry, it's the law that little boys eat their veggies before they get jelly toast."  Again, he sighed, grumbled about the bad "waws" and ate his veggies.

Sadly, I confess that when this worked, I blamed the law for everything from having to keep our rooms clean to going to school.  Many things do have laws attached but I might I have stretched the laws quite a bit to fit over such things as picking up our shoes, doing our homework and not talking back.  All because it was the law.

I'm not sure HOW he wised up.  But around second grade, he gave me a very suspicious look over all these laws and asked "Is this a real law or a mom law?"  bwa ha ha...I had no idea how he came up with that, but I was truthful that it was a mom law.

I find that moms across the world have their own sets of half truths and mom laws.  Whether it's the hidden box of ice cream bars that you are prepared to defend citing case law from the 1830s that moms do NOT have to share ice cream, or the insistence there was NO sweets in the house, knowing full well you had a stash of snickers in the back of the closet, under the shoe paper inside a shoe box (learned that one from my mom, I did!)  We moms, are not always 100 percent truthful in all our interactions in the home.  We get away with it until someone gets smart and asks the right question.  There is a difference between the questions...
"Mom, do we have anything chocolate in the house?" and "Mom, do YOU have anything chocolate in the house?"

Turns out my mom had QUITE the sweet tooth, and we found stashes of candy all around the house...inside vases, behind book on the bookcase, in her shoe boxes.  I helped her clear out her closet the summer before her death.  I found 4 bags of candy, one with the chocolate so old it was white. (and not supposed to be)  She had no recollection of ever putting it in there.  She blamed dad for it.  Dad had died 9.5 years prior to that day.  She and I laid across her bed, eating her chocolate stash (not turned white) while she admitted we would continue to find chocolate at any given place.  She thought the bathroom was the only "chocolate free zone" as she felt that would just be too "gross."

There are some things about being moms, about the truthfulness of moms that you just don't really grasp and understand ....until you become the mom. are real recipe for chocolate gravy.  I can see why mom opted for the Cook and serve choice.

This one has no delightful photo and seems more recipelike...Mom's Chocolate Gravy


  1. I am a New England girl...I've never HEARD of chocolate gravy! ;-D

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  3. I've never heard of such a concoction but I now know that you can spell "love"
    "C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E*G-R-A-V-Y"...I'd recognize THAT anywhere!
    Ms Lorretty

  4. This made me chuckle. I don't remember these stories, but it must be true. I never STOPPED complaining about the 'bad waws'.