Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ah! Summer Means It's Time for BBQ!

At Knot-y Ladies embroidery class tonight, we started chatting--as we're wont to do--about this, that, and the other. Gran is very good at fostering communication among her students--in other words, we're invited to talk a lot while we stitch, and we often go around the table, taking turns showing off our current projects and discussing whatever's on our minds. One of our ladies is a mom with a two-year-old son who loves to eat plants from the garden. Needless to say, she has the telephone number of the poison hotline memorized and is continually amazed--but grateful--that children's protective services hasn't paid her a visit thus far. Anyway, tonight she told us she and her husband have been working to replace all of the potentially poisonous plants in their yard with edible plants for their little budding vegetarian. (Can't you just see the kid growing up to be one of those wilderness survivalists? I wonder if Bear Grylls ate his parents' garden when he was an infant?) The discussion brought back fond childhood memories for me, and I thought I'd share.

I think I must have been about five or six years old when a family moved into the house across the street from us. They had a little girl around my age, and we soon became friends. Even to my young mind, the family seemed different from mine--poorer, not as clean, and fairly lazy. As a result, life across the street was a bit more haphazard and unstructured--which meant that it was a lot more fun playing across the street than playing at my house.

One of the BEST things about playing across the street was that sometimes the mom would make homemade French fries for us, piling a paper plate full and serving them with lots of catsup. Yum! My mom wouldn't dream of serving us between meal snacks, except maybe a cookie and a glass of milk right after school. My mom also never used paper plates.

But French fries weren't the only slightly illicit treats. The family also enjoyed barbecuing when the weather was nice--again, something my family didn't do very often because we only had a small Hibatchi grill; the people across the street had a large, metal half-drum. And for us two young girls, our favorite barbecued snack was ivy leaves. Yep, you read that right. We would collect and wash large ivy leaves, and the dad would brush them with barbecue sauce and grill them until they were slightly crisp and crunchy.

From what I can recall, the barbecued ivy leaves tasted pretty good and I don't think I ever got sick afterward. Not that we would be allowed to eat many though--usually two or three each was the limit before the dad got tired of barbecuing leaves for us. And how they came up with the idea of barbecuing ivy leaves? Well, I'm not certain, but I have my suspicions. Remember this?

"Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you?
Yes! Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you?

If the words sound queer and funny to your ear, a little bit jumbled and jivey
Sing "Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy"

Oh! Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you-oo?
A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you?"

Dinner anyone?


Kelly Ann said...

so the saying "you are not right" actually could have been said to you when you were growing up...who knew?

Robin said...

OMG, you are lucky to be ALIVE!!!!!! Did you ever tell your mother what you were up to over there? LOL I'm picturing her reaction...

debbie said...

Ok, I'll precede this with the phraise..."I'm not right"
Your little snack sounds good, and what a wonderful childhood memory, LOve it! When I was young I use to mow my Great Grandma Ethel's yard with a rotary mower because she would not allow my dad to mow it with a power mower. She ate the planton and dandilion greens...she also lived to more than 90 years old. Before mowing we would pick greens for our lunch salad, which she would fix while I mowed. Lovely memories.
Funny memory...When my son was 6 we moved to a new neighborhood. He was the smallest and youngest boy in the area. When the big kids would pick on him he would eat the wild onions growing where ever he was and "breathe at them". It proved to be a formidable weapon. Still makes me laugh.

AnnieO said...

BBQ'd ivy leaves, amazing! What other strange things might you have eaten given the chance?

My grand-dog brought in some long pieces of grass to chew on. My daughter said "he loves to garden!"

paulette said...

Too funny!! I have a whole yard full of Ivy...Hire up the Bar-BQ!! :o)

Sinta Renee said...

I hear that BBQ'd Ivy is a delicacy in some countries! I think it's the same place where they BBQ scorpians!LOL
Little girls (kids in general) are so funny and imaginative!

Mad about Craft said...

I'll pass thank you!

Nancy said...

my favorite italian place has fried spinach leaves...very crunchy...and pretty good..but hardly any taste...

Vicky said...

Sounds better than the mayo and sugar sandwiches our neighbor fed us!