As a youngster, I never cared much for ham with pineapples, or any sweet fruit. Oh, I like it well enough now. That tolerance is more likely because as an (presumed) adult, I'm more... tolerant... of exotic foods now. But there will always be a Young Republican ensconced in the back of my brain who insists that Meat Should Be Salty, Not Sweet.
I do, however, really dig au gratin potatoes. And potato pancakes? Oh my! Get out the jism deflector.
Why this food rap? I'm thinking of long ago at Grandma's house. Easter time. She would always cook a ham. And we would have potatoes with it.
Oh, we also had to go to church. And I had to wear a suit, with a starched shirt that made my neck itch, and wearing one of those dorky little red bowties. I probably looked like a Hitler youth. And that time of year down in Indianapolis, it was just starting to get warm. And this was before even the conceptualization of air conditioning (something people in the far future, like in the year 2000, would enjoy). So it was hot and stuffy and stale and smelled of perfumed old lady stink and sticky bibles.
But then we'd get to go back to Grandma and Grandpa's house, and we'd have to stay indoors while the Old Man hid the Easter eggs. Which was fine by Mom because we then avoided getting grass stains on the knees of our little dress pants. And to occupy the time, we'd be assigned chores like setting the table, until the eggs had been safely secured.
Now, one thing you have to know about the Old Man is, he didn't get to have a childhood, or not much of one. And so, fortunately for us, he lived his childhood out vicariously through his children. Which, in retrospect, even though we didn't have much money, meant that we were spoiled as hell. Big bucks were spent upon a shitload of candy in those color plastic eggs, and then of course the huge Easter baskets with the green plastic grass and jelly beans and chocolate bunnies and so on.
The other thing you need to know about the Old Man is, since he was a Kraut, uh, I mean an American of German extraction, the hiding of the Easter eggs was a very serious thing. Like War with a capital W. Like the history of Prussian logistics. Like a well planned Spring offensive.
And so the hiding of the eggs was a devious, convoluted, time consuming, and actually quite sadistically evil affair. And we children were not permitted to quit the fight and leave the field until every, I mean every, single egg had been found. Even the ones hidden beyond the reach of a twelve year old deep within culvert under the driveway. Even the one nestled twelve feet in the air in the crook of a thorn tree with jackdaws defending the nest.
But, eventually the hunt would be over, and we children would munch on our candy: bruised, dirty, bleeding, crying perhaps a little bit.
But really the crying was muted, only a few sobs worked out around a mouthful of sugar.