In my many culinary efforts this morning, I completed a batch of potato salad. Folks just eat it up at my mom's Christmas dinner gathering. No roast goose and figgy pudding for the Hillbilly family. If not for the extra effort and bedrock, we would have a whole hog buried in a coal-lined pit.
Because The Pony was my right-hand man when Farmer H and the #1 son forsook me to gallivant about Hillmomba, I called him first to taste test the beloved potato salad. "Here. Use this fork. Don't touch it with your tongue, just slide a bite off so we can all use it for tasting." I'll be ding dang donged if I'm going to wash four forks used for a single bite each.
Because the #1 son is home from college, I called him second for tasting. "This is the tasting fork. Don't slobber all over it. Just stab a bite and slide it off with your teeth." There. Easy as pie. Both boys pronounced the potato salad fit for human consumption. #1 related that it was perfect for him, but some might find it a bit dry, and a little mustardy. So I added a dollop of mayonnaise. And some more fresh-ground black pepper for good measure.
Because Farmer H is the self-imagined head of the Mansion household, he groused from his La-Z-Boy each time I called a boy for tasting. "Hmpf! What about Dad? I like potato salad." Duly noted. I, myself, like 44 oz. Diet Coke, such as the one promised me upon Farmer H's return to the Mansion, which was mysteriously absent to the tune of I forgot. Karma, baby!
Because even Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's meanness has boundaries, I called Farmer H for tasting. "Here. Use this fork. Don't lick it. Just slide the stuff off with your teeth." I turned to the sink for just a moment. One would not think that an adult male would need close supervision while tasting a bite of potato salad. One would be wrong. This was no ordinary adult male, but Farmer H. I turned back to see him holding the fork, which was now gleaming, reflecting the sun's light like a brand-new chrome bumper on a '57 Chevy.
"Now what?" said Farmer H, holding the fork out to me. He had not even taken a bite, but had
I must admit, I squawked at him. "What do you think you're doing? I told you not to get your mouth all over that fork. Look at it! Here. Here's another fork to put in the potato salad. How hard was that? Both boys understood me. What made you think I wanted you sucking on the tines of the fork?"
Farmer H was offended. "Forget it! I don't even want any potato salad. There. There's your fork!" He stomped around the kitchen, his nose out of joint.
"GET BACK OVER HERE AND TRY THIS POTATO SALAD!"
Even petulant Farmer H knows where the line is drawn. He took the new fork and speared a taste. Sucked the last molecule off the fork and laid it down. Stalked off. "It's okay." Over his shoulder, he threw this crumb: "It's really good, actually."
Farmer H puts the "difficult" in simple.