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Friday, October 19, 2012

The Salad’s in My Hat


I did, last night, what so many women have done before me.

I baked two potatoes, put them in my pants pockets, and stepped into the night air to enjoy the cloudless sky.

What.  They don’t do that where you are?

I can’t remember ever having carried produce in my pockets before, but now that I have, I can foresee doing it again.  The warmth spreads across the legs, radiates a rich, root-ish heat while providing for a snack later.

And with the stars as my backdrop, the night air a crisp, bright thing, I consider calling someone to tell them of the potatoes in my pants.

Oddly enough, I can think of no one I should bother at this time of night.

It is just me, the night sky, and my taters.

And suddenly my grandma comes to mind.  She would appreciate this.  She would enjoy knowing that there was a side dish in my pockets.  A practical, hard-working woman, she had a whimsical bent to her, and with her one was free to speak of little rocks, of the pickles on the pennies – “Those are wheat, honey” – and where the birds go in winter.

“The barn swallows will stay,” she says.

I stare out the kitchen window, toward the barn.  “Why don’t they freeze?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” she says, her hands in the sudsy water, “but you don’t think they’d stay if they knew they shouldn’t, do you?”

I think about that.  “No,” I admit.  “I don’t think they would.”



I stare up through the top of the leafless tree, think about how much closer to the sky the third floor deck is now that its canopy is gone.

And I smile into the distance.  “I’ve got baked potatoes wrapped in wash rags in my pants pockets, Grandma.”

51 comments:

Shelly said...

Simply exquisite~

Vicus Scurra said...

I hope that no one has the poor taste to post a comment along "just pleased to see me" line.

Pearl said...

Shelly, thank you.

Vicus, I have to admit the thought crossed my own mind...

MJenks said...

I think I've heard of the baked potato trick before. I think it's also a "survival tip" if you heat rocks by the fire and then keep them close to you while you try to sleep.

But potatoes are far more tasty, though I've never buttered a rock to find out.

Pearl said...

MJenks, it is quite possible that, from now until April, I shall have a potato on me at all times. :-)

Nessa Roo said...

Well, now I'll be asking people, "Is that a baked potato in your pocket?"

Buttons said...

Oh Pearl I love this made me think of my eccentric Gramma. About those potatoes Grandma would be proud and I gotta go What a great idea:) B

Pearl said...

Nessa, and you just may be right!

Buttons, and you'll always have taters for fryin' in the morning. :-)

George Turnbull said...

Up until today I had considered you to be at least 50% normal.

I find myself forced to re-evaluate.

Pearl said...

George, ah, you know that's not true. You never considered me to be half-normal...

Hey! Who here wants a snack?!

Geo. said...

I know situational poetry when I read it. Enchanting example.

vanilla said...

I am totally taken-aback at the realization that you might be old enough to remember wheat on pennies?!

Thanks for the potato tip. I shall probably employ that technique should Minnesota's weather descend on us any time soon.

bill lisleman said...

very nice remembrance of your grandma. As you and others have commented, the "just pleased to see me" joker line crossed my mind too. One joke that I've enjoyed remembering is about a not so bright guy attempting to impress ladies at the beach but upon failing his buddy points out that the potato goes in the front.

Pearl said...

Geo., it felt that way to me, once I'd written it...

vanilla, oh, I remember them all right!

bill, what a lovely visual. :-) LOL

terlee said...

My granny would have loved the pocket potato idea, too. Wish she was still here so I could tell her about your post; I can hear her laughing...

Sioux said...

That's much better than cloth napkins filled with chunks of meat.

You are a true pioneer, Pearl. (And I'm so excited. I'm one amongst the first 175 commenters. Yahoo!)

Perpetua said...

And I bet Grandma smiled right back at you, Pearl.

An excellent tip for those who want a winter walk and think they might fancy a snack at some point. :-)

joeh said...

As a Republican, we spell that potatoE!!

Along with the potatoes in your pockets you've got a bit of Grandma in your heart.

Love it!

Amber Star said...

Your post brought back memories of my grandmothers. One was goofy as all get out and one was most proper. Both were so much fun in different ways.

A potato sounds like a good lunch today. It is warmish here still in Texas, so I don't need on or two for a walk.

Keep on struttin', Pearl.

Amber Star said...

That would be "one" potato. :)

Laurel's Quill said...

You give new meaning to "country folk"...

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

I can see, in my minds eye, (always a scary place) your dear gran trudging off to the heavenly kitchen to bake a potato and saying "That Pearl, what a great idea."

Suldog said...

The writing is swell, but I absolutely adore the fact that you actually thought about putting hot potatoes in your pocket - and then went ahead and did it. If I wasn't already married, my mind would ask your mind if it wanted to make out.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

She sounds pretty fantastic.

Eva Gallant said...

You give a whole new meaning to the term "Hot Pockets!"

Joanne Noragon said...

I've loved your deck since the very first glimpse. And my grandma and yours are doing dishes or sweeping floors right this minute.

chlost said...

How did you stumble upon this wonderfully creative use of potatoes? I am amazed. Awed by your resourcefulness in our currently cold, wet fall days. And I love that you are closer to the sky now that the leaves are gone. That made my heart swell just a bit.

esbboston said...

Third floor IS sky. Ooops, I forgot to email a report to you, sorry.

esbboston said...

Today was quite enjoyable, it reminded me of my trip through Idaho three years ago in September. They were actively harvesting spuds, and I spent time with my aunt and uncle. First time to Idaho.

Mitchell is Moving said...

This did have me confused at first. I've had many women friends who have said they don't need to eat french fries, they just need put them in their hip pockets, since that's the general area they'll end up anyway.

fishducky said...

What a clever use for hot potatoes! Did you know they are also edible?

Leenie said...

Being from Idaho I'm always looking for new ways to use all these spuds. Stashing this idea in my pocket. Can I hang out with you if I bring the sour cream and chives?

Silliyak said...

This reminds me of a news story out here in the west. A woman picked up some rocks on the beach and put them in her pockets. Sometime later they caught fire (they had phosphorus from the ocean on them) Some people did not believe her, HER PANTS WERE ON FIRE. Which makes me wonder how often one of our presidential candidates has to change his pants, no worry, he has binders full of them!

Craver Vii said...

And so begins the legend of 'Tater-Pants Pearl.

Meeling said...

Lol..reminds me of the "crack & shake" warm up thingys we used to put in our mittens as kids. This however is much more earth friendly and would provide a lovely snack - where's the sour cream? ;-)

Gigi said...

Loved all the comments; but @Eva's made me laugh out loud! Hot Pockets indeed!

And what a perfectly genius idea! Where were you with this ingenious invention when I had to sit on the sidelines freezing to death?

Ms Sparrow said...

I remember reading that back in the days of open horse-drawn sleighs, baked potatoes were inserted under the lap robes to warm the feet or inside of muffs to warm the hands.
They would later be eaten for lunch.

Stephen Hayes said...

A post that is as strange as it is sweet. And now you've made me want a baked potato.

jenny_o said...

Sweet, haunting, beautiful. You are a word artist, Pearl.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Your grandma would be proud.

What are you going to do with them when you get home - hash browns or mashed?

Rose L said...

Now this is a first. You may be the first person to EVER walk around with baked potatoes in your pockets. I sometimes walk around with raw peanuts in my pockets to feed to the squirrels. I made the mistake of telling a friend "I carry squirrel nuts in my pocket. Wanna see?" After her initial shock she told me I should word it differently! LOL

The Elephant's Child said...

My mother went to school in England with a potato in each pocket to keep her warm and to give her a snack. Thank you for the reminder,

Lynn said...

And your grandma smiled back.

Linda O'Connell said...

What, dear Pearl do you do for cold feet?

sage said...

is it already that cold across the lake? Potatoes are better than other things in one's pants. Nice story and I like the ending link to Grandma.

Paula Wooters said...

I'm going to remember this the next time I have to stand around outside on a winter day.

Melissa said...

I'm new here. But wow. I kind of love this piece. <3 I have been exploring a little. I love it here. Is it ok if I stay a while?

Far Side of Fifty said...

Rice bags..they are reusable and will save you the calories:)

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

Fan-flippin-tastic post, and reminds me SO much of my own grandmother, who I miss terribly. Taters in your pockets on a cold day? Yes, please! And in the snow, don't forget the bread bags over your feet , after your socks but before your boots - if you're lucky enough to have boots, because she didn't, back in the day.

Haddock said...

From what I hear your grandma is a very practical lady.
I too have done those things (things in my pocket) but then it was so because I had to steal from the kitchen when mum was not around.
By the way did you really have the Salad in the Hat ?

Diane Tolley said...

Okay. I admit I've shoved baked potatoes up my sleeves to my shoulders. But never in my back pockets. I have my standards . . .