On the attraction of L.O.L.'s (Little Old Ladies)

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redtressed
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On the attraction of L.O.L.'s (Little Old Ladies) - Sun, 09/21/03 10:17 PM
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I discovered the meaning of life, as a child of 4. Living on a tree lined street, neighbors that had been there forever and where the greatest possible crime spree involved the toilet papering of one's property on Halloween, I started my daily visitations and wanderings at that tender age. I had little use for the kids of the neighborhood. I did not feel like I was above or below them, I just had made the transition of realization that to feed my need, to get my jollies and to get the monkey off of my bank, that befriending fellow kids was defeatist. Befriending little old ladies, on the otherhand, was to reach the bonanza, hit the vein and rest at the foot of the Holy Grail. Little kids did not give out candy, little old ladies not only gave it out, they MADE the stuff of dreams , by golly.

I'd begin in the early mornings while the grass was still dewy and the air misty. I'd wander over to Mrs.Copeland's house and sit at her table and drink homemade cocoa and fresh snowy capped potato doughnuts. She'd eventually shoo me off as she had to start the daily housework, and I'd go back over to my yard and start on some archeitectual wonders in my sandbox.

Only being able to tolerate x-amount of sand grains invading through the elastic bands of my underpanties, by ten a.m., I was ready to strike out again in the main body of my quest. Onward and upward to Mrs. Lough's...for a hug and a kiss and a plate of mashed potato candy. A quick fix of creamy goodness. Sated, I'd flop onto her blue velvet art deco couch and help her wrap yarn into balls , as we watched the Mike Douglas show.

Finishing my tasks there, I'd wave good bye and amble across the two vacant lots dividing Mrs. Lough and Mrs. Myers. Arriving at Mrs. Myers, I would self -importantly stroll into her house, without a knock or hell and announce" Boy, do I have something to tell you!" At that point I would be coerced to the kitchen table and a cold glass of milk and 2 pieces of divinity placed in front of me. I'd soon be prompted then with"You were saying my little dear?" At this point I'd search my brain for some tasty morsel to share with her, true or not,like "My sister got caught in the frontroom yesterday with her boyfriend and something happened with some pet, but we don;t have any pets so why was Mama telling KAren that she shouldn't be doing any petting...."( a fact that still confuses me) I quickly learned that the more I disclosed , the more the pieces of divinity would appear on my plate. Thus my first experiences with the bartering system.

After running out of titillating tales for the day, I'd excuse myself and skip on down the road to Aunt Ruth South's cottage. Ceremoniously knocking upon her door, I was always met with an extended handand a paper "Church Sermon" fan. Always a perfect hostess and possessed of a British upbringing, I was convinced Mrs. Aunt Ruth South was a member of British royalty. She was the weaver of tales of princes and angry stepmothers and puppies named Reginald or Seraphina. As I'd take the slurp of Earl Grey tea, like magic simultaneously, a cookie jar full of chocolate chip cookies and a tin of peanut brittle would materialize before me. .after listening and gorging, noon would be approaching and I'd scurry back up the street for lunch.
Now more to my point of this post........who remembers Mashed Poatato Candy, besides me?


Poverty Pete
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RE: On the attraction of L.O.L.'s (Little Old Ladies) - Sun, 09/21/03 11:50 PM
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L. O. L., redux.
One of my fondest roadfood memories happened in Georgia, circa 1985. I was a long-haul trucker, and a card-carrying, or rather book carrying roadfooder. On the advice of the Stern's, I was in a small town east of Atlanta. I went into this cafe on the town square, and sat in a booth. It was around 11:00 in the morning, and I was the only customer. A LOL brought me a menu, and when she returned with my water, slid into the other bench, and asked me what I would like. Having read in Roadfood that fried chicken was a good bet, I asked her, "How's the chicken?"
The following conversation ensued.
"Boy, how old do you think I am?" (boy? I was in my thirties)
"I'd guess you're 70." (trying to be gracious. She was much older.)
"I'm 87 years old. I opened this cafe in nineteen hundred and twenty seven. If I didn't know how to fry chicken, don't you think I would have taken it off the menu by now?"
"Ummm, I'll have the fried chicken, please."

tiki
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RE: On the attraction of L.O.L.'s (Little Old Ladies) - Mon, 09/22/03 6:32 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by Poverty Pete

L. O. L., redux.
One of my fondest roadfood memories happened in Georgia, circa 1985. I was a long-haul trucker, and a card-carrying, or rather book carrying roadfooder. On the advice of the Stern's, I was in a small town east of Atlanta. I went into this cafe on the town square, and sat in a booth. It was around 11:00 in the morning, and I was the only customer. A LOL brought me a menu, and when she returned with my water, slid into the other bench, and asked me what I would like. Having read in Roadfood that fried chicken was a good bet, I asked her, "How's the chicken?"
The following conversation ensued.
"Boy, how old do you think I am?" (boy? I was in my thirties)
"I'd guess you're 70." (trying to be gracious. She was much older.)
"I'm 87 years old. I opened this cafe in nineteen hundred and twenty seven. If I didn't know how to fry chicken, don't you think I would have taken it off the menu by now?"
"Ummm, I'll have the fried chicken, please."

bet it was good too!!!

mayor al
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RE: On the attraction of L.O.L.'s (Little Old Ladies) - Mon, 09/22/03 8:00 AM
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While headed out on a visit to the Shiner's Brewery in Bushie's country between San Antonio and Houston, we decided to stop in Schulenburg for some lunch. We stopped at a place on Rt 77 (Name Escapes me now, ask Bushie) that had German-style food(and BBQ). It was pretty crowded and orders were flying and food was being hustled out by the servers---one of which had to be an older sister of "Eve" She was in her eighties (she told everyone) but looked to be 100 plus if she was a day!! She moved slowly but steadily on her trips to the kitchen, and seemed to hear every word spoken within 20 feet of her. The most amazing thing I saw that day was her balancing a tray with three large plates of food that she delivered to a distant table of customers. All three of the men being served reached over to lift the correct meal to their position at the table and thanked her the way you would thank your grandmother for a cookie. She then tucked the tray under her arm and returned to the kitchen for more!
I will never know for sure what the exact tab was for those fellow's BBQ Sandwich ($5.95) lunch...the food was nothing really special... but I watched as each paid his check with a $20 and left the change for their waitress. With my SoCal attitude showing I immediately asked my 82 year old mother why she didn't consider going back to work for awhile...like the waitress !! The response was a sharp rap on the elbow bone of my arm, with a reminder to keep my elbow off the table. I said no more about an extended career!!

Michael Stern
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RE: On the attraction of L.O.L.'s (Little Old Ladies) - Mon, 09/22/03 11:29 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by Poverty Pete

L. O. L., redux.
... I was in a small town east of Atlanta.


Was it Mrs. Bonner's? I remember when we first went in there, she offered no menus. Just looked us over, then poked a finger at Jane and said, "You look like chicken and dumplings." She gave me the once over and said, "You're smoked mullet." And o, the sweet potato pie for dessert!

Lone Star
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RE: On the attraction of L.O.L.'s (Little Old Ladies) - Mon, 09/22/03 12:20 PM
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LOLINAD - little old lady in no apparent distress

a memory from my nursing and "House of God" days.

Bushie
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RE: On the attraction of L.O.L.'s (Little Old Ladies) - Mon, 09/22/03 1:37 PM
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Mr. Mayor, I'm pretty sure you're talking about Frank's Restaurant. I'm not sure what it's like today.

I've had mostly VERY pleasant experiences with "LOL's" in restaurants, but two come to mind that were a little on the "gruff" side.

There used to be a tiny place on south 1st in South Austin named Virginia's. I ate there for years, and it was WONDERFUL. Virginia cooked everything herself, and she offered whatever she felt like cooking that day. You picked one (of 2 or 3 offered) meat and three veggies, and it was all one price ($5 at the end) which included bread and tea.

You were expected to order promptly, and she put up with NO GUFF whatsoever. I had heard stories, but one day I actually experienced an event.

A guy waiting in line asked her why she wasn't serving a particular item that day. The whole place went quiet, knowing what was coming. She looked at the guy with daggers in her eyes and said, "Get out." He started to protest, and she said in a louder voice, "Get OUT." He walked out with his tail between his legs, while the rest of us intently studied our plates as if we were looking for buried treasure.

There's another place run by a woman named "Sarah". The Dry Creek Boat Dock on Mt. Bonnell Road isn't really a boat dock at all; the creek really is dry. It's mainly a place to drink beer; you get your beer downstairs then walk up stairs to sit on the "dock" outside and enjoy the sunset. Sarah is "famous" around around for her scowl and her constant admonishment to "BRING YOUR EMPTYS BACK DOWN!"

Sundancer7
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RE: On the attraction of L.O.L.'s (Little Old Ladies) - Mon, 09/22/03 1:46 PM
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Gee whiz Bushie: Virginia's had to be real good to endure that stress

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN

KimChee43
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RE: On the attraction of L.O.L.'s (Little Old Ladies) - Mon, 09/22/03 2:27 PM
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An elderly neighborlady taught me how to bake cookies. She never had any kids of her own. Her husband was always her "taste tester". Most holidays (i.e. Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter) our family would receive a "shirt box" lined with waxed paper and filled with a variety of her cookies. After her husband died, she became depressed. I started to go over there to talk to her, and eventually I became her "taste tester", and then, helper. She had a fall, and after that, she couldn't stir the cookie dough. (She did not own an electric mixer. Everything was done by hand.) I had to make the cookies by myself under her direct supervision after that. She also told me stories about her life, about World Wars I & II, the Great Depression, etc. I was never bored. We made cookies for holidays, of course, but our "everyday" stuff consisted of "Frosted Creams" (a bar cookie) and a "Chocolate Chip Date Cake". She was the ONLY adult while I was growing up who accepted and loved me "as is"...I really miss her.

How about Little Old Men who cook? I had two great uncles who liked to putter in the kitchen. One made homemade donuts, the other made homemade peanut brittle. A friend's dad was into banana bread...he set up a table at all of the school bake sales.

Regarding restaurants...we ate at the Women's Exchange in Memphis a couple of years ago. If memory serves me, there were a lot of older ladies running the place, waiting tables, etc. The food was pretty good. I ate a pimiento cheese sandwich there for the first time.


KimChee43
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RE: On the attraction of L.O.L.'s (Little Old Ladies) - Mon, 09/22/03 3:04 PM
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REDTRESSED: After I read your post, I KNEW that I'd seen a recipe for mashed potato candy in one of my old cookbooks. I found it. It comes from an old church cookbook (1976). And...the contributor was a Little Old Lady whose family owned the local bakery.

POTATO PINWHEEL CANDY

1 small boiled potato
1 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
peanut butter

Mash boiled potato with fork and gradually add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Form a ball. Roll out dough 1/8 inch thick and spread peanut butter thinly. Roll up jelly-roll fashion. Wrap in foil and refrigerate for 24 hours. Cut in 1/4 inch slices.

(I've never tried this recipe, but it certainly sounds interesting.)

Bushie
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RE: On the attraction of L.O.L.'s (Little Old Ladies) - Mon, 09/22/03 3:58 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Sundancer7

Gee whiz Bushie: Virginia's had to be real good to endure that stress

Oh, it WAS Sundancer! That's the reason I kept going back. Wonderful food. I'm not one of those who are enamoured of surly owners/waitstaff.

However, like I said, despite the stories I heard, I only experienced that one incident (although I remember that one vividly!). I would always just order promptly and politely, and I never had any trouble.

Rusty246
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RE: On the attraction of L.O.L.'s (Little Old Ladies) - Mon, 09/22/03 4:34 PM
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Kimchee, I remember my Grandmother making peanut butter pinwheels, always during the holiday, not sure if there was potato in there or not. Can't forget the sugar though. I can't help but wonder HOW is one small potato and 1/2 t vanilla gonna hold all that sugar together enough to make a ball???

redtressed
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RE: On the attraction of L.O.L.'s (Little Old Ladies) - Mon, 09/22/03 5:19 PM
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Thank you , Kimchee, that recipe is very similar to the one I use for making these at Christmas each year. Amazingly enough, unless you know what's in it, you'd never know what's in it. They literally do melt in your mouth.

Rusty, it's the action of the starchy potato with all that added sugar. It creates quite a bond. I'd liken the texture to a very creamy mint.

I was curious about this oddity of a candy, because here it is very commonplace, but when inquiring of others throughout the US....I get a very puzzled....."HUH?"

4fish
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RE: On the attraction of L.O.L.'s (Little Old Ladies) - Mon, 09/22/03 5:50 PM
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Kimchee, as for little old men who cook, my uncle is 85 and a lifelong bachelor who lived with my grandmother until her death a few years ago. He not only cooks, he cans produce from his garden, too. My cousins and I have been known to fight over a jar of his dill pickles!

Poverty Pete
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RE: On the attraction of L.O.L.'s (Little Old Ladies) - Mon, 09/22/03 6:39 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Michael Stern

quote:
Originally posted by Poverty Pete

L. O. L., redux.
... I was in a small town east of Atlanta.


Was it Mrs. Bonner's? I remember when we first went in there, she offered no menus. Just looked us over, then poked a finger at Jane and said, "You look like chicken and dumplings." She gave me the once over and said, "You're smoked mullet." And o, the sweet potato pie for dessert!


That was it. I knew you would recognize it from my description. If I were to write an article for reader's Digest on my most memorable character, she would definitely be in the running. Thanks for the tip.