Thursday, January 23, 2014
Close to Nowhere
River boat ‘cookie’
• My niece Sister has a fascinating new job. (Actually her name is Dawn, but I cannot call her that — she’s been Sister since she was born).
She’d been helping an aunt in Nashville with an elderly relative, and a cousin found this job opportunity and they both jumped on it.
Gayle (the cousin) and Sister are now cooks on a river boat. I guess it’s not a barge, it’s the kind of boat that pushes barges up and down the rivers — the Mississippi, the Ohio and the Illinois.
She frequently floats past St. Louis, Chicago, Peoria and Memphis. She waves at her uncles (my brothers) every time she passes Memphis. I now wave at every barge (tow boat? tug boat?) I see. I don’t even care what river I’m crossing.
Sister is the boat cook. She’s on board for 28 days and off for 28 days. She says she needs the 28 days rest before she gets back on the Lydia Campbell (operated by Canal Barge).
Sister is not a morning person. She’s generally not even coherent before 10-11 a.m. So when she talks about getting up at 2:30ish a.m. to start breakfast for the crew (her “boys”), I can totally understand the horribly pained look on her face.
I think there are about 10 “boys” on the boat and all of them like to eat. She told me that she cooks a pound and a half of bacon, a pound and a half of sausage, oatmeal, eggs, pancakes or waffles and a couple other things that I can’t remember for breakfast!
On a normal day, for lunch, she makes fried chicken, potato salad, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, macaroni and cheese, gravy, rolls, salad with all the fixings and a dessert.
For Christmas dinner she made turkey, ham, potato salad, mashed potatoes, potato casserole, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, baked macaroni and cheese, broccoli and cheese casserole, homemade rolls, salad, cranberry sauce, chocolate brownie cookies stuffed with Reese’s cups, pecan pie, peach pie, pumpkin pie, blackberry cobbler and sugar-free chocolate pie.
Her boys (some are old enough to be her dad) all call her Cookie. I wonder why...
• UFO update: for some unknown reason, the thought of a list and “competition” has totally inspired me to work on my many, many, many unfinished quilt projects.
I am 100 percent through with a round robin I started in 2005. I finished one of a set of three wall-hangings. I have all the fish appliqued on a quilt daughter Dana and are I are making for Meredith.
So, now I’m collecting fabric for three graduation quilts — that have to be finished by May!
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