Do you ever wonder why some things are done a certain way in your family, but the same thing is done differently in a friend’s family? How about the foods you eat or don’t eat? Well, thanks to a cousin who shared a few stories with me I now know the answer to these two questions.
Mitchell Willard Sr is my 1st cousin. He is now in his late 80’s and is one of only two 1st cousins I have left. He is the only living cousin who got to meet and spend time with our Grandpa Charley Hughes (d. 1944). Here are a couple of stories.
My paternal grandparents lived on a farm outside of Lexington, Lafayette Co., Missouri. Grandma Virginia (Jennie) Hughes would send Grandpa into town to buy items from the store. Is was quite a long trip so by the time he arrived in town he would be hungry. Among the small list of items to purchase she would always have him buy 30 hot dogs. On the way home he would always eat a couple of them uncooked Grandma knew that no matter how she would scold him he would insist on eating 2 so she always added those to the total number. Why is this so interesting to me? Well, growing up my Dad ate hot dogs uncooked, so I did too. Of course, I would dip mine in ketchup and now I add a slice of cheese to them. My 3 children also eat hot dogs uncooked and now my Grandchildren do the same thing. I never knew until this story was shared with me that Grandpa Hughes did this and I always wondered why we adopted this way of eating them. This is definitely a strange thing to be passed down from Generation to Generation…LOL.
Apparently, my Grandma Hughes loved peanut butter. She ate some every day. Grandpa Hughes hated it. He said the smell made him sick. So, Grandma would try to eat it outside when the weather was good. Missouri can have some pretty harsh winters and during that time she had to get creative. She discovered if you mixed peanut butter in a bowl with Karo Syrup that the sweetness from the syrup hid the peanut smell. She would mix up a bowl and just eat it with a spoon. As far as I know, Grandpa never found out! Grandma told my cousin that Grandpa being “sick” from the smell was all in his head. She then found she could eat peanut butter spread directly onto a banana and that too seemed to soften the smell. My dad also ate peanut butter both of these ways and so do I. Only one of my children does it and three of my grandkids.
What makes these two stories freaky? The fact that I just found out about them about 7 years ago, but I have been eating this way my whole life. Yes, my dad also ate hot dogs and peanut butter this way, but I had no idea it was a generational thing!!
I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.