My Mother Was Hit by a Truck!
My mother was hit by a truck. An LA times delivery truck to be exact. She was crossing the street on Century Park East. You know, a large wide avenue. No obstructions. Easy to see people. There’s even a crosswalk. No way could you miss her. No tiny Beverly Hills size 2. She was a proper grandma, shall we say zaftig. I mean how could he not see her? She, even dressed a tad flamboyantly. We still talk about her black knit pants with large hearts cut out all up and down the sides. Yep, that was my mom.
The paramedics arrived, took her to the emergency room and called the three sisters. We rushed to her side, or we tried to, but they wouldn’t let us see her. They had to perform some medical tests. Meanwhile we could hear her asking the paramedics to let her speak to us. She had to talk to us. She had something she needed to say to us. We had no idea what she wanted to say. Last words? How much she loved us? Where she hid her gambling winnings?
She’d told us a long time ago that when she goes “not throw anything away“ without first looking inside and out every box, container bowl or brassiere. She never could recall where she’d put her gambling winnings. I guess I take after her. I never can find my iPhone.
She loved playing cards. She’d stay at the tables from afternoon until daylight when she felt safer to leave for home. She hid her winnings in her ample brassiere. Sacred turf. No one would dare touch that.
When she got home who knows where she hid her money.
My mother was smart. She fled Russia with her family when she was about 7. The Family wound up in Mexico where she received a 6th grade education before getting a Visa for America. But her mind and her card mathematics were pHD sharp. So she won a lot. But she was always ashamed of her Russian accent and lack of formal education.
Meanwhile she’s in the hospital room asking to see her three daughters. We’re still trying to figure out what she wants to say to us that is so important ? How much she loves us? Be good to each other? How her will was divided in three? We were wonderful daughters and she was so lucky to have us? Our minds were racing.
They finally let us in. She asked us to gather close around her so she could speak to us. We looked at each other.
“ Listen girls, the refrigerator is full. I was cooking all day. You must go to my apartment and take the food home. Don’t let it go to waste.”
Yes, that was it. She’s hit by a truck and what is she worrying about? Tuna salad and spaghetti with meatballs. Clean out the refrigerator and don’t let the food go to waste.
How do you forget that story? How do you forget that mother?
Oh, she recovered. She was just fine. Years later after she passed away. We cleaned up her apartment looking in every pot, box, and container. We found her hidden winnings and divided it by three, laughing all the while.
My mother always had tuna fish salad in her refrigerator. I thought you might enjoy her recipe. Well, not exactly a recipe but a Jewish Mother’s take on “Grandma Anna’s Old Fashion Tuna Salad that We All Still Make” with some variations.
Do you have recipes that you still make from childhood? Any fun memories?
I’d love to read your comments.
Grandma Anna’s Tuna Fish Salad
That We All Still Make
1 can Bublebee White Tuna in oil
1 stalk celery finely chopped
2 hard boiled eggs sliced both ways with an egg slicer
2 Tablespoons of pickle relish
Best Foods mayonaise to taste
Mix it all together and make additions or subtractions to taste. Serve on rye or challah bread ( I used to love my tuna sandwiches on white bread) with lettuce on top and potato chips on the side.
Now to be honest I also add about a teaspoon or two of dijon mustard. My mother didn’t know from Dijon in those days. Neither did I. My sister adds craisens. You might like green onions I grew up with them being called scallions.
My mother used to make it with one of those mezzaluna choppers. In those days it was just a round chopper with double blades plus she always used a wooden bowl. I grew up thinking you had to make tuna salad in a wooden bowl with a round chopper. You don’t.
I now use Safe Catch Tuna in Oil from Trader Joe’s.