Sunday, September 30, 2012

Miami Memories: Goulash and Old Wives Tales

On a Monday night, September 27, 1971 I was very pregnant and anxious to deliver a new baby into our world.  The dear "old" lady with white hair who lived next door suggested that I begin serving the greasiest food possible every meal,  in order to deliver this child, sooner rather than later.  I was desperate and heeded her advice.  That evening I fixed greasy hamburger goulash, with fatty hamburger, butter, canned tomatoes, onions, a touch of garlic, salt, seasoning, and elbow macaroni.  By midnight when I awoke with mild cramping, my husband awoke with his own problems, gas!  At last my pains out weighed his, and we made our way to St. John's Hospital, Joplin, Missouri by 4 am.  Within a few hours a ruddy red faced little girl with a head full of dark hair slipped into the world at 7:11 am, before her grandparents could even arrive.  Sometimes, the old wives know what they are talking about, and sometimes they don't, but isn't it funny when they do.
Gramps and little Katy (1972)

Now 41 years later on a Thursday night, September 27 I had planned to serve lasagna for Jack and I, but upon setting out the needed foods, I discovered that I had two lasagna noodles.  Now even I know that lasagna for two takes more than two flat noodles.  Once again in weary desperation, I looked for a way to use my hamburger (sirloin beef) and organic canned tomatoes (no salt please).  In my pasta drawer I found the ever faithful elbow macaroni, and began to stir up a more healthy meal for two.  Sipping on a glass of Chianti while eating a salad and goulash, my mind suddenly flash-backed to that night forty one years before when the goulash helped deliver a healthy beautiful baby girl name Kathryn Alexis Rains.  I smiled and my heart flooded proudly with memories and dreams.

Happy Birthday Katy
Just like it did in 1971, the goulash somehow delivered my daughter safely to my doorsteps on her birthday, though not at 7:11 in the morning.  It took her a few hours to drive to Hutchinson from Okc, but by 1:00 on September 28, 2012  we were celebrating her birthday over lunch. We toasted the evening off with my once famous Chocolate Mountain Slide cake, that was so moist we licked it off our fingers and lips.


  1. Katy Can't POSSIBLY be forty-one! We're not that OLD, Letty! Tee-Hee! Love, M

  2. Isn't age a conundrum for each of us. I go to bed feeling quite old and tired some evenings, but the next day I'm a new younger self. My daughter is beginning to feel a few aches and pains with each birthday, and I just wonder how that could be?? Every cliche I ever heard as a child around adults has echoed in my head. In the end aren't we lucky to have our age and our children.