Wednesday, May 6, 2020

When Spam has Nothing to do with the Internet

Look what Larry brought home!
This week my husband saw a news story about how Spam is flying off grocery store shelves during the coronavirus restrictions.  He commented, "Maybe you can make a blog out of this."  My reply was that Spam had nothing to do with Isaac Werner.  The meats he mentioned in his journal were chicken and pork, and Spam was not yet a grocery store product.

Yet, those of you who have followed this blog for so many postings know that sometimes I wander quite a ways from Isaac with my topics, and I decided that I would share my own story about Spam.  As I often do, I made a quick check of the internet to see what was to be found on the topic of Spam, and what came up was mostly about the internet kind of Spam.  Isaac Werner certainly had nothing to do with that kind of Spam.

My story goes back to my teenage years growing up on the family farm in Kansas.  We always had a large garden in the summer, and Mother did a lot of canning.  I became the family cook during the summer.  Most of our meals were centered around the beef we raised.  Our freezer was always filled with steaks, roasts, and hamburger.  Even with our own beef available, Mother nearly always had a can of Spam in the cupboard, and one evening I decided to fix it with peas.  Mother had taught me how to put the "loaf" of Spam in the center of a Pyrex dish, pour a can of peas around the Spam, and put it in the oven to heat.

That evening I must have been in some kind of teen-age-daydream, because I put the Spam and peas in the oven and turned on the gas but forgot to light the oven.  Lighting the gas was not automatic.  There was a small hole in the floor of the oven, toward the front, and you had to stick a lighted match into that hole to light the oven.  When I soon realized that I had forgotten to light the gas, I immediately turned the gas off and opened the oven door to release the gas, waving a towel in front of the door to get rid of it more quickly.

My father and brother were cleaning up after a day in the field, and I knew they would soon be in the kitchen, hungry for supper.  I decided that all my towel waving had surely made it safe to light the oven, so I turned the gas back on and stuck a lighted match into the hole.  There was a boom, and the next thing I knew I as sitting on the floor against the opposite wall from the oven where the blast had blown me.

My father was shaving in the bathroom on the opposite side of the wall where the oven sat, and the wall heater in the bathroom was on that wall.  The blast blew it off.  My father came running out, one side of his face shaved and the other side of his face still lathered.  My brother, taking a shower in another part of the house, heard the blast and thought the bathroom heater might somehow have exploded, and he grabbed his jeans and got only one leg in before reaching the doorway leading to both the bathroom and the kitchen--just as my Mother came from some other room in the house.

They found me sitting on the floor, laughing.  My father, seeing me laughing, became as angry as I ever saw him, and as he headed toward me, Mother shouted, "She's hysterical, Ralph!" and I guess I was.

My brother got both legs into his jeans, my father managed to get the stove back together and the wall heater in the bathroom back into the wall, and my mother must have doctored my burns, although I don't really remember.  For some lucky reason, in the heat of summer I had been wearing jeans rather than my usual shorts, so my only burns were on the top of my bare feet and a bit of my lower ankles.  Everything was safe, and the story of my cooking explosion became a family tale, told over and over.

That is my Spam Story, now told once again.  Too all of you who read my blog, stay safe and healthy.

P.S.  Without knowing the subject of my blog, guess what my husband surprised me with this evening?  A twin package of Spam!


The Blog Fodder said...

Gas ovens always scared me to death. Glad I never had to use one. You were lucky, no injuries to speak of and a wonderful story.

oma said...

This story makes me smile! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Randy here-Lyn, you have always had a gift for the understatement ::))- Blessings

Alice said...

Wow! SPAM and peas! I hope you'll share more of your families recipes!
Really laughing with you, happy you weren't hurt!

Lynda Beck Fenwick said...

Not just peas, Alice. Canned peas!