Wednesday, March 3, 2021

We Go Together Like Spaghetti and French Fries #SOL21


Join Two Writing Teachers and other teacher-writers as we share a slice of life every single day in the month of March. 

Spaghetti and french fries. 

Salmon patties and macaroni and cheese. 

Pork steak and Chef Boyardee spaghetti. 

Ghoulash and creamed corn.

You may be wondering what these foods have in common. 

Growing up, I could always count on certain things: fried chicken Sunday dinner; Bobes pizza on Friday nights; and the house cleaned on Saturday. These were a given, week in and week out.

But my mom had some weird food combinations that we could always count on - like the list above. The only one I still eat is the salmon and mac-and-cheese. 

Mom hasn't cooked for several years, partly because she lives by herself and cooking for one is not easy and certainly no fun, but mostly because I don't think she remembers how. Mom has shown signs of dementia for several years, but we have seen a significant decline in her memory lately.

I will often take her meals so she has something homecooked. One night I called her and told her I was making spaghetti and asked if she wanted some. She thought for several seconds and replied, "No, I don't think I want any. I will just eat something I have here."

"Are you sure? I have plenty."

"No, but don't forget to ask me again."

I thought this was strange as I knew she liked spaghetti. I didn't think any more about it until I was talking to my younger sister. "Hey, I hear Mom turned you down for spaghetti."

"Yes, she did. I don't know why."

"Well, I do. She told me if she took the spaghetti, she would want french fries with it!"

I guess there are some things she just can't forget!


  1. I didn't think about those "count on" dishes -- there are definitely some staples in our house too. Although I can't say they were quite as strange. I can see the appeal of Spaghetti and Fries though -- that's so funny why you mom turned your down, I like that you included it at the end as a conversation.

  2. I am sorry to hear about your mom's declining memory. These are interesting food combinations indeed and probably strongly lodged in the memory.

  3. What a great story, Leigh Anne. I thought spaghetti with french fries was the only strange combination, ha ha! I love that your mom didn't forget the combination. It was a bittersweet reminder that her memory is going, but that was still there, the food memory lodged firmly, as Terje said. Yours was a sweet slice of your life today.

  4. Leigh Anne, this is awesome!! I've never had spaghetti with french fries, BUT fries are my weakness. This sounds rather magical, and I am definitely going to try this at some points!

    Your mom is lucky to have you close to take her meals <3

  5. Memories like these are so awesome! I love how families have quirky things that become their own legend.

  6. What a precious memory you've captured. I love that your mom's memory has held onto her funny food combination traditions.

  7. Oh my - such a real story about aging and memory....some things we hold onto forever!

  8. Nice to have that spark of memory with your mom and sister. The spaghetti and fries combo reminds of a dish popular in Peru...lomo saltado, which is a stir-fried beef with broccoli, topped with fries and served with rice.

  9. I love hearing about this memory. We did not have unlikely food combinations, but my mom was very resourceful about food and she rarely let food go to waste.

    Thank you for sharing this story.

  10. I was certainly intrigued as soon as you started with a list of strange combination. Reminds me of Luke Combs's song, "Better Together"...only not. Haha. Sorry to hear about your mother, but I love how you both still find some memories that make you smile.

  11. Spaghetti and french fries? Carb up! So many memories live in food. I sometimes make dishes that remind me of my grandma just to feel close to her again. Thank you for sharing your family stories.

  12. I love her funny food combinations and how you can remember the week-to-week security of the schedule. What a wonderful turn at the end there, friend! Just felt like sunshine and I had to grin. My mom also lives with dementia. This piece held the same surprises that memories do-- delightful.