Friday, July 15, 2005

Good Eats



Once when Mama was visiting us here in Pennsylvania, I took her to the Amish Country, which she liked a lot.

At lunch time I decided to take her to a restaurant called Zinn's Diner. Zinn's was a great Pennsylvania Dutch place. It had a huge 40-foot statue of an Amish farmer, called Amos, in front of it. Amos had a small repertoire of things that he spoke to folks as they entered or exited the diner. He told bad Amish jokes in a corny Pennsylvania Dutch accent. Amos said things like "Yumpin' yiminy, by gosh, if you're hungering for great Amish food, we've got heaps inside..."

Mama had a soft spot in her heart for stuff like that, and she was properly impressed by Amos. This place was so popular that people waited for as long as an hour for their number to be called so they could go into the feed trough.

Our number was finally called while I was still young, and we sat down at our table.

Mama decided that the food didn't suit her much. They had everything from shoo-fly pie, chicken-smothered waffles, apple fritters, dried corn, to fried scrapple and beef heart. What more could a person want? Mama didn't care for shooin' flies. There was nothing on the really extensive menu that she wanted to eat. Except a meringue pie. That Mama. Had a little sweet tooth. Maybe more than one.

I mean they had chow chow, schnitz and knepp, chicken pot pie, Bova Shankel, whoopie pies...what could little Mama want?

So she ate the pie, and I ordered and ate a nice PA Dutch meal. In other words, a starchy, greasy mess of food, with gravy on everything.

Now, Mama liked a little salt on her food. About a half-inch per square inch. Like that. She went through a McDonald's period when she ate at McDonald's probably twice a day. And here we were in Zinn's during The McDonald's Period. So after I ate, I asked Mama if she would like to go to McDonald's. She said yes, she would.

So we went from a nice little diner over to McDonald's, that most Amish of all places, and Mama ate. Probably a hamburger. Hard to tell what it was under all that salt. Some fussy little Mama.

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22 comments:

Always_Adventuring said...

Oh I always feel the love and affection you have for her - I hope that I one day have children who feel that way about me.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Ditto! I would love to try that food out. I haven't eaten that way since my grandmother was alive. We don't have anything close to that in our area. We're just too metropolitan, I guess.

mireille said...

I agree with always_adventuring. The love is so apparent. And at what time in their lives do our mothers become our children? I can remember feeling just this way about my mother before she died: cute, sweet mama. When two decades before, she was a femme fatale whose dressing table held all the magic. anyway. xoxo

Meegan said...

Tan Lucy, your stories are so great! I love reading about the Pez family. I'm still trying to figure out who's who, but I think I've got your kids straight now...I'll be back!

AP3 said...

I'd forgotten that Granny shunned Zinn's! Yeah, she was a trip.

Jamie Dawn said...

Pie followed by Mc Donald's.
Yummy!
I like to add a good deal of salt to my food too. I'm with Momma on this one.

Fred said...

This reminds me of an old Cheers episode where Norm goes to The Hungry Heffer restaurant. Norm states the meat served was "bef", not beef.

Sounds just like Zinn's. My kind of place. Too bad Mama didn't like it too much, it sounds yummy.

Libby said...

mom & dad used to take me to Amish country in PA when i was little (even though we have a lot here in OH!) & i used to love shoo-fly pie!!
BoUnCeS!! LibbY!

dddragon said...

Granny KNEW what she liked and would not settle for subsitutes.

I ate a ton of Froot Loops when I was a kid, and even as an adult, when I visited Granny, she would ALWAYS have a box ready for me. You shoulda seen my DH's face when this happened when we visited ...

OldHorsetailSnake said...

By golly, Lucy, this makes me think of a business opportunity. What you think, would you visit my "Kentucky Fried Salt Cafe"?

Tan Lucy Pez said...

I'm not into "Kentucky Fried Salt," but Mama would have stood in line for it.

Tom & Icy said...

Well, I'll be a salty dog!

Doug said...

Haha, Icy!

Good midwestern fare has made me the man I am today. Next time I'm in, say, Tennesee or Georgia I'll have to make a side-trip to Pennsylvania and Zinn's.

Tan Lucy Pez said...

Sad to say Doug, but Zinn's is no more. The owners grew old and sold it. It was not called Zinn's thereafter, and that's a good thing. It was never the SAME after that.

Doug said...

Aw.

actonbell said...

I love chicken pot pie, and hardly ever get it...and salt,too! Thanks for the memory:)

Lorraine said...

My paternal grandparents were Mennonites....in fact, Grandpa was a Mennonite preacher. I was too young to understand why my Dad was always kind of grim and unsmiling on weekends. Found out when I was older that Mennonites do not smoke, drink or gamble with cards on the Sabbath.(or any other time) That sure shot the whole day for my Dad.

His pack of Chesterfields, plenty of Pabst Blue Ribbon and his buddies with a Schatzkopf deck of cards. Wooooey, now that was good times. At anyone else's house but ours.

I don't remember Mennonite food (much like Amish)--- my Mother did the cooking and it was strictly Lutheran.

Doug said...

Eastern Iowa, Lorraine?

AP3 said...

I still can't believe Zinn's is gone. I think I'm still in the "denial" stage of my grief.

mlwhitt said...

Nice blog.

BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

It is so nice to hear about your beautiful relationship with your mother. I wish I understood what that was about.

BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

ps
Because of your interesting post, I ordered chicken pot pie at Claim Jumpers yesterday.