Clean Plate Tickets: they were invented by my Grandpa, the handsome devil below…however I think I must give some credit to Grandma, who made Clean Plate Tickets a necessity.
(aren’t they cute? Hi Grandma, Hi Grandpa!)
I was one of those kids who would gag and even vomit when a vegetable crossed my lips. My mother tried all sorts of creative ways to get me to eat my veggies. I’m still mad at her for trying to disguise spaghetti squash as real spaghetti. Spaghetti was my favorite meal, and I might need therapy to get over the shock of crunchy SQUASH-Y noodles.
My Grandma never got tired of force feeding me vegetables. She is one of those ladies who don’t let little kids get the best of her; she was a kindergarten teacher. Her ultimate weapon: her thumbs. If she got really mad at you she would give you a grumpy face and say “THUMBS DOWN!” and fling her thumbs down violently. One got the sense that the Roman Emperor was displeased, and it was a little disconcerting.
Grandma is an excellent cook, but she had a bad habit of putting a lot of vegetables in her meals, I just remember seeing green stuff everywhere. When I would go to her house for dinner, it was a rule that I had to clean my plate before dessert. I vaguely remember long sessions at the table, nudging my peas around my plate in a desperate attempt to spread the greenery and make the plate look empty.
Grandpa was the referee. He was the one who decided if the plate was clean enough for a ticket. The Clean Plate Ticket was the only way to get ice cream. I think Grandpa bent the rules from time to time, because I know that I didn’t always clean my plate. Clean Enough Plate Tickets would probably be a better title. When the plate was clean he would whip out a little white notebook and scribble a little picture of a plate onto it, and then he would ceremonially rip it off and hand it to me.
Sometimes, we would go to the ice cream parlor for ice cream. Sometimes we would just eat the gourmet strawberry that lived in the freezer. I don’t remember a time where there wasn’t ice cream at Grandpa’s house, and I don’t remember a time that I didn’t get a Clean Plate Ticket.
Grandpa loves strawberry ice cream, but I know that his ultimate favorite is peppermint ice milk. Even to this day, wherever Grandma is, there are vegetables. She always has something out in her garden, sprouting and becoming green. And, wherever Grandpa is, there’s ice cream. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Follow Up Note to A Barrel of Monkeys Post:
Earlier I wrote about Cecil Brunner. I still don’t know the correct way to spell the name, but here’s a blog I found that tells you everything you need to know about him. The pictures should also explain why my Aunt feels that Cecil Brunner may be intentionally attacking her arbor. One morning she found her arbor lying upside down with a heavy drapery of Cecil pinning it down. I guess finding a Cecil proof arbor can be a challenge.
Click here to meet Cecil.
Check out The Diaper Diaries blog to see more things to Love on a Thursday