Thursday, May 4, 2017

Uncle Henry's carpet runner

As I write these words, Lucy the Treeing Tennessee Brindle is busy licking the carpet runner that runs from under my feet to the front of the fireplace. She licks it a lot.

Here's why.

When Uncle Henry went to his reward a few years back me and the Farm Manager were pretty much the last ones on the scene to pick over what he'd left behind in that little apartment just off Bathurst. All we got was the carpet runners. One is in the upstairs hall, and the other one, from Henry's kitchen, is the one Lucy's licking.

Uncle Henry came from one of those shit-hole shtettls in Poland where you had to be plenty quick on your feet to avoid the cattle cars and the camps back in the forties. Henry successfully avoided both.

Henry washed up in Toronto sometime after the WW II, and led a quiet and eminently civilized life just off Bathurst. He was a tailor by trade, and that's how he made his modest but honest living until he retired.

But his passion was cooking!

Uncle Henry was renowned for his beet borscht, his carp dishes that everybody hated, his gefillte fish, and his matzo ball soup. And he made the most impressive lemon meringue pie.

He'd whip up these delights in his kitchen and then wobble down that carpet runner to the dining room...

Which is why, ten years after his passing, Lucy still licks that carpet runner.

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