Date: 5/6/2006 11:39:26 AM ( 15 y ) ... viewed 2332 times
The young girl watched her mother prepare a baked ham for the family dinner.
She observed as her mom seasoned the meat, pre-heated the oven, and then, just before placing the ham in the roasting pan, she took a long, sharp knife and sliced off the end of the ham.
After placing it in the oven, she wiped her hands and turned to her daughter. 'There' stated mother,'now you know how to prepare a ham the way our family has done for many generations now.'
The daughter looked puzzled. 'What is it, dear?' Asked mother, 'is there something you don't understand?'
'Well' the youngster hesitantly began, 'I don't understand why you cut the end off of the ham before you put it in the pan...'
'Ah', replied mother, with a smile, 'that is the family tradition. That is how my mother, your granny, taught me!'
'But...' continued the girl, 'why? it seems like a waste of food. Don't you always tell me to not waste food?' Mother was getting a little tense with this questioning and she still had much to prepare for the meal. Sauces, dessert-and the dishes needed some attention, too!
'Well,' mother responded, 'you could always telephone your granny and ask HER why we do it that way. She would love to hear from you, I'm sure!'
The girl went into the living room and did just that. 'Why, granny' she asked, 'did you cut the end off of the ham?' Granny told her, 'That my dear one, is how my mother taught me to do it. It is our family's tradition!'
'But...' the youngster persisted, 'why?'
Granny was not the most patient person. It was easy to understand, with her age, arthritis and other health concerns. Granny, stifling her impatience, replied, 'Why don't you phone your Great Granny and ask her? She's just turned 104 years old and is still at the same rest home, as you know!'
The young girl phoned her great granny. She asked her question, after the hellos and usual greetings; 'why did you cut the end off of the ham granny? Mom and granny don't remember!'
There was a long pause and raspy breathing at the other end of the line. Then, a gentle, hoarse cackle as great granny finally gave the answer; 'Because' the ancient voice spoke through her laughter, 'the damn pan was too small!'
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