The Gort solved a childhood mystery for me last week.
He’d checked out a book from the library a couple of weeks ago and has been reading it (aloud) ever since.
‘Mom, can we make GORP?’ [That’s Good Old Raisins & Peanuts for the uninitiated.]
‘What do we need?’
‘Peanuts, raisins, chocolate chips, banana chips – no we don’t need those – and sunflower seeds, other nuts, pretzel bits or whatever else tickles your taste buds, and a plastic zipper-top bag.’
I love how he reads the recipes word for word, including all words like ‘whatever else tickles your taste buds.’
Since we didn’t have peanuts on hand, I asked if we could just call it GORT [Good Old Raisin Trailmix] but he didn’t think that was funny and corrected me every time I referred to the mixture as Gort instead of Gorp.
‘Mom can I make a strawberry cooler?’ he asked on Canada Day when I was desperately trying to nap.
‘What do you need?’ I muttered with closed eyes.
‘Strawberries, lemon, ice cubes…’
‘Okay,’ I dismissed him. With the hopes the professor would supervise the use of the blender.
And on another occasion, he read verbatim while I was busy in the kitchen: ‘Have you ever heard of an egg cream?’ he began.
Why yes, I had. With those eight words he transported me back to my preteen years; to many leisurely hours spent reading books and finding occasional references to ‘egg creams’ whilst wondering what in the world is an egg cream.
Clearly I was not a preteen in the Google era, where [possibly erroneous] information is always within reach. So I’ve spent the last twenty-some years carrying around a question mark. (Though, admittedly, not a high priority question mark.)
What is an egg cream?
‘It’s an old-fashioned drink that, oddly enough, has neither eggs nor cream in it. Fill a glass three-quarters full with milk, then top off with club soda or seltzer water. Add chocolate syrup, stir well, and enjoy.’ [After School Stuff, p. 5]
So on our next visit to the grocery store, we picked up one of those dark brown bottles of ‘chocolate’ syrup. I’m not terribly fond of the faux chocolate taste – possibly because my mom used to make real chocolate sauce and ‘one of these things just isn’t the same…….’
But I wasn’t that invested in solving my childhood mystery, hence the brown bottle. And the ‘flat’ soda water that’s been languishing in the fridge for a month.
The effect was underwhelming, judging from the boys’ reactions. I didn’t bother tasting the concoction – once I heard it was fake chocolate syrup, milk and fizzy water, my curiosity was [more than] satisfied.
This morning, the Gort asked again: ‘mom, can I make egg creams?’ And because I’m trying to say ‘yes’ more often, I granted permission.
He retrieved the milk, the syrup and a ‘fresh’ bottle of club soda. He made three rounds of egg creams and sampled his work. ‘That’s it,’ he crowed, pleased with his work. ‘Now it’s working!’
‘It’s spicy,’ Percy complained. Spicy being the word used by the Johnson boys for carbonated beverages. ‘I’ll save this for later,’ the Hen gave it his own kiss of death. ‘Actually, I think I like chocolate milk better,’ the Gort decided once the novelty of the bubbles had worn off.