Granny's Clean Plate Club


Sunday July 14, 2018

Dear Thomas,

Did I ever tell you about my “Granny,” my mother’s mother? She was Hungarian, immigrated from Romania, lived through two world wars and as a young child, was farmed out to another family to work as a kitchen maid and nanny to bring home money.

She spoke in broken English, at best, barely could write as she never finished school and at 16 years old, married her stepmother’s brother, which is another letter at another time.

I loved Granny but she was strict, especially when it came to food. She used to say, “If you clean your plate you’ll marry a handsome man.”

As a child, I never thought that was a crazy thing to say to anyone, especially your granddaughter. She talked about ‘The Clean Plate Club’ but not that it started as a national campaign in World War 1.

But Granny put her own twist on it, tying it to my future spouse’s appearance. Not sure why except, I think it worked.

Until next time, your house’s faithful caretaker,

Marilee

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