English Muffins and Orange Marmalade


We bought english muffins the other day when Eddie grilled big mushrooms for dinner and we ate them like hamburgers.  Then we had some with toasted cheese with our soup and yesterday morning I had the last one for breakfast.  You may be wondering why I am writing a post about them – here’s the reason.

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English muffin and orange marmalade always makes me think of Eddie when I first met him and my Aunt and Uncle who introduced me to him.  I had been invited down for a 2 week holiday by them between finishing my second year of commercial art school and before I went to work for Boeing.  I can see their kitchen in my mind now and every morning for breakfast they would have coffee, fresh squeezed orange juice along with english muffin and orange marmalade – but not just any kind.  The muffins were always Thomas’ muffins and the marmalade was King Kelly.   I was never able to find it when I lived in the Eastern half of the country, I had to take some with me from my visits here or my California trips.

It was a special time in my life, I had fun with my Aunt and went with her as she was helping out with wedding plans for the young people in her life.  She had two sins and then kind of adopted Elle from Ireland and Bill – not sure where.  Eddie was good friends with my cousin Rob, the younger son who was also going to San Mateo Junior College.  When I arrived for my holiday, Eddie was an established part of the family.

Eddie and my Aunt met at the Red Cross doing the Charleston – Eddie was part of the Foreign Student Club and the Red Cross helped them a lot.  My Aunt was a volunteer – not sure how the Charleston came into it.  My aunt took Eddie under her wing and since he would look for room and board with a family in exchange for help around the house, she found him a place with her neighbor in back.  My Uncle also helped him a lot, plus he was invited to parties and family gatherings.

During my holiday I stayed in Bill’s old room, over the garage.  I can see that in mind as well.  I had visited  them with my family 2 or 3 times when I was growing up, but this trip was different, it was just me.  I had a project from my Dad, to copy my grandmother’s diary since my aunt wouldn’t let it out of the house even to be copied.  I also went with her on her errands and visiting, I enjoyed the drive through Hillsborough and looking at all the fancy houses.

I met Eddie about 2 days after I arrived – he came one evening to talk to my Uncle and before he went upstairs, he sat in the living room with my aunt and me.  I felt such an idiot, so when he came back downstairs and asked me out for ice cream, my jar hit the floor, I was so surprised.  So we went out quite a few times, even went to Sacramento for his class there.  I remember going to the Immigration office – he had to spend a lot of time there and had gotten to know a lot of people who worked there.  He not only went for his own stuff, but also to help new foreign students when they arrived.  Even so, there was still a lot of bureaucratic balderdash.

I remember driving around Hillsborough and the back way to San Mateo with him on our dates.  When I went by the golf course surrounded by huge eucalyptus trees, I thought about taking Max the dog out for a walk with my aunt to the course.  There were eucalyptus trees all over the place, something we don’t have in Washington.  My aunt had a lemon tree in her back yard, she always had fresh lemons.  Something else we don’t have here.

On the side of the house she had a lovely patio with a huge tree to shade it.  We would often have lunch outside there or I would just go sit and relax there.  I read the books she had and it was an enjoyable holiday.  So much so, I stayed an extra week, mostly because of Eddie.  He asked me out for most nights – it was painful for him because he would shave a second time that day and I am sure it must have burned every time after a while.  I didn’t realize that until quite awhile later.

When we came back from Australia, we lived in the Bay Area for 3 years and it continued to feel special to me because every where I went, there was a place Eddie took me or we drove by or something we would do.  We also made a lot of new memories as a married couple and also everywhere we went to live.  The memories here of my Mom and Dad, my two sisters and the wonderful times we shared all through the years.  I also would do English muffins and marmalade quite often and it would take me back to ay aunt’s kitchen in 1968.

Now you know why I wrote about English muffins and orange marmalade – it still gives me those wonderful memories of a time that truly changed my life.

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2 Responses to “English Muffins and Orange Marmalade”

  1. elle0002 Says:

    Reading your english muffin and marmalade story was so enjoyable. It’s nice of you to share how you two met! It definitely is a memorable story.

    I love reading stories of how couples meet. It’s so sweet and special. I can see why you still have such fond memories of the two foods.

    I myself am a huge fan of orange marmalade. Unfortunately, I don’t find it to be that common where I am from.

    I usually only come across the usual strawberry jam at restaurants.

    • Lee Kaplanian Says:

      Thank You so much for your lovely comments and compliment Elle. It is always interesting to see what sights, sounds, smells, tastes and sensations bring back memories. I smell that tomato/vegetable soup smell and I am right back in second grade at Madrona School walking those old hardwood floors in the brick building. Not necessarily as pleasant a memory for me – just moved to Seattle and had to go into 2nd grade about 2 months before school ended.

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