Margie: Edna, our tree sure looks skimpy this year.
Edna: Margie, I think it looks just lovely.
Margie: Well, I never saw so many nuts on a tree. And look at that corn.
Edna: There's one nut in this room that isn't on the tree, and I'm looking at her. I think it's a pretty tree: the glitter on the peanuts was a nice touch.
Do you remember the nice Christmases we had when we were girls?
Margie: Yes. Mama always made her Molasses cake. She knew it was my favorite.
Edna: That's not why she made it, you selfish thing. She made it because she knew it was the best cake she made, and she knew that it put Mrs. Richmond's cake to shame every year at the Christmas bazaar.
Margie: Mama said Mrs. Richmond made her cakes from leather batter.
Edna: I know she did, and she was right. Mrs. Richmond was a lovely woman, but she couldn't bake a decent cake to save her life.
Margie: I can just see the sideboard lined up with Mama's turnips and beet pickles. What do you remember?
Edna: I remember how she used to make spiced apple dumplings, I sure do miss those. I never could make them the way Mama did. I also remember Daddy stuffing his face on all of Mama's good cooking.
Margie: Edna, remember when Daddy told you not to make unpleasant sounds at the table?
Edna: I do remember, and I also remember how you were the one making the unpleasant sounds, and blaming it on me. You always did love to get me in trouble.
Margie: Edna, I was the one who put salt instead of sugar in Daddy's coffee.
Edna: I knew it! I couldn't sit down for a week after I got punished for that. Do you remember how Mama used to remind us about our table manners?
Margie: Yes. Mama always told us to be sweet tempered. That wasn't you.
Edna: That wasn't you, either. You used to pick your teeth at the table, and oh how Daddy would yell!
Margie: My Daddy never yelled you old shrew.
Edna: I remember what I remember, and you can't tell me different. I also remember how much Mama loved having good food prepared for all the friends and neighbors who would stop by the house. Do you remember that, Margie?
Margie: I do remember all our visitors. Mama said she invited the Greens because she wasn't going there and have to drink Mrs. Green's muddy coffee.
Edna: Well, not everyone had the magic touch with food like Mama did. Do you remember how she used to say that " Ill-prepared food provokes ill-humor" so everything had to be just right.
Margie: She sure did. She was right too. That's why we're good cooks today.
Edna: Well, I know I’m a good cook. Everything you make tastes like vinegar. That must be your ill-humor coming through.
Part II tomorrow.