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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Spam (not the meat) (11/03/11)

TITLE: Pig's Feet Jelly
By Wilma Schlegel


“You and Maddy?” Good luck with that.” My daughter practically laughed as she got up from the table.

I frowned at her in great disappointment. “Why not ‘me and Maddy’? She’s fun and positive and energetic and I really got along with her when we talked. I could easily see us become best friends.”

Em just rolled her eyes. “OK, Mom, whatever.”

I reached out and caught her arm. “Wait, don’t give me ‘whatever’, tell me why you’re so (annoyingly) negative about me and Maddy becoming friends."

“Don’t worry about it. Who am I to tell you who your friends should be? I gotta go.” Em tried to pull away from me.

“No, if you know something, tell me - please?” I implored.

And then she looked me in the eyes with, was that compassion?

“Mom, Maddy’s a greeter, a welcomer, maybe she thinks she's an evangelist. But really she's more like a movie set. From the front everything looks real, but you can’t go inside because it’s just a front.”

I thought about this and part of me knew it was true, but I was so hungry to develop a social circle like I’d had in the old community, I protested. “No, Em, I think she and I really connected.”

“Mom, how can you be so blind? It was so easy for her to grab you and pull you in. Now her job’s done and she can move on to her next conquest. You’re nothing but SPAM to her!” Em practically spit out that last line.


We just looked at each other.

I opened my mouth, but nothing came out. I thought - SPAM ...like that canned meat, almost as likeable as Pigs feet jelly ....that SPAM?

“What?” I finally managed to ask.

“SPAM - junk email,” Em explained. “You see it, you glance over it, you might even like that it’s there, but you’re not seriously interested. You have more important things to do.”

Ouch! That hurt. “The Pastor adores Maddy. I want to get to know her.” I insisted. This time Em didn’t say, ‘whatever’.

“Oh, Mom, I guess it’s like you always say to me, time will tell. She is energetic and positive and I know you miss your old friends. I’m sorry I reacted like that.”

Now I smiled at my daughter. “Thanks, Em. Do you want to come to the women’s group with me?”

“No - that would be weird. Besides, I have homework.” She grabbed a couple cookies and left me sitting there.

As I drove to the meeting, I went over our conversation, knowing Em was .., hoping she was.., OK, afraid Em was right, but how could she be?

I wasn’t even through the doorway of the church when I saw her, followed by her adoring group of friends. I hurried to join them.

“Maddy,” I called. “Your directions were perfect! I...”

“Oh Cutie, I’m glad they worked for you,” she smiled.

“Yeah, they did, I...” but I was cut off.

“Maddy, can we borrow your props for the Christmas play - they look so authentic!”

“Of course, Sweetie.” Maddy never turned to see who asked. She just smiled that same smile.

I tried again. “I had to wait at that light....” I stopped midsentence when a member of the group pushed past me.

“Maddy, my Robby loved those cookies you made last week. Could I get the recipe?”

“Sure , if I can remember what they were!”

“That light that you...” my voice trailed off as I watched Maddy move happily down the hall. She seemed to like that we, all of us, were here, but she wasn’t seriously interested.

We were just like SPAM.

And suddenly I had a ridiculous desire to yell, “Maddy, would you like my recipe for pigs feet jelly?” Maybe I can email it. That would really be 'spammy'! I smiled as I turned to look for the room where the other women’s group was meeting.


Pigs Feet Jelly

2 lbs pigs feet, split
3qts water
4 whole cloves garlic
3 sweet onions
2 t salt
1 t black pepper
dash of sage
½ t paprika

Singe feet and wash. Cook all ingredients together for 6-7 hrs, reducing liquid to ½. what you started with. Place meat (which should fall off bones) in soup bowls. Strain broth over, almost filling bowls. Chill in refrigerator until congealed.

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This article has been read 323 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 11/17/11
This made me laugh out loud. Cute and different take on Spam! Nicely done. God Bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/17/11
This is an interesting take on the topic. I liked how you illustrated your point. The recipe was cute idea but I'm not sure if it fit your story. I enjoyed your humor and you made me giggle.
Theresa Santy 11/19/11
I enjoyed this piece very much. The conversations flowed nicely, and I seemed to float though the entire piece. I liked the Pigs Feet Jelly recipe at the end. It was so funny, so quirky, and delightfully strange. I could totally see this as an inset to the article in some magazine.

What I had a difficult time with, was agreeing with Em's comparison to Spam. Although I do scan it, I never enjoy it. But, hmmm... on second thought, maybe I do enjoy it, for pure entertainment value--right before I delete it, so yeah, I guess I do get it!
annie keys11/25/11
I loved this piece; hush, don't tell anybody---but, I like both spam AND pigs feet jelly. Yeah---so the whole conversation made me feel--like an insider. (giggle)

Good job on all the conversation; well done, I could 'feel' the personalities.

And I really smiled when I saw the recipe at the end. Nice touch--so00, there are at least two of us who like the pigs feet jelly then? *)
Deborah Rampona Oliver 11/26/11
This article really touched me. My family moves a lot and a church that I currently attend feels a lot like Maddy. I really appreciate the comparison to a stage setting as well. All front. The end, complete with a recipe, was well done too. Like!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/01/11
Congratulations for ranking 7th in level 3!