Love and Stroganoff

Picking Kathy up before the Prom (vintage super-8 film)

Full Stomach, Fuller Heart

(an occasional series)

How could I forget my first love? Every now and then, when I was a teenager, Dad would drive us all the way to Hollywood for dinner. And that usually meant the Small World Importium, a wondrous imports shop and restaurant featuring international foods. And it was there that I met my first love:

Beef Stroganoff.

d29988559d293c00173c70d4af87a66a (1)It’s not surprising that I would fall instantly in love with a dish made from sirloin steak and two of my favorite foods: noodles and sour cream. I’d loved noodles pretty much since the day I went off formula, but only as a teenager discovered sour cream (I still eat it weekly). In this case, an ultra-rich Russian version called smetana—which is also the last name of the great composer Bedřich Smetana (why his last name was “Sourcream” remains a mystery).

But I associate another love with stroganoff, the love of one of my dearest friends. I’d grown up around the corner from a smart, clever girl named Kathy. By the time we reached high school, we were inseparable, eating lunches together, using silly words only we thought were funny. She was the most supportive friend a guy could ever have, among other things forming my band’s first (and only) fan club.

She was also a brilliant cook. So, when she asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I said without hesitation, “Beef stroganoff!” So she fixed me beef stroganoff. But not just any beef stroganoff–the greatest beef stroganoff the world has ever known! After that, I was even more in love with smetana. And with my amazing friend Kathy.

After my high school love and I broke up, Kathy surprised me by asking me to the prom. It turned out to be our only date (the romantic spark wasn’t quite there), but we had a heckuva time. We dressed pseudo-Victorian (see video), cut the rug, and cut up all night. It was a lovely finale to our high school years together.

Decades later, while I was shooting my first feature film Healing River, Kathy called me out of the blue. She was driving through Cincinnati. So she dropped by to watch us shoot, and to spend a few precious minutes with the boy who’ll forever love stroganoff–

And her.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Memoir and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Love and Stroganoff

  1. Aww… how cute!
    When Marty was in college and living alone, he invented a dish with what he had on hand (ground beef, noodles, and mushroom soup) that I politely called “hamburger stroganoff.” He called it “beef yuck.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sue Cass says:

    Awww, don’t ya’ just love those home movies.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. feistyfroggy says:

    Great memories! Love seeing old home movies! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Nothing says love like stroganoff. Loved seeing your film – what a great moment to have recorded.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Same smile yet today. Your writing captures and reflects that same youthful playfulness and fun! Blessings.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Nancy Ruegg says:

    Ah, for the good old days of Beef Stroganoff! My mom had a great recipe. Now, all three of those main ingredients are off limits except for rare occasions. (“Can still remember the rich, savory goodness though.) You also reminded me of John. He and I were good friends our last two years of high school, but like you and Kathy, no romantic spark. At the end of senior year, John and I received a few nominations for Best Couple, even though we didn’t date!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Awww, so sweet! (I love beef strognanoff. My husband hates it, unfortunately.)

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Piano girl says:

    What a sweet story! And that video is awesome! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  9. socialbridge says:

    Ah, I love romantic stories! 💙

    Liked by 2 people

  10. SandyL says:

    I’m glad you qualified that you “dressed pseudo-Victorian” … I was wondering how far back the super-8 film went 🙂 Very cute pictures!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. My husband loves stroganoff! Love the Victorian theme you and Kathy decided to carry out for the prom. Looks like from the video the fun began before you left Kathy’s house!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. SLIMJIM says:

    wow thanks for sharing that rare film clip! Wow, that was you

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Pingback: Love and Stroganoff

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