The Tap Dancer

My friend Christa from Ontario, recently shared a video on Facebook of her granddaughter Kristen tap dancing. This young lady  recently flew to Riesa, Germany for the International Tap Dancing
Competition and after watching the video, I am certain of why she was on that plane. She is magnificent! Never missing a beat, she dances with that special natural ease that great dancers  like Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, possessed.But,even though they were labeled as “naturals”, their splendid performances came from experience and passion. Did you know that Fred Astaire’s first actual  screen test bombed with the following comments attached:” Can’t Act. Can’t sing. Balding.Can dance a little.”  
I  love to watch people dancing, especially tap, and most of my friends know this. They have sent me many videos of performers dancing, including one that is my favorite of Bob Hope and Bing Crosby dancing  on a long table top in front of a handful of surprised diners. The electricity of superb entertainment filled the air as the metal taps on the shoes coincided with the beat of the music. And who hasn’t had their heart melt with adoration while watching a movie of the childhood star of the 30’s, Shirley Temple,  as she claimed the stage with a sweet adorable smile, bouncing brown curls and little feet that flew in mesmerizing  rhythm. I never envied her for her acting, but oh how I wanted to dance like she could.  When
I  was  in grade school I had the  neatest pair of black patent leather shoes that I only wore to church on Sundays.
They had no metal taps on the tip ( oh, wouldn’t our minister have loved that), but their similairty to “dancing“ shoes was close enough for me. I can recall one day when I hid them in my lunch sack and took them to school. Several days before I had convinced the kids in my class that I knew how to tap dance, so today was the day my teacher was going to let me perform. I wasn’t nervous at all, and was  filled with confidence after  watching it done repeatedly on television along with practicing faithfully on the hard floors in my bedroom.  I was certain that, yes, I knew how to tap dance. So when it was time for music class that  afternoon, I was ready and willing. As the teacher sat at the piano and began to play a cute little “diddle” on the keys, she nodded in my direction as my cue and I proceeded to dance around the room with child possessed energy and a lot of bending of knee,tapping of shoes and shuffling of  feet, just like I had done the night before.
I remember the others watching and their applause at the end of my performance. And  it was at that moment  there was confirmation in my belief that it was truly possible for one to do anything they reached out to do.   I am sure now that I had not fooled my teacher into thinking that I had the knowledge of  authentic tap dancing, but she was a very good and wise teacher. She gave me the opportunity  to dance anyway. 
Good dishes put on the table are a lot like a dance with excellent choreography. Some things go together and enhance the meal while others do not. Can you imagine having sauerkraut with fried chicken and portabella mushrooms ? But put that sauerkraut with some fork tender pork ribs and buttered sweet peas and then, my friend, you have a meal that is well coordinated.
Adding a couple of tablespoons of  apples slices( Granny Smith works best)  sautéed in butter with just a touch of brown sugar, a sprinkling of cinnamon and a few golden raisins, not only wakes up and enhances the taste of a pork chop, but makes for a wonderful appearance on the plate as it ties everything together.
Think back to your childhood and the things that you had for dinner. If your mother told you what the main item was going to be, you always knew what you were going to have with it. Some friends and I were discussing today how good a bowl of bean soup was
when the weather out side was cold and miserable. If someone had  asked  me what else my Mother served up with a bowl of bean soup the answer would always be cornbread and fried potatoes. Deviled eggs goes hand in hand with honey glazed ham, and you can not sit down and eat any type of tomato based pasta dish without eating a salad first.
Someone asked me recently how I cooked a perfect boiled egg. Everyone has their own technique, but this one has never failed me. It all boils down to the timing. Pun intended.
Perfect boiled egg
Cover eggs completely in a pan with COLD water,. Add a little dash of vinegar to the water and  some salt.
When the water starts to boil,  Set a timer for 8 minutes
At the end of 8 minutes pour water off, cover in cold water and let sit for 5 minutes. Peel
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One Response to The Tap Dancer

  1. Christa Krueger says:

    Hello Jeanie,

    Last night, I’ve read your very nice column about ‘The Tap Dancer’ and just had to forward it to both my daughter and Kristin.
    It was so nice of you to mention her name, she and her Mom will really like that.
    I am still trying to figure out how to get the other videos in my possession over to you, still working on it. Love your writing very much. X0X0 Christa

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