I Love Crisco – and My Mom’s Twitchy Eye

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I spent the last week at my parents’ house with the kids.

I drove my mom a little nuts, but it wasn’t too bad because we were at her house.

Which meant that she had 20 boxes of kleenex in her basement and no less than 40 rolls of paper towels – and don’t even get me started on the garage full of toilet paper.

As I’ve said before, if you ever find out the world is coming to an end, make your way to my mom’s basement.

Bring your friends.

You will have enough supplies to last you for at least 20 years.

Our week was off to a great start, until I glanced at my mom on Tuesday night and noticed that her right eye was a little droopy.

I immediately made her put both arms in the air, smile and say her name.

That’s how I like to check for a stroke. Technically, she doesn’t have to put her arms in air, but I find that it adds a little more urgency and drama to the situation. And my patients tend to take me more seriously. (Just a little tip from me to you.)

She was totally fine. She could smile. She could talk. She was even able to clean up after my kids.

So I figured it was that whole meth thing that I had been worried about. (Especially when the pharmacy said she had reached her monthly limit of Claritin D purchases, and she asked me to buy some for her.)

But – I couldn’t find any meth-making supplies anywhere. And she didn’t seem to be acting any wackier than normal.

And then – I went down in the basement – and I knew exactly what the problem was.

I Love Crisco

She only had four cans of Crisco in her pantry.

My mom’s right eye starts to get twitchy and droopy if she has anything less than 10 cans.

I should have known.

First, I posted on my Facebook page to see if anyone could guess how many cans were in her pantry. I heard anywhere from 0 – because I ate them all – to “eleventeen-thousand” – which is usually closer to the truth.

I raced to the store, filled my cart with Crisco, and it was like magic – her eyes returned to normal.


Then – while she watched my three kids – I created an entire Pinterest board dedicated to Crisco.

You can follow it right here.

What’s your favorite thing to do with Crisco?

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  1. Trooppetrie

    August 5, 2013 at 7:25 am

    oh my word this is hilarious. My mother in law is a true hoarder and it cracks me up some times. Other times is scares me. I always tell my husband this is why I do not let him keep anything. Poor man. The funny thing is I must have enough food to serve a Army at any time in my house

  2. Janine Huldie

    August 5, 2013 at 7:29 am

    Never actually used Crisco, but must admit this story reminded me more of my grandmother then mother who was a hoarder of all things grocery store wise. If you needed it, she had it. God how my grandfather would tease her for it, but she took it all in good stride. Thanks for making me think of this today and Happy Monday!!

  3. Patty

    August 5, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Once I finished laughing, I ran and looked in my pantry, all the linen closets and storage areas and took inventory. Tell your mom to call me if she runs short of a n y t h I n g!

    So glad your mother is okay…thanks for the giggles!

  4. Anna's Mom

    August 5, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Oh good night! Does it never end?? I don’t know where to start – from you and your “do you feel alright, your eye is droopy” comments while you were here to your readers who are using the word HOARDER in their comments!!! Did you use the word hoarder? No – how about PREPARED – there is a difference people!!
    And for anyone who is interested and bakes – I have only 4 cans of Crisco on my property. 4 F-O-U-R.
    Now – lets hear it – I’m sure this is a modest number for most of you. Except my daughter, who doesn’t even have Kleenex and who only had ONE pacifier for her babies that used them…..I like backups. Be prepared. I’m done.

  5. Dona

    August 5, 2013 at 8:32 am

    My favorite thing to do with Crisco is read about it on your blog. This will definitely deserve a whole chapter in our book! ‘Cuse me now….I’m going back to that Pintrest page and spend some time there…………..

  6. Joann Johnson

    August 5, 2013 at 9:01 am

    I have no Crisco in my cupboards, but to people that know me that is no surprise. If your mom gets that twitchy eye thing going again and you don’t have any Crisco, raw chocolate chip cookie dough helps stabilize her also.

  7. MomChalant

    August 5, 2013 at 10:19 am

    I can never think about Crisco without thinking of this girl from my high school. How do I say this appropriately?… She used Crisco for lubrication to um… have a different kind of sex? I hope I didn’t ruin Crisco for anyone.

  8. Mai

    August 5, 2013 at 11:03 am

    That was hilarious… Should make a short story.. “ the Rescue!” Glad your mom is doing fine now! 🙂

  9. Frugalistablog

    August 5, 2013 at 11:31 am

    My mom has 12 rolls of paper towels, 36 rolls of toilet paper, an endless supply of cereals, and cases of juice. I blame Costco. I suppose as parents age, they want to make as less trips to the store as possible. Personally, I like to put Crisco in my pie crust recipe. And a splash of vodka. Not joking.

  10. christie

    August 5, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Grandparents ALWAYS have extra stuff! They never run out…they are their very own convenience store. So imagine my surprise: I remember one time staying at my mom’s house and I didn’t bring shampoo/conditioner- because mom’s ALWAYS have that stuff. Well, she didn’t. And I asked to borrow hers and she said: “Why don’t you ever bring your own? The only place I never had to take shampoo/conditioner was to your grandmothers house”.
    “Yes. Which would be your MOTHER’S house.”

  11. Gina Jacobs Thomas (@totallyfullofit)

    August 5, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    I hate to admit this, because I’ll probably get flamed as hard as I did when I admitted I don’t like bacon, but I get grossed out by Crisco. I know, I know, there are just certain things you can’t make without it, blah, blah, blah, but I just don’t like the taste of it. I tried making cookies with it once and gagged the whole time I scooped it out the can. Guess I’m not welcome at the doomsday basement party?

  12. Suzanne Lucas

    August 5, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    Your mom sounds a lot like my mom. She maintained a room full of food and supplies in her basement as well. And you can imagine how that room exploded when Y2K became the scare of the year. The food spread to the garage, the shed, and probably found its way into neighbour’s house.

    I don’t think she stored Crisco though. Thank God, we would’ve surely needed another house.

  13. Elizabeth

    August 6, 2013 at 5:13 am

    So funny – my grandmother had 12 cabinets in her little house full of the same things-including the Crisco! Thank you for making me smile this morning 🙂

  14. Sue

    August 7, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    When my parents own a kitschy restaurant, they bought a LOT of prep items from a local grocery store. This particular store was one of those that offers free items when you spend a certain amount. My dad was the king of those free coupons. He had toilet paper stacked from the table top to (basement, ha!) ceiling over their spare dining room table that was plenty big enough to seat 8 people comfortably around.

    (My brother, who had just moved out and lived only two blocks away, found this to be quite handy.)

    They had plenty of everything.

    The perishables were a bit more difficult to deal with. Seriously, there’s only so much egg salad and scrambled eggs a person can eat. So every so often Dad would show up at my door with a couple of grocery bags containing everything from eggs and orange juice to bread, mustard, syrup and the ever present toilet paper.

    I kind of miss those days.

  15. Amanda

    August 8, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    I actually bought my first…almost sample sized…can of crisco recently to make cookies. I am a butter person, so using shortening was new to me! They were pretty good.

    My step granny fried everything in crisco…I think she even fried bacon in it.

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