The kitchen was bright, sunny, and messy with the preparations for Sunday’s roast beef dinner. The whole family would be home, and the young boy was helping his mom chop vegetables and fold napkins, all while chattering away about frogs and his older brother and tree forts and asking “why” every couple of minutes, as every boy of a certain age does.

“Why can’t I have a frog? They’re not THAT noisy and I SWEAR I’ll clean up after him.”

“Why do I hafta fold so many napkins? Uncle Jim says that’s what jeans are for.” 

“Why can’t I wear jeans tonight?”

Mom was able to answer each one of these quickly enough and decisively enough to keep the work and the banter moving.

While prepping the pot roast, “Mom, why do you cut the end off and put it into another pan to cook?” 

Spooning savory sauce over the two pieces of the pot roast she replied, “Well, kiddo, that’s the way you make a pot roast.”


“Uh, that’s just how it’s done…something about seasoning getting to all the parts and pieces…or cooking faster or…” She paused and looked over at Kiddo, “That’s the way Grammy always made it. Maybe we should ask her.” Passing the buck is not so hard she thought, sliding the two pans into the oven. If Grammy can feed him sugar, she can give him some answers, too.

When Grammy arrived, Kiddo barely let her get her coat off before asking “why”. “Grammy, Grammy, I’ve got a question I’ve been ‘membering all day and Mom says you are THE ONLY ONE who knows the answer.” And he asked her. “Why does Mom always cut off the end of the roast and put it in a separate pan in the oven? It seems weird.”

“Oh, well, I don’t know why she does that, Sweetness. I always cut up the roast and put the end into a second pan because otherwise it wouldn’t fit into my small oven.”

Mom looked up, momentarily confused, then unwrinkled her brows and smiled. “Well, imagine that. I never thought to ask.” 


Question, and be greener,


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