It’s totally my Grandma Bea’s fault that I’m having oatmeal cookies and two cups of coffee this afternoon. Yes, she’s been gone over a decade, but that doesn’t mean her influence isn’t a daily presence in my life. Interesting to think about how one woman’s personality could leave such a lasting impression. I remember more about her, and more of what she said and did, than about any other person in my life, including my own mother. Perhaps I took my mother’s teachings for granted. Or perhaps my grandmother just always seemed louder and stronger and more opinionated. I do remember spending a lot of time with her. I had another grandmother that I loved from a distance. I had aunts and cousins and even a great-grandmother. But Grandma Bea’s was the apron string I clung to for most of my childhood. Even when my family traveled and we were far apart I always knew she was thinking about me. So I guess it’s only natural that she is always in my head and that I gravitate to the habits I learned at her table.
Of course as cooler weather approaches I am trying hard NOT to remember some of the habits of Gran’s overburdened table—hot biscuits, lasagna, beef stew, cornbread, pies, mashed potatoes. The woman could cook like no one else! I escape the temptation of many foods by reminding myself that what I cook won’t taste even half as good as the food she provided! LOL I am better off just savoring my memories.
I guess I’m thinking about food today because my daughter and I have been discussing the “good, bad, and ugly” of school lunches- both those cooked at school and those brought from home. It is a pervasive attitude of many parents, and society in general, that kids and junk food just naturally go together and that there is no harm in letting children eat “whatever makes them happy” for a few years. Unfortunately what makes them happy these days seems as far removed from real food as possible. When I read the labels of some of the kids’ meals I think they would be better off eating the packaging.
I may have grown up eating too much food at Gran’s, but at least it was good, fresh food. I watched her make it with care and pride. Many of the ingredients came from the garden or from animals raised on the ranch. They didn’t come from a factory a thousand miles away. And the food hadn’t been sitting on the shelf for months or even years. A big topic, perhaps saved for another day…
I’ll let my mind linger on my grandmother’s table for a little longer.
I started out the morning with this sunrise and these glorious flowers. It’s a bit cooler today. The breeze is blowing. The birds are singing. A day worthy of cookies and coffee….