Saturday, October 24, 2009
As a child, I was very blessed by spending my days at my great-grandparent's house, rather than a daycare. I know how special this was because many people never even get to meet their great-grandparents let alone see them 5 days a week. Grandma was a firey Irish, Catholic woman who always made her opinion clear, especially in conversations with my grandfather. She also made it abundantly clear that she loved me to death. She read Little Red Riding Hood to me so many times that she probably could recite it in her sleep. She taught me how to prune and pick flowers from her rose bushes (after a five-leaf cluster), and place them in a glass on the kitchen window sill above the sink. She would let me play in that sink for what seemed like hours. I would put a stool up to the counter so that I could splash in the soap bubbles, and fill and pour out measuring cups full of the steamy water. However, Grandma didn't hesitate to shove a fresh bar of Caress in my mouth after I got angry with her and called her a name. All done with love.
For the most part Grandpa was the cook, and what a cook he was. From fresh baked breads, which made the most incredible toast, to soups, roasts, casseroles, and cookies. He grocery shopped every day. While eating breakfast, he would often ask us what we wanted for lunch or dinner! I used to think he was crazy, and now I find myself thinking about it too. So he was the daily chef, but on Easter and Thanksgiving, Grandma and Grandpa would both be in the kitchen, with the doors closed. The holidays always felt different in that house. Oh, the smells coming from that kitchen. The china placed just so on the white linen covered dinning table. It was very different from the work week. Occasionaly, I'd sneek past the double doors to watch as she basted the Ham with Sprite, or stirred something on the stove. One specialty that appeared only on Easter was her deviled eggs. She never had a recipe that I knew of-just a little grandma magic. When she slipped away, so did the recipe. For the next few years, Easter came and went, but without the deviled eggs.