As a child, every Sunday we went to Granny and Pop’s (my great-grandparents) house for dinner. Granny’s food was mouthwatering. Our Sunday dinner was almost always fried chicken and gravy. If she had prepared another vegetable that wasn’t mashed potatoes, I’d cry and she’d whip up some instant potatoes that you’d swear were better than the real thing. I also had to have fried cornbread patties, so I could pile my mashed potatoes on them. YUM. I had very specific ideas about what I wanted to eat. And as an adult that no longer gets to eat her delicious cooking, I’m glad I made a fuss.
Week-ends with my mother’s parents, Joycie Bear and Papa, assured we’d have sausage, biscuits and gravy for breakfast, every morning. Waking up to Papa whistling in the kitchen, the smell of sausage and bacon, knowing we didn’t need to do a thing until
called to the table. (tickled out of bed, usually… we’d wait for him, giggling)
As I recall these memories of my childhood love rushes in and fills me completely. The love they put into the meals and their willingness and joy to please and make us happy is overwhelming. As much as I knew they loved me (it was A LOT), I felt it in their food.
Cooking is one of my greatest joys, second only to sharing the food I’ve prepared with anyone and everyone that might possibly need or enjoy it. I smell my grandparents in my kitchen often. I’ll stop what I’m doing and take big, deep breaths inhaling it all. The food, the memories, the absolute knowledge that food IS love.
My partner, Dionne and I spent 3 weeks in Italy this past summer, visiting my little sister, Johanna who’s living there for the next year. After weeks of traveling and eating delicious Italian food, I was ready to cook. It was our last few days with my sissy and we were all beginning to feel a bit of sadness in anticipation of our departure.
So, what did we do?
We had three days of good ol’ West Texas country cooking. I fried everything that wasn’t tied down. We laughed and talked and breathed deeply the scent of love. I felt such appreciation for my country roots and the yummy comfort food I was raised on.
This is fried chicken and cream gravy just like Granny and Papa made for us as kids. Looking back at this picture, the hearts on the table cloth say it all.
(You can see more pic’s in Johanna’s Comfort Food Sessions photo album on FB!)