Wow – memories invoked from this simple request; ‘my’ house while growing up brings back memories of my Grandmother’s house. I spent much of my time with her while my mother and father worked.
My grandmother’s house centered around a big country kitchen on the north side of the house. It wasn’t fancy and in my child’s eye it was huge. When driving by the house as an adult I realize it was not nearly as big as my memory invokes.
She loved to cook. It was a big white kitchen (maybe why I love white kitchens now) with the sink facing the side yard and a breakfast nook with a door out to the same spot.
It was a bitterly cold winter; school was out that day and I had spent the night before in anticipation of the snow. The snowfall was massive for our southern town – 36 inches! Once upon a time we had regular snows of 9 and 12 inches – but 36 was a real whopper. Now our town goes crazy over a dusting that looks like powdered sugar on donuts!
Back to circa 1960 – I’m quietly reading the latest mystery at the breakfast table while she is mixing up pancakes for us to eat. Suddenly I hear her shout “damn”! (Yes, she taught me to curse, too). I looked up to see the pancake mix bowl being slammed into the sink with such force the mix flew up the window, into her hair, over the ceiling and back down again on the adjacent wall. (something had gone wrong with the mixture – who knows what it was – but not salvageable).
We had quite a mess to clean up, but this memory brings back all the fragrances of cooking in my grandmothers iron skillet – pancakes, sweet corn shaved off the cob creamed with bacon and just a little milk, pineapple upside down cake – all done in the same skillet, the same one I still own and use almost daily 60 years later.
My grandmother was what was known as ‘a corker’. You could count on her to state exactly what she thought with the exact words that came to mind. She was my guardian angel then and now – she shared with me her love of cooking and of life.
My memories of her kitchen bring me to inhale all the lovely fragrances of bacon simmering and sweet cake-y dough rising in the oven.
I think I’ll get that skillet out and make something right now – it’s fall – maybe pecan pie would be good. If you want the recipe for this pecan pie, see Southern Living – recipe is a ‘no fail success’!