It’s funny, how we remember people. A snippet of music or a familiar scent can send our brains into a cartwheel of memories, half-forgotten and yet somehow made more whole, more tangible, by the very act of remembering.
I was very young when my granny, my mother’s mother, died, and yet I cannot make a fried egg without remembering her. A finicky child when it came to food, I was hard to please, but Granny knew. She would make an egg over easy insuring plenty of thick, golden yolk, and a white that was firm, but not overcooked. She would then put this perfect egg into a bowl and decimate it with fork and knife, adding afterwards a single piece of buttered toast, cubed, of course, along with a slice or two of bacon, crumbled. After mixing it altogether, it certainly looked a mess, but it tasted delicious!
My father’s mother and the matriarch of the Sinclair family, Grandmother Sinclair, having lived all her life down South, was the very epitome of that genteel culture and lifestyle. Think Steel Magnolias. Iron fist in a dainty, velvet glove. Food plays a huge part in down home Southern hospitality, and my Grandmother was no exception. She was sure to lay out a spread for anyone or any occasion, she really didn’t need any excuse. Every meal was ginormous and would include two or three different meat courses, several vegetables, stuffing usually, biscuits, as well as a couple of salads, maybe a casserole or two. Dessert consisted of at least 2 different pies, a cobbler or tart of some sort with ice cream, and a constant stand-by, chocolate cake. Her cooking was phenomenal, and nothing I can even attempt to duplicate. As a child, and a carnivore, what I remember most was the way she cooked her meat–ham and goose so tender it melted in your mouth, chicken and turkey that just fell off the bone as soon as you looked at it. Even the taste of the meat was just different in a way I can’t begin to explain. OMG, it was sooo good!
They say, whoever they are, that mom’s cooking is always the best, no matter where you roam. I am certainly a testament to that. My mom’s cooking was fantastic! Roast chicken with Southern-style slippery dumplings & gravy, scrambled eggs with scrapple & toast, sweet tea, strawberry shortcake, BBQ chicken on the grill with corn on the cob, peaches & cream pie—all of these remind me of her. Even now, I have her cookbooks & handwritten recipe cards and I treasure these little bits of her-they are pieces of love that I can hold & taste.