I am a Foodie by birth. Both of my grandmothers were Foodies and my momma was a Foodie, so really, I didn’t have a choice but to be one too!
My fraternal grandma had nine children so I think that she became a Foodie out of necessity. When I was small, three of her children still lived at home and I remember her always being in the kitchen. She would get up early in the morning to make breakfast for my grandfather (which usually involved homemade flour tortillas) and to prepare and pack his lunch for the day. Then when the children (teens by this time) would get up, she would make breakfast for them. After they would go to school, grandma would do some cleaning and various other chores, watch a “novella” or two, then by late afternoon she would be back in the kitchen preparing dinner. By the time the dishes were washed and put away and everyone had eaten their dessert (usually a bowl of ice cream) it would be “late” at night.
Even as I got older, grandma was always in the kitchen. Everyone knew that if you were going to her house for a visit, you had better make sure you were hungry. And even if you weren’t, you’d better be prepared to eat anyway! I can’t recall ever going to her house and not eating while I was there.
My maternal grandma, I believe, was a Foodie by choice. She simply loved food and loved cooking. After their children were grown, my grandparents opened a restaurant in northern California. I’m not sure how long they had the restaurant (it was before I was born) but I remember hearing stories about it. And when Gram spoke about it, she did so with fondness. “It was hard work,” she would say. “But we met some good people along the way.”
After my grandfather passed away, Gram began working in a school cafeteria. She eventually became the head “lunch lady” and worked directly with the school nutritionist to create delicious, healthy meals. When I was thirteen I was able to go to work with her during the Summer School program and help out in the kitchen. I was amazed at how much food they had to prepare! And even more amazing was the fact that they made almost everything from scratch. That same summer Gram was asked to cook for a church family camp that was taking place at one of the local lakes. She took me along to help. I learned a lot that summer and I treasure the time I spent with her.
Even after retirement, Gram continued her kitchen activities. Every year for Christmas she would bake dozens upon dozens of various kinds of cookies and goodies. Then she would divide them into tins and containers she had collected throughout the year and every household in her family (along with many of her friends) would receive a container full of her delicious creations. To this day, at Christmas time, my (adult) children still ask me to make Great-Grams Molasses Crinkles! (I will share the recipe in another post).
Just before she passed away, Gram gave me her recipe cards. Every so often I take them out and look through them just to feel the nearness of her spirit.
As for my momma, well, she was a Foodie for Love’s sake. Meaning, she cooked because she loved to and because everything she prepared was done so with love. I think that my being a Foodie stems mostly from the comfort of the love that she so generously poured into everything she did.
My passion for cooking encompasses all three of these wonderful women. I have cooked out of necessity, I have owned my own cafe, baking is my favorite, nutrition plays an important role in my cooking (sometimes) and I put a heaping amount of love into everything I do.
I am proud to be a Foodie.
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