Monday, March 30, 2009

Grandma's good cooking

What is patriotism but the love of the good things we ate in our childhood? - Lin Yutang

Lately, I've been thinking about my grandmother's cooking. When I was small, and her fingers still agile, she would make me and my sister these delightful little animal-shaped pancakes (without the use or convenience of additional utensils). There would be raisins or chocolate chips for eyes, nose, and mouth. Sometimes, ears or appendages were made from fruit. And the taste... heavenly.

There were so many things she made in my childhood in Minnesota, that she doesn't or can't make anymore due to age. I remember home-made ketchup that packed a nice bite, and stews that contained ingredients that years of guessing would never yield. Whenever eating in that home, I always felt as if she had worked hard to create something that would provide health, as well as enjoyment. I suppose the love she instilled in her cooking was the one component that was never missing (or in short supply). I do miss that.

After all these years, the food consumed at my grandparents' home remains my strongest and best memory of my childhood. Thoughts of those meals brings me back to days when life was simpler (for myself if for no one else). And for whatever the reason, that feels like missing home.