First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started. She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day. She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, diligent in homemaking.She’s quick to assist anyone in need, reaches out to help the poor. Proverbs 31:15-20 (The Message)
While my mother’s mother was known for her needlework, quilts, baby items and clothing, my father’s mother was known for her cooking. My mother’s mother would serve us canned corn, instant mashed potatoes, baked chicken and coca cola to drink, but my father’s mother only offered fresh corn, real mashed potatoes, country fried steak and tea so sweet it could run circles around coca cola. Sometimes, I think my husband only married me because of my grandmother’s cooking. He had such high hopes for my ability. Alas, in those days, I knew how to make one good meal, flank steak stuffed with cornbread, twice baked potatoes and frozen green beans with almonds. It was enough of a teaser for him to think me my grandmother’s girl. Shortly after our wedding, I overcooked the chicken in a microwave given for a wedding present, and he had a taste of reality. Over the years, I have learned and am now a pretty good cook, at least on the days when I have time to do it right and don’t have a hoard of locusts standing by the stove whining about how hungry they are and eating dinner out of the pan. One of the things that has helped me in my quest to be as good of a cook as my grandmother is a cookbook made by her church in which more than two dozen of her best recipes reside. The one thing that she didn’t share was her recipe for yeast rolls. They were so good that they melted in your mouth. But, when asked for the recipe, she could not tell you. She measured by hand and by sight. There was no written formula. I still miss those rolls. My favorite recipe of hers, and husband’s, too, is Sour Cream Pound Cake. I do not make it as often as I used to, but tonight, as I prepared some food to take to a funeral service tomorrow, I opened up that cookbook and mixed up some batter. In my cookbook, I have handwritten the measurements to make two and a half cakes. I have two large Bundt cake pans and one small one. I figure if you are going to make one, why not mix up more while you are at it. So, husband always gets one of his own and I have one or two to share. My grandmother used almond flavoring, but I didn’t have any, so substituted lemon which she sometimes did as well. Husband and oldest son were circling the oven before I even took the cakes out to cool. I can’t help but remember my grandmother in the smell and flavor of that cake. It makes me wonder what my grandchildren (if I ever get some) will remember me for. I hope like both my grandmothers, they remember me for my love for God and others and a willingness to serve. But, it wouldn’t hurt to be known for both my cooking and my crafts!