Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Cheerleaders, Critics, Angel Investors and Masters of the Kitchen: My Grandmas

After the farmers' market this past weekend I stopped by to see one of my Grandmas with a 1 quart gift of shelling peas.  So excited, she started shelling them right away as we were chit-chatting.  This very scene has played over thousands of times for as long as I can remember.  I have vivid memories of sitting on Grandma's screened in porch perched atop a white washed metal chair watching her cut beets with bright red hands, grate carrots for coleslaw, and slice peaches for her famous homemade peach ice cream.

My two grandmas,  Joan and Marcy couldn't possibly be more different.  One is a master of improvising - where I get my inability to ever follow a recipe exactly.  The other one is very precise - if the serving size says 16 potato chips...she's only eating 16 potato chips.  One is very good at cooking while the other taught me the art of baking. One is a socialite while the latter prefers the quite life. 

Commonalities: They are both farmers' daughters and they both cultivated an appreciation for the art of preparing food at home and sharing it with people you love. 
Cooking and preparing meals is a legacy much like farming is.  Just like a preserved piece of farmland, recipes and memories of those dishes continue on for generations - maybe some tweaks and changes - possibly some epic fails along the way...but still something to be treasured. 

It's so important to find time to share a meal that's fresh, flavorful, and fulfilling.  On the big farm every Sunday we would have a "picnic," as they were called.  

Once you start a mini tradition like that - you'll be hooked.  Just like the people who stop by every weekend to see me at the farmers market: the guy who buys 3 bunches of beets because he juices, the lady with the little black and white spotted dog who likes my recipe cards, or the young mom who always lets her kids pick out what they want to get and pay accordingly.  At first you make the commitment.  You commit to picking up your buying club box from Crossfit.  You commit to visiting the farmers' market after your morning errands.  You commit to hosting a seasonal potluck once a month.  And then you're hooked.  Then it's something you love.

I thank my grandmas for my love of sharing food.  I thank them for their constructive criticisms, their "gas money," and for getting teary eyed the first time I brought them beets because I succeeded in making something grow.  <3

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