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Grandmother's Lessons 
Jan. 6, 2013 4:35 pm 
Updated: Jan. 16, 2013 10:46 am

Women in my family have cooked for years. They either did it for fun or they used it on the job while they fed and raised someone else's children while barely feeding their own. I grew up with your typical southern "Big Mamas". Women who would feed you even if they had no clue who you are. Sunday's in the South were reserved for Church and gut-busting dinners. On the weekends, I would always stay with my Granny. It was the highlight of my week. I knew once Friday rolled around I was mere hours away from "freedom". My parents were very protective of me solely because of them being teen parents and not wanting their only daughter to succumb to the curse. So getting to go to Granny's allowed me to experience luxuries like riding my bike in the cornfields behind her house and playing with kids of the opposite sex without having my mom being suspicious of their motives. My great-grandmother and grandfather lived across the street from my grandmother and I spent quite a bit of time with them during the weekend and on the weekends as well. They were our caregivers because both my parents worked long, odd hours. Being a tomboy, made both my grandmothers cringe. They would put me in dresses and I would be outside racing a neighborhood boy, wrestling with my cousin or engaging in a cartwheel contest with my little brother. My great-grandmother would peek out the door and call me name in such a way that it seemed as if she was singing it. Once inside she would berate me for not acting like a lady in a dress and tell me to go wash up and get ready for supper. Her favorite thing to say to me...."Go wash that dirt off of you so I can teach ya how to get and keep a husband." I would roll my eyes and hope she wouldn't see it but after all these years and her passing away I would give anything to have her back. My grandmother always told me that my cooking was effortless. I could watch her do it just one time and I was able to replicate it without trouble. The kitchen made me happy. It was where I could go to escape any heartbreak, problem, or stress. For so long I refused to step in the kitchen because it reminded me so much of her. How I learned my first cuss-word from her when my cousin Monica prematurely added an ingredient she wasn't supposed to at that moment. Several years later after having kids as well as my own family, I was diagnosed with depression, anxiety, DPD, and mania these last 2 years. I thought my whole world had collapsed on me in one day. I vowed to beat my mental illness so I started visiting a mental health care provider and taking meds. Throughout the many counseling sessions, I was taught how to gain control over my episodes by occupying my mind. That's when I rediscovered my passion for cooking and food. When I'm in the kitchen creating it's like I block out everything else and focus on preparing my meal. Friends and family have told me that my eyes lighten up and my demeanor changes from even talking about food. The purpose of this blog is to not only to talk about cooking but help others who suffer from mental disorders and how cooking and food could possibly help them. I think my grandmother's lesson didn't quite do what she wanted but I can honestly say that after washing the dirt off I've learned how to get and keep my sanity.
Jan. 6, 2013 5:22 pm
The things we learn from our grandparents are priceless - as are the memories made with them. How lucky you were to be able to spend so much time with your grandma's! I treasure my memories of my grandparents.
Jan. 6, 2013 5:51 pm
We all have struggles which come in many different forms. Identifying a problem correctly is a big step forward, and finding answers to help one cope may be the very best one can expect. In life, coping with something can represent a victory. By you sharing your uplifting story, someone will benefit from your courage to share and allowing others a chance to know you a little bit better. I rarely get down, but the slightest hint causes me to think of others who carry monumental burdens . . . I think of severely wounded veterans coming home to a young wife and toddlers, and any self-pity I might momentarily experience simply vaporizes. Remember to be as strong as you can for those 3 rambunctious boys who will be writing about their love and fond remembrances of you someday, like the deep love you have for your great-grandmother. Seeing that you like fishing, I say grab a pole, take a music headset, and go catch some fish as that can be extremely therapeutic and good for the soul. Wishing you the best.
Jan. 6, 2013 6:00 pm
I loved reading your blog. I suffer from depression too. The holidays were very hard for me this year. I miss my grandparents so much and I loved reading about yours. I'm glad you are taking steps to get better. Cooking really can be theraputic.
Jan. 6, 2013 7:06 pm
You have a nice writing style, and your openness is so wonderful. Writing is maybe even more amazing than cooking. It very clearly allows us to see what others are thinking and feeling, and it also acts as a time machine. Your great-grandkids will be able to get to know you from your writings and your recipe book! God bless.
Jan. 6, 2013 7:11 pm
What wonderful family memories. Thanks for sharing them. Makes me wish I could have been there to meet them too.
Jan. 7, 2013 5:01 pm
Great blog, thanks
Jan. 8, 2013 11:02 am
Great blog! Good luck in culinary school.
Jan. 16, 2013 10:46 am
what a great story. reminds me a lot of my upbringing. i too was raised with grandparents and great-grandparents. we were all constantly in the kitchen together. i learned most of what i know about cooking from them too. i am also the mother of 3 boys, mine are all grown now. i hope your future continues to be bright.
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Hollow Rock, Tennessee, USA
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Huntingdon, Tennessee, USA

Member Since
Oct. 2012

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Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Dessert, Quick & Easy

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About Me
I'm the mother of 3 rambunctious boys and I have been cooking since the age of 8. In the Spring of 2013, I'll start my first year of culinary school. Cooking is my passion and I love making others tummies happy!!!
My favorite things to cook
I love cooking deserts! Here lately I have enjoyed cooking dishes that have several dimensions of flavor and fresh veggies.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My great-grandmother taught me everything I know in the kitchen. In the summertime, I would go and stay with her during the day and we would watch cooking shows on PBS and then duplicate them. Now when my boys bring home recipes from school I cook with them as well.
My cooking triumphs
My first Thanksgiving dinner!!! After my great-grandmother passed away my grandmother wasn't up to cooking such a big dinner. So I stepped in and cooked everything and everyone just raved about how I had the talent to cook like both of my grandmothers.
My cooking tragedies
My first run at a chess pie was for a friend of mine and I studied the recipe for days before attempting it. It was successful as far as looks but once cutting into was all runny because I didin't allow it to cool completely and set.
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