Wednesday, December 13

holiday food

"What's the one food it simply wouldn't be [your winter holiday of choice]without?"

My paternal Grandmother was a chef. Not a career chef. A chef in her own right. Several years ago, when I was a scrapbooker, I created a layout about her cooking. Ironically it seems fitting to answer today's writing prompt for Holidailies.

The Art of Cooking

"If there were one passion in my life that I can attribute to heritage, it would have to be the art of cooking. Grandma Smith was one of the best cooks that I know. And she could literally create a gourmet meal out of what seemed to be nothing more than two or three items in her refrigerator.

Her kitchen was the size of a postage stamp, but was stocked with every kitchen gadget that her cabinets could hold. Almost every Sunday we would visit Grandma and delight in the smells and tastes of her wonderful cooking. She delighted in making sure there was something on the table that everyone could enjoy. If it was Dad's favorite entree, then it was Mom's favorite side, and my favorite dessert. And though she would never admit it, I think she delighted in eating too. She would trim one more piece off the meat, or cut one more sliver of pie, just to "even it out", she would say.

On holidays she would fill the tables with a feast of traditional treats, some of which I have continued as traditional dishes at our holiday meals. Not only did Grandma cook for family, but also spent years catering parties in San Francisco for the likes of well known individuals, such as Shirley Temple Black.

She never followed a recipe, and never wrote one down. Her recipes looked more like grocery shopping lists with no instructions, left up to the maker to decide what the final product would look like. When Grandma passed, I was lucky enough to be given many of those "recipes" and have attempted to recreate some of her masterpieces. Though I know they will never be quite as good as when Grandma made them, I delight in honoring her by enjoying the art of cooking."

Every Thanksgiving and Christmas, there are two side dishes made in honor of Grandma - Pennsylvania red cabbage and honey glazed carrots. Probably not dishes that would be considered "must haves" for most, but definitely something it wouldn't be Thanksgiving or Christmas without in our home.

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