This weekend I spent a few hours combing through hundreds of recipes from my late grandmother. She was an excellent cook. Sifting through her recipes brought back memories of being in her kitchen and watching her cook. She taught me how to fold ingredients together to make a light fluffy cake, how to make a sauce, and pan gravy. She taught me so much, things I still benefit from.
My grandmother was such a wonderful, loving person, her cooking was just the icing on the cake. Every time I make one of her recipes, I know I am in some small way carrying on her memory. So, in preparation for Thanksgiving, I made her pumpkin pie. It calls for real-whole pumpkins – she was that kind of cook.
I was reading her recipe and reminded again of my grandmother’s gentle humble nature. The recipe is literally a list of ingredients with measurements. No directions, no how-to, just a list. In her humility she genuinely believed her cooking was so ordinary that anyone could do it. There was no need for step-by-step directions…why everyone knows how to make a pie and pie crust from scratch. She was so unassuming, she just thought if someone wanted her recipe, they just wanted to know what she used.
It is such a contrast to today’s society when everything is pre-made, boxed, and effort free. It is a hard transition to come from a place of buying pre-made items and adding water or just heat and serve to actually having to cook…with the ingredients in their natural state.
Although that transition can be difficult – it is possible, and I must admit the training I received in my early years has served me well. A good recipe, a few modifications to adjust for allergies or intolerances, opens up a world of freedom. Once a skill is learned it can be applied over and over again.
The really neat thing, the thing that humbles me the most, the little treasures my grandmother invested in me, I am now investing in the younger generation. I now have a little helper in the kitchen who I am showing how to make a pie crust and make pumpkin puree from scratch. In addition to the lessons I learned and am now passing on, I am also teaching about food allergies. Lessons in action about cross-contact, substitutions, etc, are now a part of what I am passing down.
This year, this season, I am thankful for those who invested in me. It takes time and effort to pour yourself into someone else simply for their benefit. I am blessed to have had many people in my life who loved me sacrificially and poured themselves into my life. Those moments have made it possible for me to flourish despite and through my food allergies.