Saturday, November 08, 2014
The mourning of things passed.
I mourn the passing of the "classic" grandmothers, schooled in kitchens redolent with spices and culinary magic. Bradbury wrote of such in "Dandelion Wine". I have a treasure-trove: my grandmother's cookbooks AND her recipe file cards! I remember cookie-sheets filled with toasted pecans at Christmas-time. Cheese biscuits, fruit cakes, tiny mini-muffin fruitcakes. Humdingers. Crystalised grapefruit peel.
Summer had squash and onions, stewed tomatoes, boiled okra (a travesty, like eating a cold), an amazing fresh cold relish of diced tomatoes, green peppers, and onions in vinegar, outstanding with blackeyed peas! Fresh corn on the cob, wonderful corn OFF the cob! Fried chicken! FRESH BISCUITS! Winter was filled with mason jars full of the summer's bounty! And all, ALL prepared by my grandmother, and Louila, the wonderful black lady who helped her around the house.
I cannot see this being continued this generation. Women are taught to find fulfillment in a cubicle, filling forms and doing PowerPoint, rather than being the provider of miracles from garden and kitchen. Food comes from boxes, pouches and cans, now, pre-measured, pre-seasoned, virtually pre-digested. The government's tax levels require both husband and wife to work, yet they cannot get by beyond the basics. There will be no miraculous grandmothers ere long. Cereal for breakfast, Swanson for dinner, Michelle's Menu for school lunch.
No time. "Lovin' from the Oven" is canned biscuits.
I weep. I mourn.