Traditions and Recipes

(Birthday girls get birthday pie in the South)

Last night I made some pies for a rehearsal dinner. Every time I make pies now, it reminds me of my granny. She was the pie queen. Every single crust of hers was perfectly thin and flaky. Just enough of the filling would soak in to make it delicious and worth every calorie. Like most Southern cooks, she never measured; she just felt the give the mixture gave to let her know if more milk, sugar, etc. might be needed. It never mattered. They came out just right each time.I wish I had that talent. I, on the other hand, have scoured over a dozen recipes my granny had written down (just for chocolate meringue pie) to try to find one that remotely tastes like my granny’s did. Before she passed away, I had her try some, and she gave me pointers for improving it – let the crust bake for about 90 seconds longer, increase the temperature about 15 degrees. Suggestions like these. About six months before she passed away, she gave me the approval. But, truthfully, I think she said it to be nice. No pie could ever touch hers.

My mother-in-law has always joked that if someone asks for her recipe, she gives it to them with a minor alteration. Maybe a slight measurement change or missing an ingredient that isn’t vital to the dish. She said that way people think, “Hmmm, it just isn’t quite as good as when Jane Smith made it.” However, I truly believe that it never is the same anyway. Recipes keep memories alive. Sometimes that right bite takes us back to our granny’s house, with a window AC unit, open windows in the kitchen that had simple white curtains blowing in the summer breeze, our bare feet on the laminate flooring and the perfect creamy bite of chocolate meringue pie in our month. No earthly mansion could compare to the paradise we experienced in that moment. No need for keeping up with the Joneses, as we had something they never would – a pie made with love from arthritic hands and a beautiful heart.

Although I’m missing my granny a lot lately, I’m so thankful for every memory I had with her and the recipes I get to share with Katherine and Grant. I hope you have plenty of memories like these, as well. If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comment section. Let’s keep the memories alive.

As always, thank you for reading!

 

Guest Post: Mother’s Day…for the Non-Mother

I’m excited to bring you Freaky Friday again! Today’s Guest Post is by Kayla Price Mitchell, who blogs at www.kaylaprice.com about cooking, crafting and the fun she has along the way! Here is her post on Mother’s Day…for the Non-Mother

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I grew up with three amazing parents: my dad, my mom, and my Aunt E. Aunt E saved me from many a spanking, she rubbed my back until I fell asleep, she picked me up from elementary school at 3:30 p.m. everyday, she taught me to crochet, craft and draw.

Aunt E gave me raw potatoes and lots of treats. She cooked for our family on most nights, so I must have gotten my love of cooking from her (my mom was not a fan of cooking).

Mother’s Day has always been a day that we celebrated my mom and my Aunt E. Both women are now gone, but I do think of each of them on this day. I am appreciative to both women for teaching me to be a strong, independent woman.

Now, life has repeated itself. I am an aunt and a step-mom, but not a mom in the traditional sense. I have never been one for being traditional, so it is fitting.

My nephew always gives me a card, takes me to lunch, and all the other things he does for my sister. He makes me feel like a queen (and a mom). I appreciate that he thinks of me on these special days.

When he was born, my sister was very ill and had to be taken to Dallas for emergency care. My nephew had a breathing issue, so he needed around the clock monitoring. Aunt E and I took care of him together so that my parents and brother-in-law could be with my sister. We three bonded.

Life isn’t always traditional or clear cut. Sometimes we are blessed with moms who did not give birth to us, but cared for us as if we were their own.

Do you have women in your life who took care of you as a mother would take care of a child? It might be a dad who filled the role of a mom as well. It might be your best friend’s mom or even a special teacher. Whoever it was that made or makes you feel safe, loved and cared for, please don’t forget them on Mother’s Day.

A card, flowers, phone call and/or visit is all it would take to make that person feel appreciated, remembered and loved. And, as we get older, that is all we really want from this world.

To all the non-moms out there who are caring for a young person as if they were their own, Happy Mother’s Day! To me, it is so special to be a mom and also to choose to be a mom.