Mom has sold her home in Florida, moving back to Michigan to be nearer my sister and I. Part of the process is letting go of things she won’t need in her smaller senior apartment. Cupboard by cupboard, drawer by drawer, closet by closet, she’s offered my sister and I numerous items before donating them. Not unexpected, the items I feel most drawn to wouldn’t be of interest to others; sentimentality has played a large part in items that I’ve said yes to.
Mom’s Mixing Bowls
Her mixing bowls have seen better days. Once a vibrant green, blue, yellow and red, they’ve faded to a more “rustic” look. What I see are bowls used when mom made cookies and cakes, teaching me how to use a rubber spatula with my reward being able to lick off the batter. I fondly remember the large one brimming with bubbling casseroles of baked spaghetti on Sundays and Six Layer Dinner, my Grandma’s recipe. She taught me how to measure and follow recipes, sparking my love of cooking and nurturing it. These bowls were always present. Years later when I’d visit, those bowls appeared when she cooked a requested family favorite for me or we prepared something delicious together. Good times.
Grandpa Fox’s Knives
My love of food and cooking came from not only my Mom but her father as well. My Grandpa Fox found his passion and talent for cooking after a long illness in his forties that necessitated early retirement. Memories of his cooking make me salivate to this day. He was gifted in the kitchen and on the grill. His enjoyment was evident, his enthusiasm contagious and he loved feeding his family. So many memories – the aroma of his fried chicken wafting out the door giving us a preview before we entered. His veal scallopini for which he became a legend (now a recipe I’m known for). His homemade beans, made in a special sunken bean crock built into their stove lovingly stirred and coaxed along over what seemed like several days. His ham glaze and homemade peach jam – divine. His perfectly crispy hash browns made using a potato ricer, dusted with minced parsley from his garden, browned in butter then expertly flipped – in the air. His famous charcoal grilled, rotisserie chickens that drew neighbors to his yard in awe and to whom he offered “a peek for a nickel” (with a wink and twinkle in his eye). And then there’s his Lamb Stew, so beautiful that you wanted to photograph it, the pop of green peas, bright orange carrots and perfect pearl onions in a glistening rich gravy with chunks of melt-in-your-mouth lamb.
So when Mom asked if I’d like two of Grandpa’s stainless steel knives is it any wonder that I’d want to inherit those instruments used to create meals ingrained in my memory and so much a part of my happy childhood?