Friday, March 21, 2014

Grandma's Kitchen and Family Gatherings
Grandma also had a coal cook stove in her kitchen. The kitchen was always warm and cozy in the winter and almost sweltering in the summer. The coal bucket with it small shovel, sat to one side. Four round lids fit into holes to form the flat cook top. Beneath that was the oven, its heavy door sealed the heat in for Grandma to bake bread, rolls, pies, and cookies. Beef, chickens, and turkeys roasted inside, coming out flavorful and juicy. Homemade noodles thick and delicious cooked on top of the stove.
Her kitchen always had a pan for scraps that would be fed to the chickens or hogs. Coffee grounds and egg shells were placed in another to enrich the garden soil. Washed plastic bags hung from a string as they dried before they were folded and stored for use later. Empty plastic, whipped topping bowls were saved to send leftovers home with family members.
In the winter, especially at family gatherings, Grandma’s front porch became an expansion of her refrigerator. Foodstuffs were cached there until they were needed for the meal and for storage of the leftovers. The edibles were placed in rows beside the milk delivery box.
Grandma had a small pink enamel ware kettle with a lid. It was the container that she usually made Jell-O in to gel. At one gathering, the pink kettle held orange Jell-o with sliced bananas dancing in the gelatinous ballroom.
One of my cousins mistakenly identified the kettle as a similar potty that she used at home in her toilet training. The little kettle was retrieved for the meal. When the lid was lifted, two tiny logs were floating on the surface. My grandmother said, “I am grateful that she went number two or we would never have known.”

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