That is life with my grandmother. My grandmother on my mother’s side played a prominent role in my life. It seemed as if a lot of my growing up years were spent at my grandmother’s house, or Granny as I called her.
Granny was a working woman which was somewhat of a novelty in her time. My own mother quit work when I was born. Granny, however, worked out of necessity, as a cook. Since she loved to cook it was a well chosen profession. She was the head cook for the school cafeteria, a school which served all twelve grades. Although I love to eat now, in my growing up years I basically scorned food. I weighed in at eighty-five pounds during my junior year of high school. This was before anorexia. I wasn’t trying to be slim. I essentially hated eating. I had certain things I would eat so I was catered to in this regard in an effort to make me consume calories. I came from a long line of rubenesque women who just couldn’t relate. I was even then aware of the stress that I was causing them.
Part of Granny’s job was making out the school menu, which had to follow specific guidelines, of course in order to meet federal and state regulations. When you think back to the sixties and the ingredients in those oversize tin cans, along with massive amounts of white flour and sugar, it all seems like approving leeches for bloodletting for good health. I have to say though that my Granny could whip a sensational taste treat from all those non-organic packaged products of convenience.
Although I was too skinny to be considered for dating and quite shy, during the last two years of high school, my popularity moved up a few rungs on the ladder. This was due to Granny handing over the responsibility of letting me make out the menu for the cafeteria. She always had veto authority along with final approval. Also, my uncle, Granny’s son-in-law was principal at this time. I’m sure this decision was arrived at by consensus during some family meeting in which getting some fat on my bones was among the main topics.
Some of my favorites were meat loaf and mashed potatoes along with rolls. Granny made the best rolls. Students always went back for seconds. There would be pizza day, as well as sloppy joe day with fries. Chocolate oatmeal squares was a favorite dessert. I would take requests. I didn’t like macaroni and cheese but I would sometimes bestow a favor, if he was cute. I always saved the best for Friday’s dessert – cherry pie.
I’m thankful for the memories of Granny and her great cherry pie.