At the age of ten, I entered the kitchen and asked gramma if I could use the potato peeler. With a wide smile on her face she handed it to me. I unwrapped a bar of Ivory soap, sat down at the kitchen table and shaved it into the form of a cross leaving the droppings all over the tabletop. She didn't appreciate my artistic endeavor.
After I cleaned up my mess, gramma handed me a bag of potatoes to peel without the peeler. I used a paring knife and made really long peelings. I loved the peelings which Aunt Addie mentioned if I would toss one over my shoulder, the letter it would form would indicate the first initial of my future husband's name.
The most common letter that it made was the letter "J". I knew that it stood for Jesus, as I would marry him when I joined the convent. (As it turned out I married a man named Jim.) When I found a P, Aunt Addie asked what that stood for I replied it stands for the Pope and when we married I would be the Popess. Aunt Addie laughed so hard, but Gramma shook her head and told Aunt Addie that she just encouraged my silly behavior. I guess, it did as I always had the full attention of Aunt Addie.
I asked gramma if she would teach me how to make her delicious bread. I picked a day when gramma wore a smile on her face. She got the flour, water, and yeast which we placed into a bowl of warm water to activate it.
When I heard the word "activate" I couldn't wait until it took off, but it never did. We mixed the ingredients and then kneaded the dough, a very hard job for a 10 year old to do.
After that we put it into a bowl and covered it to let it rise. I wanted to get it done quickly, so I put my bowl of dough on the hot radiator in the dining room, then went outside to collect the icicles which hung from the rain gutters to eat.
When I started to get cold, reentered the house and found the dough oozing out of the bowl down the side of the radiator. When gramma saw my dough, she ran back into the kitchen to get the wooden spoon.
I hated getting spanked with the wooden spoon and tried running around the table hoping she wouldn't catch me. She did. I figured out how a sixty-five year old could catch a ten year old, her legs were longer.
What goes around comes around. Our granddaughter Jordan loves to help in the kitchen. I only use the wooden spoon to stir. She will never get hit for helping out. If she goofs up so what, we are making memories and I want her to remember me as her happy grandmother, happy to have her with me.
I spoke to her on Tuesday, she will turn 19, the end of this month. I asked her what she wants and she replied, “Your molasses cookies” I have to get the ingredients and of course she will get them. I haven’t made them for the two years she’s been living in Texas. It isn’t fun to make cookies anymore but I will for her. I only hope that the delivery person doesn’t break them or worse…eat them.