Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.
This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt made me think of kitchens. No kitchen holds as many memories as my Grandma Lucille Rucker Davis’s kitchen. It was a small box, 12’x12’ if that. Along one outside wall was the only set of cabinets made of white metal which shared space with a stove and sink under a window.
|Me in Grandma's kitchen 1965|
Written on the back: I didn't want my
picture taken. Daddy chased me!
The opposite wall held a small refrigerator which fit into an alcove under the stairs. In the middle of the room were a grey-white enamel kitchen table and 4 chairs with black vinyl seats. A metal appliance cart in the corner held an electric frying pan and a few choice baking dishes. But that was it. Today’s homeowner wants COUNTERSPACE. There was none to speak of in Grandma’s kitchen. She did her prep work on that table.
And Grandma did the cooking EVERY Sunday. EVERY Thanksgiving. EVERY Christmas. And whenever she felt like it. I inherited some of my grandmother’s dishes but not her ability to bang out a meal on demand. Whenever I reach for my grandmother’s Jewel Tea Autumn Leaf bowl, I am instantly taken back to her kitchen.
I can hear the cacophony of pots and pans as Grandma dug through the cramped lower cabinets, pots stacked precariously toppling over, lids crashing onto the floor, baking sheets and muffin tins being reassigned a new spot with every bang of a pan. (Today when my sister or I get a little noisy in the kitchen, we say, “Look out, Lucille!”)
I can still see the steam glistening on the glossy white walls. At times they seemed to actually sweat with the frenzy of meal preparation.
I can smell the aroma of tomatoes and green peppers in the Swiss steak bubbling away in the skillet.
Crammed somewhere in the little refrigerator would be a dish of Jello salad. Grandma thought no meal was complete without Jello.
|Grandma's recipe for Swiss Steak written in her|
distinctive back-slant and her Jell-o cookbook
The yellow Pyrex dish was perfect for Grandma’s potato salad then. It’s perfect for her potato salad now. (And because of Grandma’s recipe, we’re potato salad snobs. You won’t see us picking up potato salad at Sam’s Club to take to a covered-dish event.)
Grandma’s kitchen was a small room, but in it she created some big memorable dishes.
See what else is cookin’ at Sepia Saturday.
©2014, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.