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 upper and lower white metal cabinets which shared space with a stove and enamel sink under a window.
|Me in Grandma's kitchen 1965|
(on the back I wrote that I didn't want my picture taken
but Daddy chased me)
The opposite wall held a small refrigerator which fit into an alcove under the stairs that led to an upstairs apartment. 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. A stepstool next to the doorway to the dining room provided a resting spot close to the stove. That was all. Today’s homeowner wants COUNTERSPACE. There was none to speak of in Grandma’s kitchen. She did her prep work on that table.
|Picking crabs summer 1972|
Grandma, me, future hubby, and Momma cut off
ooh - check Barry's groovy watch
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 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 smell the aroma of tomatoes and green peppers in the Swiss steak bubbling away in the electric skillet.
|Grandma's tell-tale backhand slant shows she wrote|
her recipe for me. This is also her Jell-o book.
Crammed somewhere in the little refrigerator would be a dish of Jello salad. Grandma thought no meal was complete without Jello.
She 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.
The large Jewel Tea bowl was perfect for Grandma’s potato salad then. It’s perfect for her potato salad now. 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 and memorable dishes.
Amy Johnson Crow continues to challenge genealogy bloggers and non-bloggers alike to think about our ancestors and share a story or photo about them. The challenge is “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.”
© 2021, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.