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A Legacy from the Kitchen

July 29, 2011

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My Granny Emma has always been my biggest fan. She was nine when she began to cook for her family (nine sisters and brothers, and her father). She is the type of Southern grandmother to stir “Granny envy”. She reported this week that she has “baked enough cakes, that if you stacked them up they would reach all the way to Heaven!” Fresh Apple Cakes, Mississippi Mud Cakes, Blackberry Jam Cakes…well, you get the idea. Cakes and food were taken to Baptist Church functions, grieving families, and friends with illness. A legendary cook in our small community to say the least.

In the past few years, she has developed Alzheimer’s disease, and her kitchen activity has slowed to a near halt. I have begun cooking with her as therapy. It has improved her overall quality of life and spurred her memory to some extent. This week she gave me one of my most treasured gifts ever…her recipe box! I brought it home and sat for hours, unfolding slips of paper and old envelopes that held the ingredients for all of her heirloom recipes. It was equally as exciting as any Christmas morning that I can remember! This box has inspired me to begin a journey cooking through its beloved recipes. I have already called and visited her multiple times this week with questions about them. Some, she was capable of helping me with. Others were too foggy to remember. While we studied her recipe for Chess Pie, she commented, “well that looks like my handwriting!” She didn’t remember ever making a Mountain Dew Cake at all. I can’t even begin to imagine how many of these cakes she has baked. I hope that this journey will inspire you to begin your own with your loved ones. These recipes are our memories, our gifts, and a link to our past. When my kitchen’s smell reminded me of my Granny’s this week, I had but one thought…it is well with my soul! Please stay posted for treasures to come! And to Granny Emma…thank you again, a million times over. And oh, I love you more! Gotcha!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 29, 2011 1:06 pm

    You definitely have a “treasure box” there. The handwritten recipes that I have from my mom, grandmothers and great aunt are a treasured link to their lives and a wonderful reminder of good family times.

    Nice post!

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