My grandma Anna was an amazing woman. Before having 11 children, she followed her dream of getting a college degree from Berea College in Kentucky. Granted, she pursued a degree in Home Economics, but she was vocal about the necessity of an education.
One of my earliest memories of my grandma is when she came to visit my family while we lived in Florida. There was nothing she wanted to do more than to take her grandsons fishing. I remember sitting on the jetty in Port St. Lucie with her all day. I don’t remember catching anything, but I remember having an excellent time. After we left the jetty, she took my brothers and me to a Chinese restaurant. It was my first time eating Chinese food, and we gorged ourselves on fried rice and dumplings.
My grandmother was one of the hardest workers I’ve ever met. Because of this, she didn’t tolerate laziness. She passed her work ethic down to her kids, and I got my strong work ethic from my father. My dad says that I also got her temper, passion, and quick wit from her too.
My mother told me that she learned to cook from my grandmother. Apparently, my grandma was not happy that her oldest son married a woman who didn’t know her way around the kitchen, so she made sure to fix that. My mom says that she was offended at first, but is grateful that Anna took the time to teach her. My mother and I spend a lot of time cooking together now. In fact, I inherited a few of Anna’s cast iron skillets. I think of her every time I use it.
Today, I place a bobber on my altar and will prepare a meal of fried rice and dumplings using Anna’s skillets. I remember her and thank her for helping my mom to give me the love of cooking and for helping my dad to instill a strong work ethic into me. I’m also pretty stoked that she passed along her fiery nature to me.