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little pieces of home

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In a matter of minutes, I  turned this:

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into this:

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Well, by a matter of minutes, I mean about 30.  Or 35?  Anyway, I cut it into such tiny pieces that it cooked much quicker than I was expecting.

Is it wrong that I still ate it?

I’ll pretend you said no.  What’s a little extra carbon, right?  Right??

In addition to my vegetable charcoal bites, I had some Kashi rice pilaf and these little guys:

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These were on sale at Publix, and I was curious.  I crisped them up in the oven (um, along with my “crispy” broccoli), added a dollop of red sauce and some parm.  Verdict?  I liked ‘em!

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In addition, I had this fella:

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Ohhhhhh man.  This was good!  Probably one of my favorite Great Divide beers thus far in my cheap Great Divide beer stash.  (FYI, I got these 6-packs for just $4.99.)  And see that butternut peeking around the corner?  Can’t wait to slice and dice and EAT him later this week.  Squash is on sale for 99 cents a pound!

In other news, my kitchen saw a new addition tonight.

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When I was a little girl, my grandparents (my dad’s parents) lived right across the street.  My granddad was a diabetic, but there were always sweet treats on hand:  Neopolitan ice cream, butter cookies, and Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies.  My grand kept them in this bread box in the pantry.

My grandfather passed away suddenly from a massive heart attack in 1998, when I was 12.  My dad and his sister continued to take care of my grandmother, who was in relatively good shape for a while.  In 2006, she became increasingly more forgetful, misplacing things, losing her glasses, and forgetting her medicine.  Following an incident with the gas stove, my father decided they would have to keep a closer eye on her.

It finally became clear that she was slowly suffering the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.  I feel for anyone with a relative going through this.  It was so painful to watch her struggle and to witness her memory slipping away.  She was helpless, a prisoner in her own mind.  After three short (yet still so long) years, she died in 2009.  She grew angry, resentful; she couldn’t even remember how to eat.

I miss her a lot, but I miss her the way she used to be.  I still remember slurping down those cold ice cream cones on the back porch, breaking tips off the aloe plants to slather onto my sunburns.  And I remember the Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies 🙂

As my parents are preparing my grandmother’s house to be sold, we’ve been taking out her things, picking out things to keep and others to donate to the EBA.  Back before she got sick, she lent me her tea kettle.

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I still have it, and I’ll always think about her every time I use it.  This weekend, I asked my dad if I could have the bread box.  With his permission (and my aunt’s), I brought it back to my apartment, to fill with my own snacks.

I’ve taken a few other of her things:  a candy dish, a cookie jar, some brooches.  I can’t believe she’s been gone over a year, but no sadness I feel now can ever compare to the pain I felt for her when she was alive, so confused and always begging my dad, who she often mixed up with my grandfather, to take her home.

Do you have anything in your kitchen that reminds you of your family, or that belonged to a relative?

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5 responses »

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention little pieces of home « that's what summer said. -- Topsy.com

  2. I’m so sorry about your loss.

    I have my grandmother’s teapot on display. I have one of my other grandmother’s paintings on the wall. They bring so many happy memories.

    Reply
  3. I dont really have anything that was passed down to me now that I think of it… but I bet they serve as great memories.

    Reply
  4. I love this. Holding onto things that ignite such strong memories from childhood is one of the best things in life. While I don’t have a lot of things from my grandparents, there are certain dishes and snacks (just like you) that evoke times passed.

    Reply
  5. I’m so sorry, Summer. I lost my grandmother 2 years ago and it’s still rough. However, I do have little pieces of her around. She gave me 3 coffee cups when I got married. THey were just some she had always had in her kitchen, but I remember always loving them because they were hers. The day I got married, she gave me a handmade handkerchief that was my great grandmother’s. I keep it in my wallet to this day. I have I also have her copy of the North Gadsden Community cookbook, the one she wrote in and made notes in about her own recipes, a picture of her with Paula Deen, and all the letters she wrote Lance when he was deployed. Those things are some of the most precious things I have.

    Reply

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