I am Logan’s grandmother, Nanny.
My roots are southern. The deep-south kind of southern where sweet tea and fried foods abound. Where hospitality is synonymous with eating, so the more you feed people, the better hostess you must be. My generation did not have a “Clean Plate Club”. The expectation was that you put some of everything on your plate, and you ate it all. Our family did not have separate dinners for the kids and the adults, my parents and two younger brothers ate the same thing, around the same table, without the television serving as a distraction. We had dinner conversations.
Forgive me if I paint an idyllic picture, it wasn’t really; we had plenty of fights and getting sent away from the table to our rooms with no opportunity to return. Although I developed a taste for calves liver and onions, I don’t think my youngest brother ever did. My mom had good recipes, but I wouldn’t say that she was really savvy in the kitchen. I would walk a mile for my mom’s fried okra and green tomatoes, and she makes a mean meatloaf, but if you want toast for breakfast you best volunteer to make your own unless you like it as black as your coffee.
What I took from my mother’s kitchen is a love for other people loving food that I have prepared. It became important to me for others to enjoy what I prepared. Since Logan’s grandfather, King, prefers simple foods, without sauce or gravy, I had my work cut out for me. I discovered early in our marriage that my ace was a crumb top apple pie. I later discovered that a fried chicken dinner, complete with homemade mashed potatoes would come in second to the pie.
Since I loved to feed people, it made sense that I would make my own baby food for Logan’s Dad and his twin brother, and then later their younger brother. Each night I would cook an extra vegetable, and puree it in my food processor while I was preparing dinner for the people with teeth. Those veggies were portioned into ice cube trays, then frozen until the next night when they were popped out to make room for the vegetable du jour. My young sons were introduced to vegetables that Gerber didn’t seem to know about, and they liked them all. Very early on they were eating cauliflower, brussel sprouts, beets, spinach, as well as standard favorites like green beans, carrots and sweet potatoes.
Now, I have two adult sons who have families of their own, and they seem to have found the joy in sharing their cooking talents with those they love. Lucky me!!