Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thinking about Dee

Last night Kristin and Izzy were here for dinner, and Izzy had her first official dinner with our family. Oh, she's been in the high chair at the table before, but last night she actually ate real people food from her own plate. She loved the roast beef, and held her spoon in the right hand while shovelling the mashed potatoes in with her left. And all the while was saying "Mmmmm, good". Our dinner last night was what Rod's family used to have for Sunday dinner. Dee (my MIL) would put a beef roast in the oven before church. She taught me to cook them low and slow -- which is all the rage now. Along with the roast there would be mashed potatoes, gravy, yorkshire pudding, and "grandma beans". What, you may ask, are "grandma beans". Well, one Sunday during dinner, one of the kids asked what the green beans with mushroom soup (never any french fried onions on top) were called, and Dee replied that they were Grandma Beans. And so they have been called ever since. Dee would have loved watching Izzy last night. And just like my kids and my other grandkids, Izzy decided that the sleeve of my shirt was better than any napkin.

Dee was a great cook, and made the best applesauce I've ever eaten. She would peel the apples and cook them til they were soft. Then she mashed them by hand, but left them very chunky. When no one was looking, she snuck a jar of prepared applesauce into the pan, and added cinnamon, a little sugar, and just a pinch of nutmeg. Everyone loved Dee's chunky applesauce and never guessed that it was just a way of doctoring up generic applesauce in an effort to stretch her food dollars. She loved to cook, and to teach others to cook. From the time the kids were little and could stand on a chair, she would give them pie dough or bread dough to play with as she showed them to roll pie crust or knead bread. An so, this morning as I raise my coffee cup, here's to you my beloved Dee. Thanks for teaching me all you did.

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