Monday, January 23, 2017

Do these memories make this meal taste better?

Hello Momginerdians (Yeah, I just made that shit up...Let's start our own nerd revolution)!

So, recently I joined a facebook group dedicated to using cast iron skillets.  What is so special about that, you ask?  Well, for me it is because they are the same pans that I received from my grandmother.

 As many of you know who have been following me for a while, my childhood was, well, pretty much sucktastic.  But, the best parts were going in the summer to visit my Mamaw and Auntie down in the mountains of Virginia.  This lonely only child, who many times had oatmeal alone for dinner since my dad was always working, would have 3 square home cooked meals a day and a bunch of cousins to play with.

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 I was FASCINATED by my mamaw and aunt's cooking.  I mean, my mamaw could make perfect biscuits by hand without a rolling pin or round mold.  She would just pinch her hands together and each and every biscuit was perfectly round, brown, flaky and her cast iron skillet.

We would make homemade jams and jellies, fried apple pies, fried chicken (yeah, you get the picture...yummy fried deliciousness), macaroni and cheese, corn bread, chicken and dumplings...the list goes on an on....all in her cast iron pans. The skillets were as much an extension of her arms as they were her cooking vessels.

In later years my beloved Mamaw developed Alzheimers disease and the days of being awakened byt he sound of iron pans banging together were past.  My aunts and dad had the sad task of closing her household when she was no longer able to live alone.  The kindly asked all the grandkids what (if anything) they would like from her home.  I immediately knew I wanted at least one of her skillets.  I was fortunate enough to end up with 5 of them!  Some of them were in perfect condition, and some I had to give some TLC to bring back from oxidation and lack of use.  But, all were much appreciated and wanted by me.

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Made in the antique skillet
My joining the cast iron cooking FB page encouraged me to post a picture of a meal I was preparing for my family.  A pretty simple meal for a busy work/school night.  Sauteed cabbage with bacon and onions.  I served it with smoked sausage, and the minions had rolls too.   It went cast iron viral!  Almost 400 likes/shares/comments.  The popularity of the post got me to talk to my kids about it and tell them about my memories of my mamaw and her cooking and how every single time I cook with these pans I think about her.  Just the smell of the pans heating up bring back memories of my time with her.

The kids seemed impressed and enjoyed the stories.  I felt like mom of the year for not only preparing a home-cooked meal, but instilling a little family history at the same time.

We went about our business of cleaning/homework/gaming/etc.  Until about an hour later I heard my pans being shuffled around in the kitchen.  I went to investigate, only to find my offspring inspecting all my pans and negotiating for who gets which pan......when I die.

Me:  Well I am still using them, you know.
Princepessa: Well, we are just being prepared, you know you are OLD mom!
Me:  You get the ugliest one.

What type of family heirlooms do you have that have surprising meaning to you?


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