Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cherries in Winter

        Suzan Colon’s wonderful memoir, Cherries in Winter, reminds us all of the indomitable connectedness of food and family.

        Even during depression era ‘hard times’ and the hard financial struggles we all face, food and its preparation is the glue that holds families together.

        A good story for me is a universal story-  a story that tickles my memory and brings forward childhood memories and invites me to think that the writer and I have something wonderful in common. 

        In the case of Cherries in Winter, I had my fill.

I now feel like Suzan Colon and I are friends.

        I was reminded that-

*As my father often says to me about our family’s love of food and eating 

        “You came by it honest.”

*That I was mesmerized as a child to see that a distant relative in Port Lavaca, Texas baked so much she stored her flour and sugar in metal trash cans in the kitchen. Truth be told I was also fascinated by the seashell driveway and the crunching sound it made.

*That my mother became a wonderful cook because every day after school in Kingsville, Texas she walked home and ‘started supper’ because her mother (my grandmother) was still at work at the dry cleaners they owned.

*That as a young wife, having a butchered, packaged side of beef as a gift from my parents made me feel flush.

*That the ability to make delicious, smooth, perfectly textured and seasoned giblet gravy, cream gravy, and brown gravy is an art. The women in my family have that artistic touch.

*That women in my family, and the women in Ms. Colon’s family, could make something from nothing, could feed the multitudes, and still have something to send home with company.

*And that the words, ‘supper’s ready’ or ‘come fix your plate’ are calls of love .


Join us at Lisa’s wonderful blog Hospitable Pursuits and join her book club. I can’t wait to hear what the next book is.



Nancy's Notes said...

Food and Family...what a special post. Your comment about delicious, smooth, perfectly textured and seasoned cream gravy being an art, just brought back a very special memory of my precious daddy. He taught me how to make cream gravy! I'll never forget the day, it's etched in my heart.

Your posts are always thought provoking and special.

Jenny said...

What a beautiful and descriptive post. Although you did make me a bit hungry.

June said...

LOVE, LOVE,LOVE this Laura. Most of my memories as a child and a young mother myself, centers around food and mealtime. My mother, an amazing cook, taught her daughter (me) to cook up the most wonderful comfort foods for my own family. I baked something everyday and prepared the meals we ate that day. With six children, I baked bread three times a week and yes I bought my flour by the 25 pound bag and even then it didn't last. Cookies were baked daily and eaten after school with milk fresh from the bulk tank (we milked sixty cows for fifteen years) . I hope my children have fond memories of our times spent around the table eating, talking, eating, talking.
Thank you so much for making me remember tonight, I had forgotten how much I loved cooking for my family.

trash talk said...

Now I really feel connected to you because my memories seem to be tangled with yours. "Starting supper" and cream gravy are two of my favorite memories. My grandmother would stand at the stove for what seemed like an hour, stirring her gravy until it was shimmering. I have yet to have gravy that good since she left us 10 years ago...that and her fried chicken.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Great post - Thanks! Like someone else said "food and family".

Julie Harward said...

Food...amazing what a huge role it is in our lives, for good and bad! In my role as a mom with 8 kids, I did a lot of cooking. I was so glad that my mom taught me how to cook. She was a wonderful cook, I have often (in the days of Martha Stewart) wondered, how is it that my mom knew all that, and I am so grateful that she taught me! Now, girls refuse to even learn and most want the husband to work and be the cook at home too! I think many young women don't know even the basic today!

donna baker said...

Love that, Laura.

Lisa said...

I love your family's food legacy and I love that you are adding your own chapters. (Taking a spiral ham to the nephew's game! Future generations will sure get a hoot out of that.) This is such a lovely heartfelt post, as all of your posts are. You are a gifted writer and a most cherished bloggy friend. Thank you for joining the Club. :)

Theresa said...

Food! Much of what we do revolves around FOOD! What a lovely memory "supper's ready"! That was a gathering time for us as kids and breakfast too. My Mom was the best cook ever and she made every meal like a piece of heaven! Have a blessed day!

trish said...

What a special way to remember your past. :o) I really enjoyed the book too. And though I don't have a lot to offer from my past, I am currently taking steps with each passing day to leave for my own family a "memory". :o)
Food is such a fun way to bring our family together and create life lasting memories. :o)
Have a nice day.

Debbie's Garden said...

Such a heart warming story. I think everyone has memories of cooking with a Grandmother or Mother. I'd love to go back in time and have my kids in the kitchen with me for a day.
When they were very small the last ingredient we'd add to everything was "love". They'd get on a chair and we'd blow kisses into the pots of what was cooking.

Rebecca Nelson said...

I love cooking for my family.

Fabulous post as usual. I must get this book.

Love to you girly~


Suzan Colon said...

Hi Laura,
Thank you for such a wonderful review of my book, and for sharing your beautiful family memories. I feel like we're friends too! Many thanks to you and all who commented; what a wonderful, warm connection to make on a snowy day.
All the best to you and yours,
Suzan Colon
Author of "Cherries in Winter"

Domestic Designer said...

Sounds like a wonderful book. I am going to put this on my list. Have a great day!

Stacey said...

Laura, can you believe Suzan Colon left a comment? She did at my blog too. I feel like I've had a brush with a famous person. How do you think she found us?

Deb said...

you know my hubby and I were talking about the great memories of family dinners....we've decided that is what is wrong with todays society...not enough family dinners..too much eating on the run...

Linda@Coastal Charm said...

Great post...I must add this one to my list! Hope you have a FUN weekend!


Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Laura, your family sounds so much like mine. Times have changed so much and yet not at all.
My daughter cooks for the multitudes just like I used to and my mother used to and sends food home with everyone! It's amazing!
This Sunday is another big dinner. Grandson's 21st birthday! I LOVE my family!
I loved this post!
Seashells in the driveway? :) Now that really did make me smile.
We used large metal drums for flour and sugar too because that way the rats couldn't get into it.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

p.s. I'm painting my lovely oak coffee table's time!! :)

Queen "B" said...

Aloha, as always a wonderful post! great reminders of food and Family, honesty is still a corner stone in my book, awesome Dad!
sending warm Hawaii sunshine

Simple Home said...

What a wonderful post. I've never mastered giblet gravy, it is an art. Here in California, I think I'm the only person who still says "supper", so I always love reading that others still do.
Have a great weekend.

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