Saturday, January 16, 2010

My Magic Pot

This Dutch oven seems to always been a part of my home. My mom swears it was my grandma's but I have no recollection of anyone giving it to me. It is obviously very old so it could have belonged to my grandma. I guess I know in my heart it was her Dutch oven I just wish I could remember how I got it!

My inspiration for this blog is symbolized by this pot but its origin really goes back to my grandma. My grandma was one of those people who gave her love fully and unconditionally. When I was with her I knew I was loved and each of my cousins (about 50 of us) knew that special connection. I feel so bad that many families are no longer geographically close and don’t know what they have lost out on.

I did not know my grandma as a cook. She did not cook for us when we visited. When we had family gatherings, every one brought a dish. She was known for a few special dishes – fried chicken and strawberry cake but I can’t remember her as serious cook. She gave birth to ten children. One died at birth and the remaining nine more or less raised each other. My grandfather left her for another woman fairly early in their married life so grandma worked long, hard hours to put a roof over the heads of her children and food on their plates.

The roof changed often. It was very hard to find places that would rent to such a large family. Often a child or two lived with other relatives so the rest of the family could have a roof. The fatherless family ate a lot of what I call survival foods. Bread and gravy was a common dinner in their childhood home. Meat was rarely seen.

Back to the pot. What is interesting about this pot is that everything that goes in it comes out tasting absolutely wonderful! Is it the cook or is it the pot? I believe it is the pot. I mean I love to cook. It is one of the ways I show my family my love for them. My meals are filled with the flavor of life and love – and layers of seasoning! Grandma couldn’t stay at home to show her children and show them just how much she loved them. She was out working literally from dawn to dusk. Her family had to sacrifice to survive - the closeness most children know with their mothers just could not be due to a broken home. Grandma had a second chance with her grandchildren and she showed me how to love others with her unconditional love. Now, in my own way, I use her Dutch oven – my magic pot – to pass on some of the love.

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