My grandmother’s wooden dough bowl, filled with small one-ounce bags of chips, sits on my kitchen counter. In Beatrice’s kitchen, it would never have been used as a receptacle for food. Why? Because it was so often in use. After all these decades, I can still see the flour literally showering the red formica countertop as she made those mouth watering “angel biscuits.” They were SO GOOD! 

I’m somewhat embarrassed to say that this much used bowl was hidden away in a cabinet until a couple of weeks ago. One of the Relief Society leaders asked several of us to bring a special object that had belonged to an ancestor and to speak about the relative and the heirloom. My only challenge was deciding what object and which ancestor! I finally decided on the dough bowl because of the connection (in my mind at least) between nourishment for the body and nourishment for the soul, both of which were found in her home, especially around the round oak dining room table. What a phenomenal cook she was. Whether it was biscuits, roast beef, fried fish, or peanut brittle, Beatrice had a gift.

Unfortunately, I must not have inherited a “cooking gene.” Nonetheless, my grandmother is part of me. When my son left for his two-year mission, I pulled him aside for one last little “mom talk” in which I reminded him of who he was and told him that wherever he went, he would take all of his forefathers and mothers with him. “You have their DNA,” I said. “They live on through you.” With all the maturity of a nineteen year old, he said, “It’s the same with you, Mom.” Hmmm. How’d he get so smart?

Paul was right. My grandmother and I are linked across generations. You might look at me and see Jayne, but others live within me. And as Paul said, “It’s the same with you.”

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