I am just getting back from a long weekend away from home – my parents and I traveled together to my cousin’s wedding in Springfield, Missouri (does every state have a Springfield?). It was a family reunion, of sorts, and it was good to see most of my aunts and uncles and some of my cousins. Our family is too big for everyone to be able to make it, but there were still a crowd of us (we missed everyone who wasn’t able to come!).
Rich and Calvin had work and school, so I played carefree woman for a few days while they held down the fort at home. They survived, though it meant a lot of eating out (they didn’t complain about that) and almost missing the school bus in the morning. I think (hope!) they are glad to have me back.
I took the chance to talk to my aunts and uncles about their childhoods and my grandmother’s cooking. I wish I had recorded more of the stories with my phone (thanks for the suggestion, Uncle John!), but there will be other visits. I have asked my dad about what he remembers about his mother’s cooking, and he has plenty of stories, but it is always good to hear other perspectives and memories. It also makes for some lively conversations when the siblings’ memories don’t agree.
Dad had told me about his mother’s method of mixing biscuits – she did everything by feel – no measuring – and mixed them totally with her hands, even after she added the milk. And she could put together a batch of biscuits for her large family in about five minutes. My aunt told me what she remembered; adding more details, but the method was pretty much the same in her version. She told me that Grandma made biscuits every day of the week until they bought a country grocery store and moved away from the farm.
I need to make a project of it and call my aunts and uncles in turn to get their different memories of Grandma’s cooking and their growing up years in general. It is a large, spread-out family and the older ones definitely have different memories than the babies of the family. There will always be new stories I haven’t heard, but you better believe that I am going to start collecting them in earnest before more are forgotten.
It was a nice few days of extended family time with lots of time to catch up – at least for those of us not in the wedding party. The wedding was beautiful, the days of visiting were fun and we were sorry to leave (which is always a sign of a good party).