lessons from grandma: homemade and homegrown

Everyone’s made, grown, or created something at one point or another. In 5th grade, I successfully grew a Cosmos plant during a gardening unit. I believe I got an A-minus. I think there were a lot of politics involved, because that plant was perfect.

Growing up, I loved hanging out with my Grandma. She did it all. As a mother of four, school teacher, pianist/organist, soldier’s wife…. she was a pretty well-rounded gal. I was really lucky to be able to spend a lot of time at Grandma’s house, where she taught me a lot. Cooking, cleaning, and crocheting, mostly. Some of my favorite memories were from an early age when I was first able to “make” something. Personal favorite: chocolate chip cookies. Surprise… 🙂


Grandma Gladys had a wealth of homemaker knowledge under her belt (actually, I don’t think she wore a belt with her slacks) because she had to . Times were tight, and they had to tighten their belts (which was even harder, since she didn’t wear one). It was cheaper to make than to buy. Certain items were a luxury. To her kids’ occasional moans and groans and eyerolls, she made their clothes — they weren’t in style. But they were unique and made with love.


Fast forward 50 years…

I hesitate to call it a fad, but… right now it’s pretty cool to grow your own, make your own, knit, sew, build, brew your own everything. Some do it for political/activist reasons. Some want to be cool by being “uncool” and “not mainstream.” Some just like to make things.

I love it all. But bringing it back to food… seeing food as art is one thing. Seeing food as something you’ve created is something completely awesome. Whether you grew it in a garden, successfully duplicated a recipe, or decided to experiment and make something totally unique — cooking is creating.

Some are too quick to say “I can’t cook.” Not everyone was born just knowing how to cook. It takes time, patience, and persistence. I can’t tell you how many batches of cookies I’ve burned (it’s probably a good thing). I once almost completely ruined a breadmaker due to an unfortunate measuring miscalculation. Sorry mom and dad… 

But here I am today. I absolutely love cooking. It doesn’t always turn out perfectly, but when it does turn out, it’s really rewarding.

I’m inviting you to try to create something new this week. Plant a garden. Try a new recipe. Knit a scarf. Brew some beer. Anything. I guarantee that once you make something, you’ll get just a little bit hooked on it. 🙂


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