My Gramma’s Cooking (part 1)

I grew up thinking every southern grandma cooked like mine. Boy, was I wrong. πŸ˜‚β€οΈ

My grams was a mountain of a woman in more ways than just her physical appearance. Although she was huge by most people’s standards, well in excess of 400 lbs for most of my childhood, to me she was the closest thing to a safe haven I’d ever known. I would crawl up into her lap and it was like I was enfolded in softness and love. Also the scent of Lysol, the shrimp factory and gold dial soap. That really weird combination of smells was my grams. She worked in the shrimp factories in Biloxi my whole childhood. They were really some serious bullshit but that’s a different story. She would wash her clothes in a old wringer washing machine that was on her back porch. God I can see it like yesterday. She used Lysol in a small brown bottle to wash her clothes. She said to get the smell out. It never did. It just melded and morphed into a smell of its own. My grams always used gold dial soap. Again she said to get rid of the smell of the factory. So she smelled like my grams. Warm, soft and weird. πŸ˜‚

I’d wake up and it’d be the wee hours of the morning still cool because it gets fucking hot in Biloxi in the summer time. She’d be sitting on the side of the bed all dressed, her hair pinned up and covered with the soft spidery whiteness of a hairnet. She’d whisper to me that she was leaving and would kiss me on the forehead. I never heard my grandmother creak a single floor board in her house and her house was ancient. It was like she somehow levitated slightly above the floor because no one else could walk in the house without it creaking to high heaven. My grams had a special kind of magic.

My grams married my grandps under some extremely suspicious circumstances to be sure! πŸ˜‚ I’m positive there’s some fatal attraction shit happening way back then. Her first husband died in a odd drowning accident and then she straight away married my grandps. Oh and she was pregnant with my mom! πŸ˜‚ I don’t know but my mom and I used to do the math and just laugh. My grams was silent on the matter though. My grams was silent on alot of thongs. Anyways my grandps was from Louisiana. He was Cajun through and through and he was a shrimper. He was also a alcoholic and a gambler but that is also a different story.

My grams cooked Cajun food for my grandps and god it was the best food I’ve ever put in my mouth. Everyone in our family was in awe of my grams talent at the stove. Gumbo? Oh sweet lord, not that weird shit they call gumbo nowadays but real Cajun seafood gumbo. The kind that literally took all damn day to cook. The roux alone seemed to take forever. She’d patiently stand at that stove, sweat pouring off her in rivers and she’d stir and stir and stir the roux. Hell I’d run off to play or when I was older to read and I’d comeback and she’d still be stirring the roux. I was always like, Why??? Of course now I know why. Then she’d add the seasoning and the house went from smelling like browned flour to absolute heaven. Those aromatics hit that blazing hot roux and you could smell it for blocks! I can smell it right now. Mmmhhhhhhh. And so that was my grams. Big, soft, cathead biscuits, gumbo, the best red beans and rice and a weird smell. She cooked for my grandps. She cooked for her family. She would get up in the middle of the night, defrost a whole frozen chicken under running water and fry it at 3 am because we had drove up from Florida and she never batted a eye. It was just what you did for family. Sometimes if I don’t think about all the other things, I miss my grams. I miss the grams I had before I grew up enough to know anything else. That grams, the grams who smelt funny and was soft and warm and cooked. That’s grams, was pretty fucking awesome.πŸ’•