“Write down your favorite memories of your grandmother” the pastor told us.
All six of us grand kids sat in another room of the funeral parlor coming up with our favorite memories. They ranged from a day at the ballpark to our yearly “camping cousins” trip at Clare-Mar Lakes. As we shared our memories, I wrote mine out in a top 10 list, not necessarily in any particular order.
The day of my grandmother’s funeral the Pastor read each of stories about our grandmother. A common theme had developed that left all of those listening curious. The last memory he read was my top 10 list, when he got to number one I remember him asking everyone if they had a guess what it was.
1. Grandma’s Macaroni & Cheese
It was perfect.
The noodles were always cooked just right on the inside, but if you were lucky enough to get the first scoop you got some crunchy noodles off of the top. It wasn’t too cheesy, but it still had a very strong flavor. There was just enough liquid to make it creamy but not too much that you were eating soup.
The noodles had to be the jumbo kind & the cheese had to be Velveeta. Let’s be honest, it was probably not the most healthy version of Mac & Cheese you’ve ever had.
Of course, you couldn’t forget the “black specks” as my cousin referred to them. In other words, it had just a hint of pepper throughout the dish.
My cousins and I would go through dish after dish of Grandma’s Mac and Cheese. It was by far the most requested food at each family gathering. Trips to visit almost always resulted in a
After the funeral, everyone asked our parents for the recipe.
We ran into one large problem
Grandma never wrote it down.
To this day, the recipe remains a secret. As we cleaned out her house, we looked through the recipes. Grandma’s Mac & Cheese recipe was never written down.
I’ve tried my best to recreate it, but it just doesn’t happen. Nothing will ever match her recipe. Some people have told me that it was probably meant to be that way. It’s a memory I’ll always have of a very specific food.
That doesn’t meant that I haven’t spent hours cooking different types of macaroni in hopes of figuring it out. It also doesn’t mean that I haven’t spent hours in tears over recipes that are “just not Grandma’s.”
15 years later I still remember exactly how it looks & exactly how it tastes.
One of these days I feel like we will come across a moment like Phoebe in Friends did when she discovered that Nestle Toll House was not her grandmother’s grandmother.
Until that day no Mac and Cheese will ever touch the taste of Grandma’s.
If you didn’t catch my first post, Rebecca from The Housewife Memoirs & I have challenged each other to keep up with a writing prompt from 1,000 Awesome Writing Prompts. Every few weeks we are choosing different prompts to challenge ourselves.
This week’s prompt was:
20. Food can be the gateway to great writing. Write about your favorite dish of all time. Make the food appear before your eyes with words.