I don’t have too many memories of my granddad–My dad’s father. He passed away shortly after I turned 14, and I was maybe 12 or 13 the last time I saw him. I remember us saying goodbye to my grandparents and the elevator door in their condo building closing and I had a brief thought that I would never see him again. Sadly, I was right. I remember too when my mom told me he’d died–I’d gone to the mall with some friends that night and she came to talk to me when I got home.
I remember bits and pieces, and I have stories that other family members have told me. Like the time my sister and I were eating ice cream and she started to lick the bowl (I think she was 2 and I would’ve been 5). My dad snapped at her to stop it and took her bowl away. My granddad took the bowl from him, handed it back to her, and told her to go ahead. Or the time when I was around 2 or 3 and barked at him because he skipped a page in my favorite book (I couldn’t yet read but I’d been read it enough I had the story memorized). I do recall that I liked eating at the table with him…I’m generally a slower eater than the rest of my family, and I remember meals would usually end with my granddad and I sitting there, still munching away. My dad later told me he suspected my granddad did that to be a good host and not leave anyone alone at the table. His family is where our “famous” Crackers & Gravy comes from–It is exactly as the recipe name suggests. Crushed-up saltines mixed with beef, chicken, or pork gravy. It’s a Depression-era recipe–Potatoes were too expensive, so they stretched the meal out with crackers and gravy. I suspect the breakfast I remember him eating once or twice while visiting was the same–Crumbled cornbread in a glass of milk. As I made some blue cornbread the other night, I decided I’d make that as well, although I went a little more “luxurious” and used warm cream instead of milk.
The blue cornbread adds a fun twist on the traditional yellow cornbread. And the family memories are a nice bonus, even if they’re so few and far between.