Tuesday, March 4, 2008


While The Greasy Skillet is primarily a way to share my passion for food, I also want it to be a way to preserve family memories that I cherish. These writings will be of little interest to most outsiders, but I still feel compelled to record them in my blog. I feel a sense of urgency in recording these stories because I know that memories fade, and while I’m only 38-years-old and I approach life with a youthful exuberance, I know that my days are numbered. I’m passionate about recording these stories because they’re a tribute to my family, and I hope my great-grandchildren will someday read these words.

I worry and stress about perfectly preserving these memories. Since these are snapshots of individuals I love and respect, I want the words to do them justice. Using words to express love and respect is challenging, and this has kept me from putting pen to paper for a long time. I’ve decided to quit worrying about this. Even though I might come up short, I’ll continue to write because I know that it’s an act of love. Later on down the road, I’ll look back at these words and be thankful that I took the time to write them down.

I was blessed to have all of my grandparents play major roles in my life. Each left indelible marks on my identity, and I’m grateful for every moment they spent with me. This past January my grandfather passed away, so I thought I’d take some time to reflect on some of my favorite food memories involving my grandfather.

  1. Grandpa always appreciated good food. My grandma mentioned that even when Grandpa’s health deteriorated, he never lost his appetite. Regardless of the meal my grandma would prepare, he’d look at my grandmother and say, “Mom, that sure was good meal.” My grandfather was one to always acknowledge a good meal.
  2. In the summer when I stayed with my grandparents, evenings weren’t complete until we polished off a bowl of ice cream or popcorn while listening to the Kansas City Royals on the radio.
  3. About once a year, I would get together with my grandparents and make donuts. The donuts were already rising by the time I arrived. My grandmother would fry the donuts, and I was responsible for glazing the donuts. My grandfather was known for creating devices to make jobs or tasks go more smoothly, created a stainless steel contraption to assist me in the glazing.
  4. My grandfather had quite a sweet tooth, so he always had a dish full of Brach’s Candy purchased from the grocery store in Overbrook.
  5. I spent a lot of time at my grandparent’s place in the country, and in the summer it was common to have weenie roasts. This was quite the ritual, and I plan on writing about it in more detail later. My grandfather taught me how to choose a good weenie roastin’ stick. Later grandpa fabricated permanent roasting sticks out of some aluminum scrap metal.
  6. My grandpa could artfully spread more jam or jelly on a biscuit than anyone I’ve ever known and not appear gluttonous.

Some would say that with the passing of my grandfather, there’s a hole in my life. All I see are mountains.

Keep on the Sunny Side,


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