January 15, 2010

The Sister in the Kitchen

I’m the oldest of seven kids and that’s just from my mom. My dad remarried and had some more but for this story we’ll just focus on the ones my mother gave birth to.

There are five girls and two boys. Looking at old pictures it became clear that I’m always in the kitchen or taking care of kids and they aren’t always my children either. We hardly have any pictures of me posing and actually looking at the camera. In one I’m grabbing one of my sister’s baby’s arm before she tumbles off the couch while her mother smiles for the photo. I won’t say which one but if you were in my family I wouldn’t have to tell much more than that for you to figure out exactly which sister.

You have a poser in every family. I don’t mean the modern definition of that word, which is a fake person. I’m talking about the ones always smiling and hamming it up when a camera is present. My oldest son is one of them. I can remember him running over if someone was taking a picture of me, “I don’t want you to be lonely in the picture, Mama.” He’s such a thoughtful child.

Then you have the one that doesn’t want their picture taken and they try to hide. I didn’t purposely hide I was just busy. Someone had to feed the kids and make sure the little one didn’t take a nosedive off the sofa.

Some of y’all may remember the story about the two sisters in the Bible; one was in the kitchen cooking while the other one was sitting on the floor listening to Jesus tell stories. I’m pretty sure I’d be the sister in the kitchen. I couldn’t let Jesus go hungry after all. Telling stories is thirsty work so he’d need his wine glass kept full.

It always amazed me how some of them wouldn’t even think about food until the kids started whining about being hungry. I had it figured out hours before the dinner hour.

I wonder how much I’ve missed being in the kitchen? One time the family was telling a story and I asked, "When did that happen?” One of my sisters said, “You were probably in the kitchen. That’s where you always are.”

I was worried my house might smell like my Boston Terrier during a family gathering and asked one of my sisters about it. She said my house always smells like food and she didn’t smell anything else. I guess I don’t need to burn any incense then, I’ll just whip up a batch of cookies.

Oddly enough, most of my sisters are terrible cooks and don’t enjoy it. One of my sisters tries but just never got the hang of it but at least they know what’s going on.

I come from a long line of good cooks it just seemed to miss my mother and sisters. If you’ve ever read an Oklahoma newspaper and seen a column by Melba Lovelace, she’s my cousin.

When my great Aunt Ollie passed a way an in law grabbed several of her cookbooks thinking to find her secret recipes hidden between the covers. I just laughed. Most of her recipes weren’t written down but were in her head. I was lucky enough to learn many of them.

For years I didn’t think cooking was any big deal and thought anyone could do it. I just thought people were lazy if they didn’t cook but apparently there is more to it than that. There really are people who just can’t get the hang of it no matter how many lessons they have. This became evident when I’d give people a recipe and it didn’t turn out. One of my sisters thought I purposely changed the recipe so she couldn’t copy it. I went over it step by step over the phone and it turns out she used tub margarine instead of the stick kind to make chocolate chip cookies. She didn’t know there was a difference. It was still my fault because I didn’t specify stick margarine was required. I shook my head and told her you always use stick margarine in recipes. All she said was, “Oh.”

For some reason this is the only song that came to mind for this blog. lol