Food, Memories, Health

by Nursetopia on January 3, 2013

Most things in my life circle back to nursing or health. It’s my passion, so it’s a natural circle.

photo-14I’ve discovered I can cook. Maybe it’s the decade of Food Network I watched purely for entertainment or that I’ve been forced into cooking with a growing family. I’m not sure. Either way, I’m not too bad. In fact, my husband and I have been pleasantly surprised with each first bite of a new recipe. It makes me laugh each time we both taste a new recipe for the first time because – even after nearly 14 years of marriage – neither one of us has ever forgotten the first time I made turkey enchiladas as a newlywed. I took the first bite and then tried, horrifically, to stop him from taking his first bite. Too late. Embarrassment ensued. For the next nearly 14 years. So, you can see why I’m a little hesitant to try new things.

Still, “new” is a focus of mine these days. And, I am glad it is. Perhaps it’s the cooler weather or me being home for a few days, but I’ve been in a cooking mood. I made red beans and rice for the first time as well as whole wheat bread – from scratch. 

I nearly cried both times – and not just because they were delicious (which they both were!), but because I was instantly transported into the homes of my great-grandmother and grandmother.

I had the privilege of knowing most of my great-grandparents and grandparents. I am quite aware of that richness in my life. My great-grandmother kept me while my mom worked, and she made red beans what seemed like every day. It was the lunch choice each day for my hard-working great-grandfather; that and a Big Red soda pop with a side of white bread. I lifted the lid from my crock pot, and it happened. I remembered everything about her and her kitchen. And then I thought of how much I missed her. And, how Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease.

Yesterday, I realized I had everything in my pantry to make whole wheat bread, which was a new adventure for me, as well. It’s not too different from cinnamon rolls, which I’ve made a few times now, but still…bread-making is daunting! Mixing and kneading and rising and punching and cooking. I smothered a hot slice with butter, and took a bite; and it happened. I remembered my grandmother kept me after kindergarten, as well, and how she made me warm bread and butter as an afternoon snack every day. Man, was it good. And then I thought of how much I missed her; even though she is physically still alive, Alzheimer’s has robbed her mind, so much so that this was the first holiday I had without her. It’s a terrible disease.

I doubt I will ever make either recipe ever again without thinking of them. And Alzheimer’s Disease.


Paige January 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm

I just adore the way certain senses trigger a memory. Enjoyed reading about your “new” discovery so to speak of cooking–I had that ah-ha moment a year or so ago myself. Keep on cooking and sharing your love of life and people.

Nursetopia January 6, 2013 at 9:39 pm

Many thanks, Paige. 🙂

Kim January 4, 2013 at 11:40 am

Grandparents are a great source for wisdom and inspiration. They always find a way to leave a lasting impression on their grandchildren, which may inspire them to do something extraordinary with their life – like being a nurse.

Nursetopia January 6, 2013 at 9:39 pm

I totally agree, Kim. I am so glad I had and have them in my life!

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