my grandmother cooked, no one was allowed into the kitchen. There were
seven of us kids, so I don't blame her. But there was a knave in my family
and that was my brother Jimmy. He'd sneak in whenever he could. My grandmother
was forever trying to shoo him out of her way. Not just because he was
underfoot and she couldn't work, but because he liked to taste things
before they got to the table.
would take tiny amounts of anything. He'd steal a couple of lima beans
from her southern cooked lima beans
or stick his finger in the mashed potatoes. He even helped himself to
skinny pieces of pie. He'd take a little piece and then squash the pie
back together. He did a good job, because sometimes she didn't notice.One Christmas,
though, Grandma blew up. She had cooked the whole meal herself, the turkey
and stuffing, red rice, lima beans,
sweet potato biscuits, dessert pies. She was under pressure,
but she was doing it. Jimmy cut into one of the pies and she caught him.
She was furious at that, so she chased him out of the kitchen. But good
old Jimmy, he crept back in without her knowing it. She had just taken
the stuffing out of the turkey and had the huge steaming bird in the hot
pan in her hand. She stepped back and there was Jimmy right underfoot.That
did it. She blew up. She piled the bowl of stuffing and the bowls of red
rice and lima beans on the end of the tray with the turkey. Like a whirlwind
she flew out of the kitchen into the living room."You
finish this meal," she ordered the assembled family, and she plunked
the turkey in the center of the floor. Stuffing and beans and rice flew
everywhere, and my grandmother flew into her bedroom. My aunts and uncles
sat speechless for a minute, then they had to finish the meal and clean
up the floor.Oh, and
Grandma came out of the bedroom just when the meal was ready.
WAYNE: Wayne must have been a favorite of his grandmother because
she allowed him into the kitchen. He watched her and learned her recipes.
Knavish Jimmy must have been watching, too. Wayne says he is a great cook.