I can smell it: my Grams kitchen. Oh, the wonderful smells that wafted through the air! You could smell her cooking down the street. She was the pied-piper of cooks. The aromas that would guide people from the street to her kitchen door! Oh my goodness!
As a child, I loved the great big Easter baskets and the new clothes some of us children would get for Easter. But my absolute favorite time was spent in the kitchen with my Grams. Oh, the joy that I felt. It was as though I had her all to myself. And I could ask her or tell her anything, and it would be just between the two of us.
I also liked knowing that I helped prepare a meal fit for Royalty. It was amazing to me that my Grams could cook circles around people. I remember going back to my dorm at College after winter and spring breaks—loaded with food from my Grams. And no lie!—the line would be long, because they knew something good was coming their way!
We had the normal Soul-food fare at the table. And everything was made from scratch! No box cake mix, or can filling for anything! Fresh! Fresh! Fresh! It was either butchered, freshly picked, and hand mixed and measured.
Sometimes it gets hard coming up with something new for the holiday. Perhaps you don’t want the same thing. Maybe you want to try something a bit different than what your family is used to. Just try not to stray too far! I have learned that sometimes the tried-and-true is what people want. It’s not just the food, but what the food represents: memories. Cherished memories.
You can take any family recipe and tweak it just a little bit here and there. I am really good at tweaking something! Sometimes my family doesn’t know what to expect. I do this only to change some things up, and to lighten a few things. However, the holiday is the last thing people want to go light on! I understand. So, while I try to maintain the family tradition through the recipes that we have shared together as a family; I make certain that I am tweaking, and substituting things all the rest of the time, so our bodies are not overladen, and we don’t start feeling guilty for indulging in some of our favorites.
What are some of your family favorites? I’m sure there are many recipes that you can try and put your own spin on. It is just something about coming together over a family meal. Sharing, laughing, and reminiscing. My Gram told me once that I would make my own family traditions when I had my own. She was right. But I still have plenty that she has left me with. Why would I fix something that isn’t broke?
I want the same thing for my family: to feel loved, comfortable, at home, and like there is no other place they would want to be. It is amazing how African Americans, and other cultures, as well, can be untied through food. I guess that’s why we call it Soul Food: Food that not only fills your belly, but fills your soul also.
I am so blessed to have spent that time in my Grams kitchen; to glean from her, and learn all her little secrets. Easter is most precious to me. Not only because I celebrate Resurrection Sunday: the death and resurrection of Christ, but because I have fond memories of what my Grams gave to me; something that can never be taken away. It is something that I willingly and look forward to sharing with my family: that sense of home and love.
So, have you any ideas what’s for dinner? There are a few recipes that you may find appealing, and easy to do. Take a look around…I’m certain you and your family will love them—some traditional, some a little different. Either way: have fun with it, and enjoy yourself and your family!
A Few Recipe Ideas
Sage and Apricot Glazed Ham
Spinach and Portabella Quiche Recipes
Delicious Baked Ham Recipes
Roasted Leg of Lamb
Delectable Dish of Mixed Greens
Easy Glazed Carrots
Easy Candied Yams
Red Velvet Cake
Rue’s Yum-Yum Cake
Sweet Potato Pie
What's a holiday without sweet potato pie?
From My Family To Yours…Have a Blessed Resurrection Sunday!