Saturday, October 24, 2009


I started feeling bad about knocking the French last time, especially as I was just emphasizing to a friend the other day that I am not a racist. Anyway, Lou was a fantastic cook, and from her I learned to love to eat many things that might be attributed in some way to her bit of Frenchiness. I don't know, maybe.

Anyway, when I met my husband, things that to me were totally normal good things to eat he found somewhat exotic. He comes from a Dutch heritage. In fact, his ancestry is 100% Dutch. Pretty unusual around here. For instance, he had never eaten eggplant or artichokes. Lou introduced me to eggplant, which I love, and many other things that without her influence I'm sure would not be standard fare for my family. I liked just about everything she made, even tomato aspic. I don't actually make that but I do make eggplant a lot, and corn pone (which she taught me how to make)--remember, she was also from the south. She could make the best fried chicken which is a skill that eludes me. There were many other dishes she made, and because of her I also like okra.

My Grandma Lou was a very gifted painter. Unfortunately, her husband died of a heart attack at age 45, leaving her with 5 kids and the family business. Not much time for painting after that. I didn't even know she played the piano. She was very up on etiquette, which used to annoy me when I was young and stupid. Now that I've encountered plenty of the lack thereof, I see her point. When I was little she used to drink bourbon, I think, and whenever I smell that (which believe me is infrequently) I remember her. Also the smell of applesauce, and red linoleum kitchen floors. These are very early childhood memories etched into the core of my being.

Lou was an absolutely beautiful woman, with dark brown hair and brown eyes. She was a little above average height, I think, and had great legs. I always agreed with her taste in clothes. Classic. She loved Chopin, which I still don't get, but is not surprising because she was very smart and it's probably just over my head. She did crossword puzzles all the time. Dell crossword puzzles, and "Dell Crosswords Crosswords" is the only magazine I subscribe to.

Lou told me when I was a young mom to read the Bible to my children, for cultural literacy. I did so, and guess what? In the process I found out that it wasn't just a book of myths, but the Truth, and the answer to my deepest needs. Thank you, Lou. Miss you. Love you.

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