Cooking with Grandma can teach you a lot about food (and OTHER things!)

Cooking with Grandma can teach you a lot about food (and OTHER things!)

Spending time in the kitchen, as a child or an adult, with anyone is a good experience. However, spending time with your dearly beloved grandma, cooking, may be the best scenario of all. Cooking with grandma may be the most important family time you ever have.

Most grandmas, although not all, are quite experienced when it comes to cooking and baking, because they?ve spent many years feeding kids (and husbands, although sometimes grandpa is the chef.) They know the short cuts, the secret ingredients, how to save what appears to be a failed dish and what to avoid.

Grandmas can be really funny. They are wise and witty and have learned to roll with the punches. They will make you laugh, and they will laugh at you. They will probably tell you a naughty story or two that your mom or dad, their child, doesn?t want you to know.

Grandmas can give younger people insight into just about anything because they have lived in the past where things were very different and they survived and hopefully thrived.  Grandmas are resilient and adaptable and know that which doesn?t kill you is going to make you stronger. Life is something they have lived first hand, whether it was during the Great Depression or World War II or the Summer of Love.

When cooking together, it?s easy to fall into an effortless conversational rhythm. There is something calming and that occurs when two people are working together in a kitchen to reach a goal: The preparation of a meal or creating a dessert. Maybe it?s the actual physical work of peeling, stirring, cutting, basting that lulls the cooks into an easy rhythm or the wonderful smells that emanate from the kitchen when a meal is in progress.


Grandma may not be old at all. Her age is beside the point.  The 42-year-old grandmother can be as shrewd as the 82-year-old granny.  If you are lucky enough, you may have two or more grandmothers (including great-grandmothers) which means you have a wealth of resources at your disposal, not only when it comes to cooking and baking advice but their wisdom about life.

No one knows what it?s like, exactly, to be a grandmother until you become one, and it is an extraordinary experience. It?s sort of like being a parent but sort of not. In fact, it?s much better and an easier experience because you do not have the daily responsibility of tending to the children, which frees you up to be relaxed.

Of course, there are many grandmothers that are raising their grandchildren and although this may be a hardship in some respects, the grandchildren would be wise to listen to grandma. Grandma can show and tell her grandchildren how to cook, how to balance a checkbook, how to get stains out, how to mend a broken heart, how to do algebra (maybe) and how to make that apple pie that everyone covets.

She can advise young people on the pitfalls to be avoided at all costs because she didn?t and paid dearly. Grandmothers are an invaluable resource and cherished commodity.

Grandmas know the score, not only when it comes to finding their way around the kitchen but how to navigate life, which is fraught with obstacles and hazards.

If given a chance to spend time in the kitchen (or anywhere) with your grandmother, jump on it. Pay attention to what she does, how she does it and how often she does it.  If she says, ?Don?t use salt”, then don?t use salt. 

Learning from your grandmother is a wonderful opportunity.  You can pass what you?ve learned down to your own children and grandchildren. 

A grandmother?s legacy is a wonderful thing. How many times have you heard someone say, ?My Grandma taught me to ??

And many, many times what they have learned was learned in the kitchen.