|Anna Lue Barrow-Heath, Cir 1940s Cincinnati, Ohio|
I would have to say Granny's favorite things were her love of God, family, and cooking! Yes, Granny could cook like no other and no other could cook like Granny!!! Oh my, I can smell the fried chicken, ox tails and spaghetti, her famous oven baked barbeque ribs, and did I mention the fried corn!!!! YES INDEED, Granny could make meals that looked to pretty to eat, but you guessed right- we ate everything and savored each and every bite till the plate was clean. Granny put love in her cooking, and that is what made the difference. So you may ask, what is so unique about her cooking? And I will answer and say Granny put her heart and soul in everything she did, and cooking was just another way she shared her love with family.
Granny loved cooking so much that she cooked three meals a day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You see, Granny took care of her man! Granny loved her some Mitchell Heath, and Granddaddy, as we called him, loved him some Anna Lue. The two of them were two peas in a pod and created a home filled with love which spread across generations. And in loving her Mitchell, Granny saw to him being well fed each and every day. It was breakfast with my great-grandparents when I first remembered drinking coffee, and I thought it was the best thing. I even had my own cup, and Granny made sure everyone knew it was indeed my cup. Breakfast consisted of meat, usually sausage or bacon, scrambled eggs, grits, and toast. And Granny's breakfast, well there just wasn't any other like it! Lunch was always some good soup and possibly a good sandwich, but then dinner was like eating at a five star restaurant simply because it was Granny's cooking!
There is one traditional holiday gathering in Granny's lineage that never has changed over the years and has consistently took place through five generations and that is Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving was always held in Granny and Granddaddy's home. Granny would begin cooking early in the week, but bet your last dollar the meal was all done, table set, and tea made by early afternoon. There was so much food with enough to feed an army. Yes, I know such a cliché, but it's true! Granny cooked enough for everybody and if someone stopped by just for a quick visit, they left with a plate. That is how much love Granny had and how much she put it in her cooking. Granny showered us all in love, comfort, and with her wisdom. Cooking is not all she mastered, but to me it is the one thing filled with her love and exemplified her love for her family!
Granny's love of cooking and sharing with the family passed onto to her daughter, my grandmother, and in turn to the granddaughters, my mother and her two sisters who continue the Thanksgiving tradition to this day. I'm thinking of the song sang by Tina Turner, 'What's Love Got to Do with It?' and I can honestly say, EVERYTHING!!
Granny, thank you for loving us all and for allowing me to share your amazing journey!