Thursday, November 11, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday - Mama's Kitchen

My mother was never a "great" cook. Heck, she wasn't even a "good" cook!

Still there were a few things that I can recall that she did exceptionally well.

Cornbread, candied carrots [which we called "copper pennies"], fried cheerios, and fried green tomatoes!

Oh, none of us ever starved! And we weren't embarrassed whenever someone came to dinner! Mom simply wasn't extraordinary in her capabilities, and like as not, she often flubbed a recipe simply because she didn't measure properly and often substituted her ingredients!

My grandmother, her mother, was one of these exceptional French cooks who never used a recipe, and could "eyeball" a measurement to perfection!

But there are many memories, exceptionally GOOD memories associated with my Mama's kitchen!

Mama's kitchen was well appointed for the generation I grew up in. And Mama was always welcoming in it!

I can recall the plates that hung on the wall, her red-handled rolling pin [which my sister has today], and a particular set of wooden cannisters, that no one knows what happened to. Mama suffered a stroke following a brain aneurysm repair in 1995, and she can't recall.

Those cannisters represented to us, as small little girls growing up, the basis for Mama's goodie ability. Mama could bake cookies or cakes from the flour and sugar. And when a boo-boo threatened tears, [or later a heartbreak threatened the same!] the tea cannister was available for a soothing cuppa. When visitors came calling, coffee was brewed from the coffee cannister, and served with cookies made from the flour and sugar, and so the cycle begins again.

I have slowly been adding items to my kitchen that reminded of those wonderful childhood memories. And I had been searching for years for a set of cannisters like Mama's. Watching eBay, sets that matched Mama's usually went from $75 an upwards. More money than I have had recently to splurge on myself! But last week I came across the end of an auction, with no reserve. It was in the last minute or two of the auction, and an $8 bid was winning. Shipping was $13 for the set. I bid a hasty $8.50 and walked away. In my heart knowing I could never win!

Low and behold, I got up the next morning and in my email was the billing for the auction win! The seller had an automatic expedited shipment, and in 2 days I was washing my new [old/vintage] cannisters.

And according to my sister, and Mama's recollection, they are identical to the set Mama once had!
While they aren't the same set, they are in fact identical [when matched up to one old photo my Mama has]. And another similarity which is quite amazing is found printed on the bottom of the tea cannister:

Mama and Daddy were married in 1958 in San Francisco. And they received the cannisters as a wedding gift from a couple named "Gorman", according to Mama's recollections. Almost identical... so close!!!

I will treasure this set, even though they aren't Mama's original set, simply for the memories it evokes!

Do you have a similar "treasure"? Something that really isn't tied to your ancestry or heritage, but which evokes such a strong memory that you wouldn't trade it for anything else in the world?

Share it with us in the comment section below, or post it on your own blog and put a link below!


Cheryl Cayemberg said...

A wonderful story and a great ebay find! I must say though...fried cheerios!?!?!? :)

Texicanwife said...

Oh my goodness yes! Place a little butter in the skillet with a handful of Cheerios. A little sugar and cinnamon. The kiddies will absolutely love you for this!