If I would have realized growing up how truly blessed I was to have my Grandmother I would have paid a lot more attention.
Aside from all of her other attributes, she was a true Home Maker. Her cooking, canning, preserving, growing everything, sewing and knitting skills could rival Martha Stewart. Now that I am older I am just truly amazed at how much she could not only do, but do so well.
I wish all of those Sunday's, holidays and summers that I stood by her side in the kitchen that I would have watched her a little more closely and listened a little harder to the priceless lessons she was trying to instill in me. I wish I would have taken notes so that I could have a record of the knowledge that she possessed.
I moved to South Florida in my late teens where there was no family to have Sunday dinners with and it was shortly after that that I did realize her excellent cooking skills. I missed her home cooking. I missed the roasted chickens and turkeys, the creamy mashed potatoes, the home made dinner rolls, the strawberries in January and so much more. It was then that it started (I beleive the first lesson was deviled eggs LOL)...I would call her and tell her I wanted to make this particular dish and she would tell me what I needed and walk me through it over the phone.
Gram taught me the basics and I ran with it, trying everything. I firmly believe she was and still is with me in spirit each time I try a new recipe or cook and old favorite.
The best thing she taught me was not to be afraid to just try. Just keep practicing. If it doesn't work out you'll figure out what went wrong and it will be better next time, she would tell me.
So, I guess my love of cooking actually stemms from my love of eating my Grandmother's good food.