My Grandma Curtis was a real pioneer. She was not a pioneer in the prairie way, it was more of an unconventional progressive way. My great-grandfather, whom I never met, was not around. My great-grandmother was a hard working self sufficient mother of three and, as the story goes, better off without him. (However, they never got a divorce or married another, and I believe she truly loved my great-grandfather). Now, my grandma got her can do spirit from her mother I’m sure. And she worked very hard to provide for herself and eventually her mother. For, she said, “their hearts beat as one.”
All of this independence and achievement, however, left very little time in the kitchen. She wasn’t the type of grandma to have freshly baked cookies in the oven or to pass on her secret recipe on how to make- anything. Regardless, I have very fond memories of sitting at her kitchen table and talking with her (mostly about Jesus) over perfectly sweet homemade grape jelly and burnt toast. Actually, she was notorious, in our family, for burning everything she cooked. Whether it was toast, popcorn or pecan pie, grandma had a way of slightly blackening everything. And perhaps it truly is my love for my grandmother and the precious time she spent with me, but I liked it!
In fact, even now, I prefer my popcorn burnt. I know most people think it’s gross. Yes, it stinks up the whole house. (Ideally, I should do it on a beautiful day so I can open the windows.) But, I can’t help it. It’s right up there with the crispy cheese corner of lasagna and the sticky charred sauce on BBQ grilled chicken.