Memaw’s kitchen, with the smell of love and hard work, greeted you as soon as you came in the door. Every holiday or special occasion, we knew we could look forward to a big pot full of goodness known as chicken and dumplings. She would even make them special for us if we were sick and nothing seemed to be hitting the spot. I don’t think there has ever been anything that quite compares.
There isn’t a single person who has had my Memaw’s famous chicken and dumplings and didn’t ask for more. Honestly, have you ever tasted one certain food that solved all your problems or everything that had gone wrong before you ate it? It's true comfort food.
As all of the grandchildren, especially the girls, began to grow up, we wanted to learn how to cook them and find out what made them taste so good. I remember several occasions that we would all get together and watch Memaw start cooking from scratch. We watched every little detail and all of the ingredients that went in.
After many times of watching and helping her, I tried to make them on my own. They just didn't taste the same. I knew that I had followed her recipe exactly as she had said. I couldn’t quite figure out what I had done wrong.
It finally dawned on me: Memaw was missing. She was the only thing that wasn’t there while I was cooking. It began to occur to me that not only did she work hard to make those for us, but she must have been pouring in all of her love while cooking.
Once my grandson was born, I wanted to be sure that Memaw shared that same memory of cooking with him. We took a day, and my daughter, Memaw, myself and the little fella spent time in the kitchen. We laughed, made a mess, told stories, and took turns holding my grandson. I quickly realized that I never wanted to have dumplings without her.
Grandmothers have a special way of making everything feel better and obviously taste better. My Memaw does just that. We are so fortunate to have her still with us and making these memories mean more than gold.
I am still learning to make dumplings taste like hers, and I seem to be getting better each time. I have learned to be still and enjoy cooking them and to think about the people I am preparing them for. I take a moment to pray and remember all the good memories shared with each one.
It may seem silly to some, but love is a huge part of life, and to leave it out of anything can change so much! Always share love, but love with truth, honor, forgiveness and compassion. It may take a minute, but I promise that you will not regret it.
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