Saturday, October 21, 2006

MamMaw Ritter's Oatmeal

I am not a cook. I have no special recipes that would come to anyone's mind when my name is mentioned. I did not get that particular gene. My mother only got 1/2 of the gene. My sister got the gene -- totally. It skipped me and went straight to my daughter, Amanda (Mandi). I was telling someone the other day that you will never hear my grandchildren say things like, "Remember how MiMi used to bake us . . . . Or MiMi used to fix us . . . ."

No, my grandchildren will say things like, "Remember how MiMi used to take us to those cool places to eat . . . Or MiMi used to buy us the neatest little snacks . . . "

When I was a little girl (and even as an adult) my MamMaw Ritter used to cook some of the best food. She made delicious lemon ice box pies with graham cracker crust, all from scratch. She made chicken and dumplin's to die for. No one could fry potatoes and onions like MamMaw and oh, my goodness, the salmon croquettes. The one dish MamMaw made that stands out in my mind is her oatmeal. She cooked it on the stove -- none of the instant microwave stuff. She would sweeten it and put butter and milk in it. Sometimes she would make toast and crumble it in the oatmeal. My personal favorite was when she would fry bacon real crisp and crumble it into the oatmeal. She would sit my bowl down in front of me. And, even now, I can smell it and see the steam rising. I loved MamMaw's oatmeal.

Not long ago, my little granddaughter, Brooke, spent the night with us. It was getting late and we needed to eat something so I made dinner. When PawPaw, Brooke and MiMi sat down to eat, Brooke said, "MiMi, this is so good. I have never eaten this before but I really like it. What is it?" I told her it was MiMi's special recipe and when she was older I would teach her how to make it.

It was SPAM with cheese melted on top.

There is one thing I have mastered in the kitchen. It is how to make MamMaw's oatmeal. This is Saturday and I am off work today. James was out working on his next big project - putting a cover over the deck. I finished my third cup of coffee and decided I needed a bowl of MamMaw's oatmeal. I even had my bacon fried just right and I added 1 ingredient MamMaw did not have -- dried cranberries. It was perfect. It tasted just like MamMaw made. I could almost feel her with me. I imagined what it would be like if she were still alive and what sort of conversation we would have over our oatmeal. I brought my bowl into office where I sat down to write about MamMaw's oatmeal. I take a bite and oh, it is so good. My cell phone rings in the kitchen and I go to grab it. I talk for only a brief minute. I head back to my office to finish my oatmeal and write. What I found stopped me in my tracks. Lexi (my dog) was eating MamMaw's oatmeal. Yes, her head was in the bowl. The moment is over. I am just going to make another pot of coffee.


Blogger Amanda said...

Mom, you have got to send that dog to obedient school! Dumb dog!

Just so you know my salmon patties are soooo yummo! I have not mastered the lemon ice box pies and I still have not been able to get my hands on the recipe for c&d but someday maybe!

I am not an oatmeal person but dang that sounds good!

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok, my favorite foods are cereal (any kind), and Oatmeal, and Malt-o-meal...I love great grandma (big Granny, she was really tall,and my granny is really short, so they were big granny and little granny)...anyway...she used to make it and would leave little lumps in it...loved it like mom now makes the worlds best malt-o-meal and oatmeal..its best when you make toast, and have oatmeal or malt-o-meal sandwiches....I am so very sad...I can't have any of things right now...not even a glass a milk to enjoy...the carbs spike my blood sugar like you wouldn't believe...but its won't be long...and I bet I make it everyday...I have been dreaming of those things for soooo long!!!


10:53 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

I am sorry, but I have to laugh. Brooke liked to Spam and cheese. Ha, that is cute!!!
The dog ate your mouth watering oatmeal. Ha.
I don't blame you, I think I just would have drank a pot of coffee myself!!

8:19 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer Overstreet said...

Aunt KK,
That make me cry! I miss MawMaw she would have loved all of these babies(Me and Mandy's anyway!) I never recall having her oatmeal, but then I don't really eat it that often. But you made want some. I do love her lemon ice-box pie1 I have made C&D, as Mandy calls it, alot and it is still my favorite. I think about MawMaw often and I think she is very proud of the God-fearing Christian Ladies we have in our family. Through all the adversity and craziness we still serve the Lord! I know she loves that and we love her.
Jennifer Gail

9:52 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

So Jen, you have her c&d recipe????? You better share if you do! Lisa does too but I haven't gotten it yet!

And when is my FAMILY going to start speling my name right? :) MANDI! :)

6:17 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer Overstreet said...

I'm sorry!!! Mand(with an i). I've got it and the requirement is that you have to call me! I want to hear your voice. MamMaw herself taught me how to make C&D. That doesn't mean mine taste as good as MamMaw's. She just made everything taste good, except for tacos. I hated her tacos!!!Yuck. It is a really easy recipe and Lisa does not have a corner on family recipes! You too can have it and should. Love ya Jen

9:55 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Jennifer Gail! You should be ashamed of yourself ---- MamMaw's tacas (and that is how she said it) were the greasiest and the BEST! I grew up on her tacas! I cannot think of one thing I didn't like about her cookin'. I do remember when she made dresses for Aunt Lisa and I -- she sometimes left straight pens in them and we would find them at the most unopportune time. We always wondered if she did that on purpose!

Last week after I wrote this blog, I had to go to Cracker Barrel and eat chicken and dumplin's -- they are not as good as MamMaw's but I had to have some and I have NO idea how to make them.

You and Mandi get busy on those chicken and dumplin's and we will just see who makes the best!

I love you my precious niece.
Aunt KK

4:59 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

that should be INopportune time I think. Anyway, we found those straight pens at the worst possible time!. How's that!

5:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how about dressing...MMM..just thinking about my granny's dressing is making my mouth water! I called her last night to get her recipe, she said I don't have one, I go from memory...Who does that? I told her granny if she wants to be a legacy we will need it to pass it on to our younger generation. Needless to say I graveled enough, that she is going to make me one for our Thanksgiving with David's family....I can't wait...I actually get to eat, or lets rephrase that, PIG OUT at more Diabetes!!!! YIPPEE!!!
For the record miss Mandi...I spell your name I get special goods from sugar & spice...?


8:37 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Cara, I make really good dressing. I make it just like MamMaw did. There really is no recipe. Everything is "to taste". My family likes my dressing. Who knows if Josh will eat it -- the only thing Josh eats that I cook is deviled eggs -- I do those really well.

So, your Granny is going to make the dressing FOR you -- I guess having a newborn this year will excuse you from cooking.

luv u -- you and Desi may be in the hospital at the same time. Your mom and I had Y'ALL close together so I guess Y'ALL can have YOUR babies close together.

5:03 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

I think your blog has turned into a chat room for cousins! :)

We should start a blog called COUSINS!

Some lady ran me off the road last night trying to get to Taco Bell and for about two seconds, i thought it was your granny cara! :) When she flipped me off, I really thought it was her! :)

5:47 AM  

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