As I was reading a friend's blog entry (and it was the included image that made me think of this, but the post is worth reading), I was reminded of a time when my paternal grandmother corrected me. I was young, maybe six, maybe a little older, and I was talking to her about Nancy Drew. I mentioned Nancy's tit-ee-an hair, and my grandma said, "Tee-shan."
My grandmother was of country stock, she lived on a dirt road, and yet she knew how to pronounce Titian. She'd been to college. She also knew how to make whoopie pies, which she we called devil dogs. She knew a whole lot of stuff, and I wish I could hang out with her for a while. I left the country at the end of 1992, and my grandma died in 1999. I saw her in between, but she had Alzheimer's, so it was hard. I don't know if she knew that the baby she held in 1996 was my daughter Charlotte.
This is just one of those things. Tonight I made Christmas-y treats with two of my friends, and our significant others were there too. We had a great time. But S. reminisced about her grandmother's bun recipe, which no one had managed to write down, and I thought about my grandma's cooking. We have her recipe for Texas sheet cake, Ranger cookies*, and some other things. I feel sure, however, that there were things that Grandma made without a recipe, and we've probably lost those forever.
*I preferred chocolate chip cookies, but Grandma seemed to always make Ranger cookies.
And so we go on. If I have grandchildren, they may not care that I correct their pronunciation of Titian; they may never encounter that word. And that's okay. (It took a lot for me to write that.) I do hope that I can give them some memories, and more importantly, some recipes.
Which means, oh hell, I need to start writing my cooking down.