It was no secret that my grandmother did not like to cook. My dad used to joke that they were the test kitchen for Stouffer's. I remember stopping at the grocery store on the way to visit so we would have milk for our Raisin Bran or Shredded Wheat for breakfast. My grandparents only kept Coffee Rich and swore it tasted just as good as milk. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't bring myself to like it. I still gag when I think of the smell of it. The kitchen was a little galley that the range pulled out when you wanted to use it. The oven was used at a bread storage bin and was only used on special occasions. The food got a little better when Grandpa retired. He would try new recipes. Jeweled Chicken was one, I think it had rice onions and pimentos in it. Most of the time it went back to the old standbys though. Unless my mom stepped in we always had instant mashed potatoes. My brother and I would call instant potatoes "Grandma Little potatoes". To this day I get nostalgic when I eat instant potatoes. Having a no-cook Grandma had it's advantages. She always had the best snacks. Goldfish crackers, the orange ball cheese puffs that came in the can, those little sugar wafer cookies and Dr. Pepper. In the winter the garage doubled as an extra refrigerator and that is where the pop was kept. Dr. Pepper in the glass bottle. Ahhhhhh. Grandpa always had gum. Double mint or Juicy Fruit. But the best part was the popcorn. Grandpa had an air popper and would pop a ton of popcorn. He would squeeze Parkay all over it as it was coming out of the popper and put garlic salt on it. No vampires would dare come near us. We would sit in the family room watching tv. The best part was when Grandma would fall asleep on her love seat with her mouth open. She would be snoring and it would drive Grandpa crazy so he would throw popcorn at her and try and get it in her open mouth. When he would succeed she would choke and startle herself awake. She'd say a few choice words and eventually fall back asleep. Us kids would fight over who got the bear pillow and who got the lion pillow and we would watch 60 Minutes and hope it was a night that Andy Rooney came on.
It's funny, today there are all these cooking shows on tv and everybody takes pictures of their gourmet meals. We may not have the gourmet meals but we had the family fellowship and have such great memories. I wouldn't trade that for anything.