Posted on 10 Comments

At My Grandmother’s Table

An assortment of baking ingredients
The hands of a female rolling dough with a rolling pin
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

When I think of the word food, it evokes liquid memories of love.

Memories of wonderful days with my sister and my cousins at grandma’s house.

Food represented love.

Each Saturday my grandmother would prepare to bake fresh bread, pastries, and other treats.

I, along with my sister and cousins would gather at our grandmother’s table. We knew there would be laughter, food, and fun.

Golden rays of sunlight streaming in through the muslin fabric added magic to the dance of grandmother’s hands as she wrestled with the dough. Next, she patted and covered it on a large wooden tray to rest and rise.

The heady fragrance set our taste buds alight with the promise of joy.

Our shiny sun-kissed faces marveled with the wonder of youth as the doughy mixture seemed to come alive before our very eyes.

Photo by Theme Photos on Unsplash

Later, grandma would set the dough into rolls and loaves. We would get small pieces of the raw dough to play with as an artful form of learning.

We would try to make each tiny bread look like my grandmother’s, but ours never seemed to come out quite right.

Next came preparing the oven for baking.

The oven is located in the yard and is a structure made of mud, cow patties (dried cow poop), and water mixed together in a manner reminiscent of an adobe-like structure.

The oven is located in the yard and is a structure made of mud, cow patties (dried cow poop), and water mixed together in a manner reminiscent of an adobe-like square structure.
Image credit: Stabroek News Guyana Newspaper

My grandma would artfully light the oven using the bits and pieces we had collected until they formed red hot bits of coal.

The dough is then placed in the oven and the real magic begins. The intoxicating scent of fermented yeast explodes as heat invigorates the fungi causing its energy to dissipate overpowering the palate of the waiting children.

We eagerly await the opening of the oven door, a signal for the salivary glands to let it all hang out — literally.

The golden goodness is freed from the ovens bowels and presented to the salivating kids.

A female’s hand holding a pan of fresh golden bread rolls. #Food, #Memories
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

The heat emanating from the too-hot rolls causes us to change hands constantly, like a clown juggling way too many balls in the air.

We love it warm from the oven as the heat causes the fresh cheese or salty butter to dribble down our fingers as we enjoy this yeasty goodness with some freshly made lime drinks.

Afterward, we would rest in the shade of the veranda, now replete.

The older kids would tell us scary stories until one by one we doze off dreaming of playing hide and seek in the coming moonlight.

10 thoughts on “At My Grandmother’s Table

  1. This brings back memories for me as well. Although not as elaborate with an outdoor oven as you had. But, mom would make homemade bread and we would eagerly be the first in line for a hot from the oven, end piece, smothered in melty butter. She also made yeast rolls for all special occasions. Yum! Thanks for the stroll down memory lane. ❤

    1. That was good living back then, I like the end pieces too, they were laden with crispy crust.

  2. oh my!! this wakes up the memories me the young me in my grandmothers house.

    1. I can only imagine.

  3. ooh at first I was thinking that my kids would relate to your story about grandma baking and the love it evoked, but I love the ending of sharing about her oven. What amazing memories! We have only baked in an oven like that in Malawi while we camped when we were traveling through Southern Africa.

    1. sadly, those types of ovens are a thing of the past. Only a few remain.

  4. Wonderful memories! This reminds me of my grandmothers and all those wonderful scents that rose from the kitchen! Great post!

    1. Those were the good days.

  5. Grandmas are the best cooks 🙂
    I love it when a student brings me tamales their grandma, abuela, made.

    1. Oh yes, grandmas are the best cooks. I think because the food is infused with love.

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