Cooking up memories

For many people, regardless of age, their memories of Grandma have her firmly positioned in the kitchen, cooking and baking up goodies that will forever hold a place in the hearts and tastebuds of her grandchildren.

I don't have such memories. I don't recall a single dish made by either of my grandmothers. I'm certain they cooked and baked and canned and did all those other culinary things grandmas do, but I don't remember any of it. I don't remember the taste, the aroma, the aprons worn, the utensils stirring, the old-fashioned appliances whirring.

My one and only food-related memory of a grandmother is the billions of blueberries my siblings and cousins and I would pick for my grandma on my dad's side, handfuls of them dropped into plastic ice cream pails alternated with handfuls of berry goodness popped into my mouth when I thought no one was looking. I clearly recall the buckets upon buckets of berries, yet I remember not a single instance of eating any blueberry goodies once the buckets were turned over to Grandma.

I want things to be different for my grandchildren. I want Bubby -- and Birdy and all others to come -- to have cherished memories of my cooking, my baking, my physical manifestations of love and adoration served up every time we were together.

I want my grandchildren to think of Gramma each time they smell cookies baking in the oven, each time they spread their peanut-butter sandwiches with jelly, each time they order macaroni-and-cheese from their favorite diner.

Bubby is not yet three years old. In those few years, we've been fortunate to share food and fun in the kitchen. I've had him help me bake chocolate-chip cookies. I've gifted him with my Christmas Spritz. I've treated him to jars of my homemade pomegranate jelly. And together we made dinner mints for Thanksgiving.

Thankfully, there's more to come soon. In exactly two weeks I'll be spending five days in the desert with Bubby. While there, I plan to bake for him my version of his current favorite dish: a super-easy, extra-cheesy macaroni and cheese.

For the visit, I've purchased a special grandma apron to throw into my Grandma Bag, and I'm mentally compiling a list of other goodies from my reportoire Bubby might enjoy while I'm there.

As a grandma who remembers very little of her own grandmothers, I say it's never too soon to start cooking up some memories.

Consider the cooking begun.

Today's question:

What food do you most associate with your grandmother?