Sunday, May 1, 2011

Grandpa and Grandma Hughes

My grandparents popped into my head this morning as I was getting ready. All of them actually. But I want to dedicate 1 blog post to each set of grandparents.

First up are my Grandpa and Grandma Hughes.

Otherwise known as J.P. and Ruby Hughes.

My Grandma passed when I was about 17 years old. My Grandpa passed almost exactly 2 years later. But this post isn't about their deaths.

I want to talk about the memories I shared with them.

~Grandpa and Grandma~

Growing up my family lived in Texas. My Grandparents lived in Florida. Kissimmee, FL to be exact. About an hours drive to Disney World. My brother and I visited them most summers and most summers they would take us to Disney World. It was fantastic! (Brag moment) I think I'm getting this Grandpa helped in the constructions of Epcot. My dad did too I think. Growing up I always bragged to my friends about that. I thought it was pretty darn cool. Heck..I still do!

Going to my Grandparents house always guaranteed one thing. Tons and tons of fabulous food!! Man, that woman could cook! Every single morning she would make homemade buttermilk biscuits. My favorite thing to eat was a biscuit with a big ol slice of fresh out of the garden tomato. When I moved to the country and started growing my own tomatoes I restarted the tradition of biscuit and tomato sandwiches. I think of her every time I have one.

One time I asked her to show me how to make her famous biscuits. But it consisted of "a handful of this a handful of that. Mix it to it's about this consistency" At my young age I couldn't really grasp that whole idea and I gave up on trying to make them. This may be silly, but when she passed I would often miss her biscuits. Maybe because I thought if I had them, I would have her too.

I never have been able to recreate her biscuits. But I found a recipe a few years ago that comes pretty close. Close enough to qualify to have a slab of tomato applied to it!

~Grandma and a baby Amber~

Another food favorite. Black eyed peas. I remember sitting at the kitchen table with my Grandma and Aunt Gladys (Grandma's sister, still kickin!!) shelling peas and talking. They always set me up with a big bowl of peas and let me go to work. I rarely finished a whole bowl by myself. But I loved sitting there and listening to their conversation and feeling all grown-up like. I have to note that they always went to the local farmer's field to pick and bring home multiple bags of black eyed peas. So it was usually an all day affair.

After all the shelling was done, the cooking began.

This is another recipe I have yet to master. But man oh man were they delicious. I feel sorry for you poor saps that have never tasted them. Ha!

She would make a huge batch and separate it into batches and freeze them. I would then come in grab some and warm it up. Add a slice of onion from the garden and I was GOLDEN!! Bonus if she had made cornbread that day.

The last time I had those black-eyed peas, she had already passed. My Aunt Gladys had found a batch in the freezer and sent them home with my dad just for me. Have I told you how much I love my Aunt Gladys? I think she deserves her own blog post.

My Grandpa was often stern, but always loving. He loved to tease me. Like when I would come in and out of the house 3 or 4 times in 10 minutes he would tell me. "You can't go back outside until those hinges cool down!" At the time I didn't know what hinges were. I just thought he was talking about the doorknob. So I would tentatively touch the door knob (like I thought it was going to be hot) and he would smile.

They had these wonderful spinning chairs in the kitchen. I loved to sit and spin in a circle while we were eating. He told me many times that if I didn't stop he was going to put me in a straight back chair. I listened...for a little bit. But I couldn't resist the call of the spin and I would be spinning my heart out not long after.

There was one (really, it was only one) time he made me sit in a straight back, non-spinning chair. It was a sad day for me. But I returned to the spinning chairs and I'm pretty sure it didn't slow me down too much. In fact, If I had a spinning chair I'd probably be spinning right now. Which is why I only have straight back chairs. Ha!

He loved to watch baseball games. I often would sit with him and watch too. I remember asking him what his favorite team was that was playing. Whatever his response, I would tell him that was my favorite team too.

There's so many more memories I could share. But those were the ones that stuck out in my head the most. I hope I did them justice in writing about them. I miss them very much.

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