Front Center: Great Grandpa Marion Tucker and Great Grandma Ella Mae Tucker
Back L - R: Francis, Neal, Shirley(Shirl), My Grandpa Millard, and Roland
Oatmeal reminds me of my Great Grandma Tucker. Great Grandma started me on the healthy breakfast path when I spent weekends with her. In fact, I cooked my first bowl of oatmeal at Great Grandma's house.
Early one morning, I woke up before Grandma and wanted to surprise her with an oatmeal breakfast. My five year old self carefully crept out of bed and went into the kitchen to begin the morning meal. What could have been a disaster ended very well.
I had carefully watched Grandma Tucker prepare our breakfast oatmeal many times. Feeling very grown up, I began my surprise. Opening the cabinet, I reached in for the oatmeal pan. Slowly,standing on a chair, I took the oatmeal box out of the cabinet. The rolled oats scoop was in the round oats box. One scoop of oats went into the pan of water, just like Grandma did it. Time to get off the chair and move the pan from the sink counter to the stove counter. Carefully, standing on tiptoe, I placed the pan on the counter by the gas stove, pushed the chair up to the stove, climbed onto the chair, and moved the pan onto the front burner. Time to light the stove! Pausing for a moment, I thought about everything I had watchedGrandma do to light the stove. Reaching for a match out of the metal matchbox holder, I lit the match, turned the burner knob, lit the front stove burner, and turned the stove knob to the right mark, Still standing on the chair, I let the oatmeal come to a simmer. Just about the time the oats were done, Grandma appeared in the kitchen.
Her eyes went wide and I knew I had surprised her. "Grandma," I said proudly."I fixed breakfast for you!" Grandma opened her mouth and closed her mouth. I had a vague feeling I had done something wrong, but did not know what. Suddenly,she smiled gently, hugged me, and said thank you.
After breakfast, Grandma told me I was a wonderful, kitchen buddy. She quietly told me that kitchen buddies waited for each other before cooking. I promised that I would wait for her before I cooked again.
After that morning, my Grandma Tucker started asking me if I was going to be her kitchen buddy before we went to bed. Happily, I answered,"Yes, Grandma. I'm a good kitchen buddy!" and Grandma would say,"Yes, you are!" accompanied with a big hug.
As I grew older, I realized how dangerous what I had done was. My admiration for my Grandma Tucker's self control taught me a lesson that I didn't fully appreciate until my own daughters wanted to begin cooking.