My Texas-based maternal grandparents are the light of my life, and I am theirs. We talk almost daily, and I consider Gma ‘n’ Gpa among my closest friends. That’s a pretty special thing. Recently, my grandmother took a nasty fall off a ladder, and I hurried back home to Wichita Falls to keep her company.
An avid follower of Eating with Abs, Gma was ready to rock in the kitchen. But, with two broken bones, she just chilled in a bar-stool seat and cheered me along. I commenced with the chopping—the fridge was practically groaning with fresh vegetables that Gpa picked up from Market Street that morning. While I can’t vouch for the sourcing or shipping of this produce I absolutely attest to the love with which it was procured: Kale, Apricot, Squash, Carrot, Scallions, Tomato. With a bit of olive oil and cumin, these raw veggies were the perfect platform for a Thanksgiving luncheon done right. A tall order, given my grandparents’ penchant for morning sausage, bacon, eggs, and toast. It was up to me to perform a T-Day miracle.
A cinch. Blanched kale stems and leaves tossed with cumin, olive oil, and salt–topped with crushed tamari almonds. Voila!
Tomato and carrot boiled down in its own juices to a thick, beta-carotene-packed stew.
Sizzling squash hot off the skillet, showered with chopped scallions.
Round all of this out with creamy, fatty, yummy slices of avocado, and a grandparent-worthy meal you have made!
Even my grandfather, a full-fledged carnivore who abides by a strict Atkins diet, celebrated this herbivorous bounty! ‘I love it,’ Grampy said. ‘These vegetables are not overcooked and it’s so simple and seasoned just right. Is this what they call California cooking?’ Until that moment, I didn’t realize that my repertoire is almost wholly California—farm-fresh, locally-sourced, abundantly plant-based, clean and simple meals in which the quality of the vegetables is foremost, and a multitude of colors.
And my Gma, bless her heart, said that she never thought she would see the day when her baby granddaughter would be the household cook. There is no higher compliment, especially coming from her.
Three cheers to the beautiful elders who came before us!