No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past.
[Laurie Colwin]

Skibbereen, Ireland. 2012.

My grandmother Irene, who just passed away a little over a month ago, was a wonderful cook. A tall, strong Ukranian woman from Detroit who raised 5 children (4 of whom were rascals, according to her), she spent a very large part of her life in the kitchen. Canning peaches, baking sheetcakes, serving teas, and cooking up all sorts of wonderful traditional Polish food, like pierogi, borscht, gołąbki and kielbasa, served with plenty of sour cream and rye bread. Grandma’s table was always full of her labors of love, and she used to say that nothing made her happier than to see her family enjoying what she served. (I can’t forget to mention Grandpa here, as he fussed around the kitchen with Grandma too; although Grandpa’s kitchen duties revolved mostly around making the morning kasha.)

I will miss Grandma’s cooking. I wish I had learned a few of her secret recipes. But I suppose she’s proud of me finding my own, too.