Every time I visit my grandmother on our family farm in Tennessee the same thing happens. The visit begins with "Are you hungry?" and ends with "Do you want something to take on the road?".
No matter what time I arrive she will attempt to serve me spaghetti. It is one of my favorites. She cooks it in a big iron skillet and doesn't drain all the grease off the hamburger meat. It is delicious. Even if I call her from the road and tell her I have already eaten and won't be there until midnight, she has it heated up when I arrive. Let the eating begin.
The next morning she begins our day with farm fresh eggs, sausage , biscuits and homemade jam. Fresh out of the oven she butters us each a biscuit to serve as the dessert for our breakfast. For a girl who usually has a bagel in the car on my way to work, that is a huge meal.
While we are eating breakfast she starts talking about what we are going to have for lunch and do we want to go out to dinner. Meanwhile I am chewing on an antacid and wondering how my stomach will survive a week of high fat food being fed to me at two hour intervals.
Each time we go in to town we purchase a half gallon of milk and a loaf of bread , just in case. The next morning we pour the milk that has expired outside because she is worried it will clump up and clog her sink. The extra bread we feed to the catfish in the pond.
Aside from the spaghetti she is well stocked with all manners of lunch meats and desserts. After we eat dinner, we eat dessert and then take a few more bites of our dinner to "take the sweet taste out of our mouths".
She is constantly worried that I am going to starve. I know her eyesight is poor but certainly she should be able to tell by even the haziest image that I am no where near starving.
She is still trying to cook like she is feeding hungry farmers and just can't break the habit.
If she only knew that I visit the farm to feed my soul and not my stomach. She just can't believe that I am not hungry. What she doesn't realize is that I am hungry but not for biscuits. I am hungry for the touch of her soft hands, the sweet sound of her Southern drawl and the feeling I get when I look out over the land and know that generations of my family have stood in the exact same spot.
I guess in order to feed my soul I am going to have to concede that the feeling being there gives me is going to have to be served up with a big plate of spaghetti.