I was telling someone recently that my Grandfather had been a chef in a New Orleans restaurant, way back before I gave a hoot about restaurants or New Orleans.
Then suddenly, reading a blog that comes out of the UK .. and recipes are spoken of and I was reminded of something about my grandfather and now I am wishing that he was alive now to give me cooking tips.
He was not your typical Grandfather.
He was actually my mom's stepfather but he loved us all and we belonged to him and you knew it. When my mom had me, she was super young, my dad died in an accident and she went to live with her parents ..
That Marine Sgt Grandfather of mine, was known to put me in his Studebaker and drive me around in the middle of the night ..in San Diego... because I had colic and apparently the only way I would fall asleep was in a moving car.
So there went the car, slowly cruising through the neighborhood, my grandfather driving, no one would ever mess with him .. and this wee baby sound asleep on the seat next to him.
Apparently he never slept.
He was big enough and tall enough and man enough to never think twice about being the best Nanny a wee baby girl ever had.
He would have friends over to play cards.
When I was about 4 he had his regular Poker night.
They were all Marines, quiet and respectful to my mom and grandmother and sweet and "Auntie-like" to me.
He would pour them all beers and they would play cards for hours.
Those games took all of their attention.
I was able to get into small bits of mischief without anyone noticing.
When my mother noticed me acting strangely, silly and off balance, she was frightened and picked me up. And she said the smell of beer on my breath almost knocked her over.
I had gone around and finished the wee drop left in each glass.. while the men played cards and paid no attention.
Grandfather was in the DogHouse for weeks over that one !
He got out of the Marines and became a chef.
My mom remarried and we moved from California to North Carolina.
Where everything was different and I missed my Grandparents all the time.
Then he got a job as chef in a New Orleans restaurant.
Then he sent me a book, made of paper he had written his own recipes on ..
I saved it all these years .. I can't find it now.
I will find it but you know how it feels, that sadness for something you have kept so long and now need to see... even if I never use one recipe, I have to keep that book.
I thought of him today because I found a small cookbook from the restaurant where he worked in New Orleans .. I should make one of those dishes.