Blog, Reflecting

A Touch of Cream Cheese and Grandma J

It’s no secret that I rarely cook, bake or even get near that thing called an oven that is standard in most kitchens. It’s not that I don’t know how (contrary to what many believe); it’s just that I choose not to.

We are regulars at nearby restaurants and drive-thru windows and have been quite content without dishes in the sink or an oven to clean. However, holidays pose a problem for me. It is tradition for everyone to bring a dish to each gathering and not many restaurants are open on Christmas Day for me to order carryout.

So, my understanding family typically asks me to bring bread or rolls.

For the past few holidays, though, I’ve stepped up my game. Once my grandma’s health started declining and she was unable to cook her famous dishes, I opted to bring our traditional stuffed celery.

I know that it is not a gourmet dish and does not require any cooking, but it was a step up from bread and rolls. The best part, though, is that it is tradition – not sure how it started, though.

In fact, this Thanksgiving, I sat at my grandma’s kitchen table and shared the task with her. We talked and laughed while we stuffed celery and she critiqued the mess I was making several times. Apparently, I slopped it on too quickly for her taste.

We lost my grandma one week later. The pain in my heart still lingers and I am struggling with finding a way to spread Christmas cheer. I was dreading the task of making my dish without her here next to me.

So, I imagined her chatting in my ear while I slopped on the cream cheese and I found myself working extra hard to neatly spread it. I could feel her presence with me in just this little task as if she brought the Christmas spirit to me in her own way.

My celery turned out just fine thanks to Grandma J. I just hope that when I attempt to use that oven thingy, she is right beside me again to guide me through.



– Shannon Philpott
Blog Entry: Dec. 25, 2010

© Shannon Philpott, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Shannon Philpott and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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