My mom and her mother, my Nana, were polar opposites. Nana adored shopping and fashion, Mom hated shopping and carried the same black handbag around until Nana and I made it disappear. Mom operated at mach speed 100 while Nana was always on an “easy like Sunday morning” type speed. They loved each other and drove each other nuts. I fondly placed myself in between both, appreciating them each for their differences and what each taught me about life and being a woman. Mom worked as long as I knew her; Nana was a traditional 50’s housewife, coral red lipstick and all.
When it came to cooking, Mom was the master of comfort food and Nana, well, was the master of entertaining the crowd who came to eat Mom’s cooking. One of my favorite memories of Nana’s attempt at cooking happened one Easter break when I was home from college. Nana and I were catching up (she relished hearing about my adventures with my southern pledge sisters) while she was working on her contribution to Easter supper - fruit salad. Well, I must’ve been telling Nana a real doozy of a story because she started wiping down the kitchen counter with a blue and white dish towel and scooped the counter’s crumbs and dirt into her open hand. Instead of putting them into the trash, tho, she wiped both hands together and deposited them over the fruit salad. We both stared at that dirty salad for a second in silence, then Nana shrugged, put her finger to her lips and gave me a little shush. Being the slightly OCD daughter of the mom I described above, I was horrified. However, how could I rat out my preciously hilarious Nana? So I kept my mouth shut, but passed on that fruit salad.