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LETTER DECEMBER 2017 Meet the Men Behind Your Meals
www.OctoberKitchen.com | 860-533-0588 | 309 Green Rd, Manchester, CT 06042
Remembering the Meals We Share With Family MEMORIES IN GRANDMA’S DINING ROOM
When I think of the perfect family dinner, my grandma’s dining room is where that meal would be served. Growing up, we would have Sunday dinners over at my grandma’s house every week. After church, she would pull out her portable dishwasher, set up an electric griddle on the dining room table, and make us all flapjacks and silver dollar pancakes. When Thanksgiving and Christmas rolled around, that’s where we’d be again. The whole family — my parents, my sister and I, my aunt and uncle, Grandpa Oz, and Grandma — would gather together to share holiday meals. Grandma’s dining room was the family dining room. After a lifetime of associating my grandma with great home cooking, it was shocking to discover she all but stopped cooking for herself as she got older. Living on her own at the ripe old age of 88, Grandma wouldn’t go out of her way to heat up the kitchen or spend time cooking because, as she would say, “It’s only me!” She got by on snacks and other junk food and insisted she just wasn’t hungry anymore. In reality, she was actually starving. Her body went into a fasting mode, which caused her metabolism to slow down and her muscles to atrophy. When she tried to stand, she would lose her balance and fall to the floor, unable to get back up. After she ended up in the hospital twice, my parents decided she couldn’t live on her own anymore.
At the time, my mom still worked as a parish secretary, and while my dad was semi-retired, he’s no good in the kitchen. Taking care of all the housework and cooking meals with an extra person was way too much for my mom to handle alone. I worked as a personal chef, and my mom asked if I would prepare an extra meal for them, or, as she put it, “Toss an extra potato in the pot.” Of course, I was happy to help my parents and my grandma, so I started bringing over dinners a few times a week. The system worked so well for my family that my mom mentioned it to a few of her friends who were also taking care of aging parents. I started to make something for them too, and the service turned into a prototype of what would one day become October Kitchen. Once my grandma began to eat right and get the nutrients she needed, she bounced back. Grandma lived for another seven years, which was amazing! With the diet she’d been on before, I don’t think she could have made it to five. My grandma spent so many years cooking for her family, I am glad I was able to return the favor and cook for her when she needed it most.
“My grandma spent so many years cooking for her family, I am glad I was able to return the favor and cook for her when she needed it most.”
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