Grandma! by Jackie Villarreal Najera


My grandmother taught me how to cook. She baked bread on top the stove instead of the oven. She made wonderful cornbread. She always said that making cornbread with sugar was almost a sin. All these things I never learned to do.

She did teach me how to cook other Texas style cooking. I remember my grandmother watching me cook. She never said anything to me, she just watched. After I finished cooking I tasted the food. The food was bland.

 My grandmother then said “You forgot the cumin.” “Granma why didn’t you tell before now?” I asked. She did not answer me.

Two days after that incident I decided to bake a cake. My grandmother was watching me again. I mixed all the ingredients and even tasted it for flavor. The cake seemed perfect to me. I put the cake in oven and when it was done I then let it cool.

I then took a knife and went around the outside of the edge of the cake pan. I took a plate and turn it upside down. The cake fell into crumbles.

Grandmother said, “You didn’t add shortening and flour to the bottom of the pan.”

I started to worry that I would never learn how to cook or bake. I was making so many mistakes. I remember that I was eleven years old when I began learning how to cook.

I am now over sixty-five years old and sometimes when I cook I never forget the cumin. I also never forget to flour the pans when I bake. Truthfully, I have never learned how to make cornbread or bread on top the stove.

Now that I think about it Grandma taught me how to cook without saying a word.


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