My name is not Nancy…however, my grandmother’s was.
I wear this apron of her’s each and every time that I cook because it reminds me that I am not an island… I descended -I came- from somewhere. I reminds me that I have heritage. And, in the simplest of ways, it reminds me of her.
My Nan…was not a chef..in fact, as far as I know, she hardly cooked. But like a chef, boy did she seek to serve.
I’ve heard stories of how this southern, single-mother, from Virginia lived her life with not only her doors, but her heart, open. In my own experience, I knew a woman who truly allowed her roots to be planted deep in her community. This is a woman who did all of her business with the local business instead of the corporations simply because she knew the locals by name. She would pump her gas at the same gas station and bring the gas attendants cookies that “she baked” on the regular. This was a woman who was KNOWN because she allowed herself to be. And I admired her greatly.
One of my [many] reasons for beginning The Noshing Mama was the desire to preserve the family table; that sacred place where invites are never needed because you are always welcome…no matter who you are, and no matter what kind of day you’ve had. It is a place where stories are shared, tears are shed, and laughter is LOUD, all under the guise of bread being broken.
So many of my favorite memories in life revolve around Nan’s table, or at Nan’s house. She may have had no idea what she was doing, but her love of life and of family was passed down to her son and to her daughter -my mother- and then to me.
And so, this is my way -as small as it may be- of allowing myself to be KNOWN; and to give a glimpse into why the “family” table is so very important to me.