Euna Mae fed people. It was her love language. She fed her Circle group, her Sunday School class, and her grandchildren every Wednesday when we'd come over to play. She'd make compassion meals for people who were hurting. She'd donate treats for area bake sales. And she hosted and fed her family's families on sled-worthy snow days, any given sunny afternoon, and every Easter and Christmas for as long as I can remember.
She had a round wooden stool with a cushioned top that she'd let me pull right up to her between her sink and her stove - right smack dab in the middle of "in the way." I'd ask questions, and she'd answer. I'd sit on my knees and watch her stir gooey, homemade mac-n-cheese or make her famous peach fried pies that people would arm-wrestle over. I'd drool impatiently as the still-sizzling pies drained right in front of me on brown paper bags from the local Town and Country grocers. But she never shooed me away. You see, she wasn't just cooking for me, she was cooking because of me. It was her love language.
One early August morning when I was all grown up with a kitchen of my own, Euna Mae called me on the phone which was a rarity. We talked about my three babies and how the heat was affecting her golf game. We talked about how on earth people could live life without knowing the hope of Jesus. And we agreed there was nothing like a warm, Arkansas tomato. Just before we hung up, she told me I was "a real dandy." It was the last conversation I had with her before she died unexpectedly a little more than a week later. I was standing at my sink making supper when I got the news.
Some of my recipes are hers. Some are from family or sweet friends. Some of the recipes are ones I've found that put skin on "comfort" and "home." I am no fancy cook, skilled chef, or even a bona fide food blogger. But I am Euna Mae's granddaughter who received from her a shared loved of cooking because of others - an heirloom of sorts that is worth more than all the fried pies in Baxter County.