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Sunday Dinner. In the South, it falls sometime after
church and lasts until the dishes are done and put
away. For my family it was always an all day affair. My
maternal Grandmother, Nanny, as she is called
expected all of her children and grandchildren to be at
the table on Sunday. Why would we miss it? This woman
could take a simple pack of chicken and make the most
amazing meal that was so much more than just food. It
My favorite part was the pan bread and my job was to
gather the kindling for the pot bellied stove that was
the center of all things homemade in my grandparent’s
house. Pan bread was nothing more than what
most people would call corn bread but when Nanny
made it, it was pure bliss. And if you were lucky and
patient enough you just might get the first piece, hot out
of the cast iron skillet. It was Heaven.
My Nanny is so much more than just my grandmother.
She is the heart and soul of our family. She raised five
children and did it all while her husband was fighting a
war in a world far away. She is my inspiration. As a
mother, a daughter and a woman, she is every bit a part
My family no longer gathers on Sundays. Life has since
marched on and I now live 3,000 miles away from Nanny
with a family of my own. I don’t get home enough these
days and miss our time together. The house that is filled
with so many of my memories now belongs to someone
else. And the pot bellied stove?I think it’s safe to say it’s
probably been replaced by a newer version.
Sunday Dinner however lives on in my heart. The time
that I spend in the kitchen with my daughter is so
very special to me. And when our bread comes hot, out
of the oven, I make sure to give her the first bite,
passing on Nanny’s tiny taste of Heaven.
Leigh Harrison Helberg
Whose Apron Strings
are You Tied To?