As a child, visiting my grandmother’s house was like visiting a museum of wonder. There were two living rooms. One with a large comfy sectional, complete with a round sofa. The other all white and gold – so pristine, fancy, and reserved for only when she was entertaining guests or when we were all dressed in our Sunday best. She had a playroom with a large pool table, a bouncy horse (whose beautiful mane I ruined with a brush, but that’s another story) and a long couch decked out in Alabama hound’s-tooth printed fabric.
My grandmother was fancy. She never had a hair out of place. Her clothes were always spotless and beautiful. During church, we would hold hands, and she would let me wear her rings. I also got to play in her purse; she had a gold change purse that was my favorite. It was a gold mesh material, and I can still smell the metallic way it left your hands smelling.
We loved getting to spend the night at my grandmother’s and playing there. At her house we got to play with our cousins, eat her delicious homemade biscuits and fried chicken, and climb the giant magnolia in the back yard. It was a simpler time, a time that I wish I could go back to, and a time I cherish. You see, my beautiful, fancy, sweet grandmother is gone. She is still herself physically, but the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s have taken her.
Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease. It robs a person of not only their memory, but it robs the family as well. If you aren’t careful, you could dwell on the horrible parts of this disease. As a family, we are striving to focus on the positive, remember the good, remember the fancy.
Food can hold so many pleasant memories; it can be what links us to another person, another place, or another time. Every time I have a fluffy, buttery biscuit or a crispy piece of fried chicken, I think of my grandmother. Another recipe that will always belong to my grandmother is Ice Cream Salad. There is nothing “salad” about it! It is full-on decadence, full-on fancy, full-on delicious.
It combines salty and sweet, and is the perfect thing to cool you off during these hot Alabama evenings. I hope you enjoy this salad and be sure to serve it on your best china. Be fancy!