Meet Evangeline, the star of the kitchen*.
She is my brand new tangerine-colored Kitchen Aid mixer. My stand mixer, that once belonged to my grandmother Fanny, died a glorious death. The mixer was in the middle of mixing delicious nutella cupcakes. I am glad the mixer died while in battle, but in some odd way, I felt like I had lost my grandmother again. I never saw her use the mixer; the bulk of my memories surrounding mixers include my mother. During Christmas, my mother's mixer is the hardest working member of the family. Even though my mixing memories do not involve my grandmother, my grandmother does invoke many memories surrounding food.
My grandmother's house, especially at the holidays, was always full of food. My grandfather was a man who loved his food. The kitchen was never empty at that house. One of my favorite memories is eating french toast made by my aunt. She would lovingly cut the bread for the french toast into fun shapes with cookie cutters. Also, every dinner has dessert, and most of the time that dessert was ice cream eaten out of pink plastic bowls. (I have two of those plastic bowls, and nothing brings more comfort than eating ice cream after a bad day out of those bowls.) My grandfather had a great, aptly slightly annoying, habit of tunneling out any "goodies" (chunks of brownie, cookie dough, whatever was in the ice cream) and then smoothing the top of the ice cream back out. You would unknowingly go to scoop out the ice cream only to discover an ant farm tunnel like structure.
So while I do not remember the mixer really being used at my grandmothers, the mixer was just a part of her kitchen that I still had. But now, I have Evangeline, who is a constant reminder that I have wonderful adoptive grandparents. MaMa and PaPa, Trae's grandparents, have opened their arms wide and pulled me into a great big hug. MaMa is constantly declaring she just loves having a granddaughter, cause I am not a grandaughter-in-law, I am a granddaughter! Their love is not shown in big, beautiful mixers, but in little ways. Ways that remind me of my grandparents. Cards are sent during the holidays and birthdays. (My birthday cards are "To our granddaughter" and they even sent us an anniversary card for our one year anniversary.) Desserts are a must and you will offend MaMa if you don't have a slice of pie. If you cannot stay for a meal, then care packages are made, complete with chocolate candies. Those little things, the cards, hugs, phone calls to say hello, are all constant reminds that even those we may lose people we love, reminders of their love will always be around.
*The mixer is named after Ray's love, the North Star Evangeline, from Disney's Princess and the Frog.