As it gets closer to 4 July I remember all the fun things we used to do with my grandma. July 4th was always spent at my grandma’s house on the lake, with my uncle running the bonfire and the fireworks show. (With a pyro as an uncle, 20+ foot bonfires are a must…and fireworks never disappointed)
Every year my grandma would use Jiffy brand corn muffin mix, and we’d make corn bread. 4th of July was the first promised time to do this…then again at Christmas. So these two holidays remind me of that fun time cooking with my grandma–well honestly she did all the cooking and we just “helped”. But still, it was something special we got to do, just grandma and us.
So this is one of the harder holidays that I have to deal with. Because it’s been 4.5 years since she died and ever since then, I haven’t made corn bread at all on any of the holidays. Admittedly Christmas was the bigger day for corn bread, but we’d make little muffins of it for the 4th, and drench them in butter, no matter how hot the weather was.
Cornbread reminds me of family, and of those who are gone.
Sometimes I get strange ideas. In this case, I kind of associate cornbread with my family. So I’ve kind of been debating if this would make a good offering food. I have no intention of just leaving it out on some altar or family plate. See, as my grandma always used to tell us – enjoy food with family, and don’t leave anything to waste. That means the other part of what I’m thinking is enjoying food with my ancestors, leaving nothing behind. It’s an idea that’s been floating for a while. I’m just a bit unsure of how to be respectful about it.
Admittedly, I’m sure I’m thinking too much about it. I’m sure any good intent and respectful demeanor will work just fine. But my nature is to overthink and supremely worry about what I’m doing, thinking, and saying.∗