When Dennis' mother moved from her apartment, she gave us several boxes of things. Among them was this spoon. The spoon has always fascinated me because of the wear on the tip of its bowl. I envision Dennis' grandmother standing at her stove, stirring, stirring, stirring with her right hand, wearing away the metal by repeatedly scraping the bottom of a pan.
Any cook would notice the wear and know what caused it, I believe. Through this spoon I feel a connection with a woman I never met, but one I closely identify with. She prepared god knows how many meals with this spoon in her hand. Did she weary of cooking, as cooks sometimes do? Did she puzzle over a menu for the next meal? Did anyone lend a hand? All I know is that she cooked a lot and that Dennis loved her for her generous lap, the milky tea she prepared for him, and especially for warming his underwear over the floor furnace on cold winter mornings.
I did a little cooking myself yesterday. Too many bananas led to this banana coffee cake with a sugary pecan topping.
Although I used a mixer and rubber spatula, I was mindful of Grandma Comer and all the women before me who spent a good portion of their lives standing at a stove.
By the way, Grandma "Comer" is not a typo. She had three husbands, and buried each of them. (One hopes it wasn't her cooking that did them in.) Her first was someone named Gaston. He died young and she then married Dennis' grandfather Robin Domer. After he died she fell in love at the age of 79 and married an eighty-five-year-old-man one Christmas Eve. He had been a cowboy with Buffalo Bill Cody's show and had many tales to tell a fascinated young Dennis Domer. His last name was Comer.