Recipes from Class 4A


I leaf through stapled sheets and find

Granma Hernandez Tamales. The recipe

takes up two pages and serves 50.


My granddaughter contributes her mom’s

cinnamon buns, sweet and sticky. Another child

offers a family recipe for Simple Louisiana Stew.


Next, I scan all the steps for baking

Grandma Beasley’s Banana Bread.

At first I think she must be dead.


How lovely, her family honors her memory.

I read down the page, submitted by Grandma

Beasley. I’m jealous. I wasn’t even


invited to suggest a recipe, my raspberry

chicken or maybe French toast. Hmm…

I ponder, perhaps Grandma Beasley


is raising her granddaughter, or lives nearby.

Mine is over a thousand miles away—still I try

to call, skype, email or text, all supposed


to bring us closer. No surprise, families are busy.

So I’ll cook when she visits, make a special dish,

a recipe with this grandma’s secret ingredient.


Lorraine Walker Williams


About the Poem: On a recent trip to Dallas, Texas, I found a recipe booklet from my granddaughter’s fourth grade class. I was struck by the number of recipes from grandmas and thus the poem began. When I cook with my grandchildren, I always tell them that the most important ingredient in any recipe is love. Food is love. Happy Valentine’s Day!