informer sidebar clear
About Us
Across Georgia
Black History
Herbert Dennard Show
Book Review
Influential People
Movie Review
Music Review
Social Issues
Special Pages
Berdine Dennard Berdine's Corner
informer logo
Kenney Dennard Publisher

Berdine's Corner

Things We Do
Make Memories For Our Loved Ones

by Deborah Dennard

berdine dennard
Berdine Dillard Dennard

Life Lessons from a Matriarch

It is said that the parent is the first teacher of children. This is very true, whether the lessons taught are lessons on how to be a good person or a bad person. The fact of the matter is a parent is always teaching whether the lessons are intentional or not. I am grateful for all of the lessons I learned from my parents, especially those my mama gave me on being a woman.

I know that it is probably old fashion, but one of the most treasured gifts my mama left me was that she taught me how to cook. I didn't realize that this was unusual until I began college. I don't know whether she was being intentional or if she just wasn't going to allow me to relax in my room while she did all of the cooking or cleaning. It was probably a little bit of both.

During the summer, I begin feeling very nostalgic, and I really miss her because this was the time that she began putting up fruit for the year. She would put up peaches and berries for those home made cobblers, and in September, she would pick the pears off of her tree that she planted in the back yard and make pear preserves. Some years, she would get crabapples to make crabapple jelly. She didn't know it at the time, but my mama was making memories for her children. She probably would never guess that I would take up that same tradition, freezing fresh fruit for cobblers, making the dough and rolling it out with a rolling pin, just like she did. I am honored that I can remind my daddy and brothers of my mama by just cooking meals as she did. It is a great gift.

Berdine Dennard taught me how to cook almost anything, from chicken and dumplings to lasagna, from broccoli casserole to macaroni and cheese, from taco salads to chicken pot pie, and from red velvet cake to her famous pound cake. Even though I didn't want to learn as a teenager, I am grateful for the lessons now. Those lessons became family traditions. They became gifts. Cooking is a dying skill. My mama thought it was important to pass that on.