My best friend, Tracy, always called me Aunt Jemima when I woke in the morning; my hair is known for attracting sorts of attention. That characteristic about me she associates with the name “Aunt Jemima”---clearly Aunt J wears a wrap at all times. The nickname was never a complement, but an utmost endearment.
These sassy little ladies come directly from my great grandmother’s house. They are so old. She had them in the same place, in the same kitchen, in the same house--before I was born. To me, they appear very gossipy, but far from clich-ish. The paint has worn with age, but most of their lettering is still legible: Spice, Cloves, Cinnamon (of course), Ginger, Thyme, and my favorite, Nutmeg. They sat for many years on top of a frail wooden shelf with hand painted hens in red and black. Unfortunately, when my Auntie gave me the complete set, the little shelf was broken. Gera’s planning to repair it, but you know, it’s just never the same even when restored with the best love and care.
I’m thinking I might get Gera to—instead—make a wooden shadow box, carefully place them behind glass (make sure they each have elbow room) and hang the box on my kitchen wall. They will be my little goddesses, the spirits that will hopefully help me become a better cook.