My name is Pam Denney. I am a mother, grandmother (Gammy and Gina – yes three of my grandchildren call me Gina even though my name is Pam,) and Aunt Pam to many. I am a southern cook and proud of it. I am not a chef and I have not been to culinary school. I just have a passion for cooking and entertaining. I was born and raised in Virginia and recently relocated to North Carolina to be close to my daughters, Holly and Amanda (also known as the Greenhouse Picker Sisters, @greenhousepickersisters) and my five grandchildren – Mia, Clay, Ashton, Peyton, and Noah. And of course, my favorite son-in-laws, Reed and David.
I have been in the kitchen since I was seven years old and I learned to cook at a very young age from by grandmother, Lottie Gertrude Griffith. My grandmother was born in Tabor City, North Carolina and was the true definition of a southern cook. Collards, butter beans, okra, grits, squash and so many other staples of the south were all cooked with lard, bacon grease or butter – oh my. My grandmother cooked on a very strict budget. Nothing was fancy but she made sure your belly was full before you left her table. And every meal was served with sweet tea – oh my lordy! So good.
Because my grandmother could not drive, which is not unusual for her generation, and for reasons out of my control, I started cooking in the second grade. I would call my grandmother on the phone and tell her what ingredients I had, and she would tell me what to cook. She would not hang up the phone until I turned off the stove. Was she concerned I was home alone cooking? Probably so. But did she let me know her concern? Absolutely not! My grandmother was my rock growing up and she remained that way until she passed away. She was a God loving southern Baptist lady who loved cooking for her entire family. And that is where I gained my love of cooking and why I want to pass my passion of cooking on to others.
Ironically, because of my great love of cooking, I failed to pass this love on to my daughters. I have always enjoyed cooking and with their schedules being so busy it was just easier for me to prepare the meals. And that is what I do now – cook for anyone and everybody that wants a good meal. Now that I am a little older (I put emphasis on little – even though my granddaughter calls me an elder) and because of the unexpected passing of my husband, I realized that if I don’t start sharing my recipes with my family, they will not get passed on to future generations. To me cooking a meal is a way to bring the family to the table to eat a good meal and have an opportunity to discuss your day. So that is what I do. I live with my daughters (yes, I said live with my daughters!) and on Mondays I switch houses. It is a crazy life but it works for me and my family and I am able to cook for all the grand babies. So, that is the basis of my blog. I want to share my recipes with my family and then share many other grandmothers’ recipes. What a better way to bring the family together and talk about your grandmothers’ recipes so that in the years to come they can continue to warm the hearts of your family and mine.