I love getting my two grandmothers together. It’s like watching two tornados collide. They get along with each other great, in a fiery sort of way, rivalling each other in all aspects of domesticity. Get them together for a cuppa and soon enough they’ll be behind the kitchen counter debating the best way to bake brownies and competitively showcasing last night’s leftovers.
One day, Nanna Bernadette and I went over to Nanna Holly’s house. When we got there, nanna Holly was looking rather sallow and dishevelled. She tried to disguise it by greeting us with that conspiratorial old smile, but by the time she got us into the kitchen, we were asking her what was wrong. She answered in a tremulous voice, ‘My oven and stovetop have carked it.” I looked at Nanna Bernadette, whose expression transformed into that smug expression I so often see before she’s about to sample Nanna Holly’s cooking. Then Nanna Bernadette began criticising Nanna Holly for her choice in appliances, specifically the Meile oven. ‘Repairs in Sydney are never going to be able to fix that old claptrap,’ Bernadette admonished, ‘That’s why I go with Bosch’. This really got Nanna Holly going. She insisted that she’s had a Miele cooktop and stove since the day she was wed and it’s never been a problem for her. But Nanna Bernadette wasn’t having a bar of it. Then she started attributing the inferiority of Nanna Holly’s cooking to the Miele. I interjected to say that I’ve had to get Bosch repairs myself so obviously the brand is not infallible… That’s when I got an earful from both parties.
Let’s just say that’s the last time I try to come between two ancient homemakers and their egos. While they were arguing, the oven repairs company arrived from Sydney, and the guy had to fix the darn thing while these two old women bickered over whose food was tastier and who makes the better choice in ovens! Oh grandmothers.