Sometimes, I feel a bit guilty that I never became a better cook. It’s not that I don’t think I have the capacity. In fact, I can follow a recipe as well as anyone, but I’ve never had a passion for it. It has always felt more like a chore than a pleasure. But, I have the fondest memories surrounding food. My grandma was an amazing cook and had some signature dishes that I truly miss. My grandma could serve up any dish in a way that truly showed her love. It was not unusual for my grandma to pull out the cast-iron skillet and whip up a batch of pancakes at whatever time we arrived for a visit. These pancakes were special and didn’t even fit on the plate they were so large. Her Apple Stack Cake, turnovers or Banana Pudding would make you close your eyes in delight and savor every bite. In a vain attempt at preserving this amazing talent for generations to come, I videotaped my grandma making her famous Banana Pudding. I swore I would learn to make it. I did make the delightful concoction twice, but I believe that the missing ingredient in both batches was my grandma’s love. I miss her. The way we’ve changed the way we break bread together is concerning. As I get a little older, I worry that I’ve robbed my kids and potentially grand kids out of those special moments where they can get a whiff of pancakes and bacon and it transports them back to a special time of their lives. We’ve pushed our way into an automated, convenience-driven society and most of the time I’m leading the charge. However, when I hear about women like Mena, who have such a special connection to food and how it makes people around her feel – I get a little reminiscent for days gone by. You have to stop by Roma’s and check out this Lansing jewel has to offer. If you’re feeling a little nostalgic say…maybe for a sweet time in the past when you were eating Jello Pudding Pops (just like Bill Cosby told you too), microwaving French fries as a snack, or sipping on an ice-cold Tab or Capri-Sun then you might be a fan of the 80s. I hear there is a Happiness Theory that says we tend to idealize the past. What we really experienced is always remembered much more fondly than the reality. I’m not sure if that’s true, but I can say that I remember that decade very fondly – even if the microwave changed the way we eat and not necessarily for the better. This year, CAWLM is again celebrating the best decade with its famous 80s Flashback Fundraiser on March 23 at the University Club. The proceeds from this totally rad event will benefit the Lansing Promise scholarship fund. I’m proud to support our Lansing area students who will have the opportunity for higher education at no cost to them. This program removes a financial barrier and gives our students confidence as they are moving through the public school system. I want to encourage everyone to come out in his or her 80s finest and have fun to support a great cause. Last year, I wore my 9th grade cheerleading outfit – classic! Can’t wait to see what I dig out of the archives this year. I want to give a special thanks to our premiere sponsor AT&T. And, I also want to thank these sponsors including The University Club, Jackson, MSUFCU, General Motors, Steven L. Marvin and many more. Get your tickets by going online at cawlm.com/80sFlashback.
Tiffany Dowling is the Founder and President of M3 Group, a full-service branding agency located in downtown Lansing, Mich. She is also owner and publisher of Capital Area Women’s LifeStyle Magazine and the Greater Lansing Business Monthly. Dowling has helped businesses and organizations with branding needs for more than a decade. Learn more at www.m3group.biz.