With 8-year-old Olivia’s assistance, Gloria Smith (“Gigi” to her granddaughter) prepares a dish she calls Plantation Casserole. Gloria, who is hyperglycemic, has been making it since her kids were little, because she wanted to prepare something healthy. This recipe, if developed today, would not be named Plantation Casserole, nor would it be deemed especially healthy. But neither of those things matters between Gloria and Olivia; what matters is how hard you pack the cheese, whether there’s nasty garlic in there, and how difficult it is to chop pecans.
You know her by many names: YaYa, Nana, Bubbe, Gangy, Grandma. Cooking with Grandma celebrates family traditions. If you would like to nominate a San Francisco–based grandma for our series, please email Meredith Arthur with your contact information. Skinnay Ennis song courtesy of the Internet Archive.