Celebrations, May 15 2015 – Grandmother

Welcome to the Celebrating the Small Things blog hop, started by VikLit and now run by Lexa Cain, our fearless new leader and her two wonderful co-hosts L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge and Katie @ TheCyborgMom.

What am I celebrating?  Well, once upon a time, longer ago than I care to recall, I  had a grandmother (my mother’s mother) who was a wonderful cook. She made apple pie, strawberry rhubarb pie, crisp-skinned roast chicken…  All things good seemed to come from her kitchen.

And the kitchen itself was a wonderful place, full of delicious smells, with a table in the corner and lots of comfortable kitchen chairs to settle into and watch Grandma cook.

She made doughnuts (Dunkin Donuts would be jealous), cookies…  She came from an old homesteading family, out in North Dakota, and she somehow ended up in Vermont.  She wasn’t just a cook (‘just’ is not derogatory; she did a lot of things) she dealt with antiques, was busy with the town she lived in, and she was a wonderful grandmother.  She died long ago, and I miss her still.

The cover

Well, while visiting my mother, who is older now than my grandmother was when she died, I came across, forgotten in a drawer, a beat up old book:

I opened it, scanned it…  Why had I never seen it before?  It wasn’t as though I was never in the kitchen.  …Although my mother was a charming pack-rat when it came to recipes, with clippings going back to the fifties and sixties.

I opened the book and began to look at the
recipes.  I saw some old favorites…

…Boston Cream Pie!

Boston Cream Pie (actually a cake with custard filling and a chocolate-iced top:

Molasses what?

Molasses everything (they used a lot of it in Victorian times on the Great Plains)

So many things that Grandma made, that I had thought long gone.  Yes, my mother had transcribed some of the older recipes from her grand parents: (“Take butter the size of a walnut, mix well with flour and roll out until satisfactory.  Add essence of lemon and let sit…”)

What else was there?  Well, lots of old favorites, including date-filled cookies that, I hoped, were the cookies I remembered as a child.  They looked right…

“Mom?” I said, “May I borrow this?”

She frowned and looked up. “What is it?”

“Grandma’s cookbook.”

She had forgotten she had it.  Grandma’s departure had been hard, with her leaving my grandfather who was in his late nineties.  Things were done hurried.  “Well, yes,” she said.  “But be careful with it.”

Oh, I will be.  I’ve been reading the recipes and toying with the notion of putting them in a cookbook, just for the family, with facsimile pages, with some of the recipes transcribed  for those who wanted to make them.  Maybe.  There was a lot to dig through.

On the third- and second to the last pages I found this one last thing:


An index, by golly.  Thank you, Grandma.

What are you celebrating?