A Tasty Recipe
My paternal Grandmother was an excellent cook! One of my most favorite things I loved about going to visit her was helping in the kitchen. Sadly I wish I knew then what I know now and I would have written down her many recipes. All of which she kept in her head.
One of the best things she made was her dinner rolls. They were always fluffy and buttery good! No one in our family has been able to duplicate those and we’ve all tried for many years.
She also made the best giant bread loaves. I remember making those with her and I finally found a recipe and instructions that come pretty dag-gone close to what I remember doing in her kitchen. It’s called Peasant Bread.
We always had a big family get together at least one night during our visit. My Dad’s brother and his wife would come to GrandMaw’s house after she spent the day in the kitchen. She didn’t like anyone else in there doing stuff while she was cooking. Always a bit of contention between she and my Mom. But she would let me come in and make bread with her. Not sure why. I’m the youngest of her three and only grand-children. All of us girls. But for some reason, maybe because I was the only one who asked, she let me help.
I remember one particular visit asking her if we could make a different kind of bread for the family dinner. She pulled out the ingredients, mixing bowls and such. Told me that bag of flour wasn’t going to be enough, go to the pantry and get the new bag and open it. I brought it back to the table where she had placed all the items I’d need. How much flour I asked? “About 3 or 4 cups” she said from the kitchen.
Ok..is it 3 or is it 4? This is the problem with good cooks, you never know exactly how much a pinch of this or a dab of that really is! Start with 3, she said. You can add more if you need it. Ok now that instruction I can relate to. She was also right there wasn’t enough flour in the 1st bag. So I measured out what was there and went to open the new bag.
Now back then, the brand of flour she used were not folded and glued shut the way they are today. Then, there was a metal strip across the top of the bag, you folded the top closed and then turned the ends of the metal strip down to grip the bag closed. That was after it was opened of course. Getting the blasted thing open was a different story! I don’t think I ever got one open that didn’t rip the top apart and make that stupid tab useless!
So here I am, trying to open the new bag. I’m trying to be careful. After all GrandMaw might have been a tiny woman, but you didn’t want to make her mad. Even my Dad at 6’2″ was afraid of her. I’m trying to get the bag open and somewhere in my frustration I said something like why can’t they make these things easy to open! In response to that, she comes walking into the dining room right as….the top gives way and rips open, tearing a piece out of my hand as the 1 pound bag falls to the table. As it hit with a giant thud, the top of the flour flies up out of the bag, into my face, all over my hair and cascades around my shoulders and well…everything!
For a brief moment I’m in total shock and awe! Then I hear laughing. Boisterous laughter like I had never heard before. Instead of being angry, my little tiny GrandMaw burst out with laughter. It was SO unusual that everyone in the house came to see what the heck was going on. Here she was, laughing so much and so hard she couldn’t speak. Well you didn’t really have to say what happened, all you had to do was look at me.
She caused such a commotion with her laughter that my Dad and Uncle came in from outside on the porch to see what the heck was going on. And as each member of the family entered the dining room, they all joined in and laughed hysterically.
I was, at many moments in my life, the source of humor for my family.