Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Staking Claim

I have a bit of obsessiveness about laying claim to items I want to own when said person dies.  When Brandon and I were first married I used to go through his mom's house and mentally catalog the pieces I would want to have after she passed away. I realize that is crazy, and may seem a little callous, but I will pull the dead-dad card and tell you it can't be helped.  

When my Grandma D died, the first thing I asked for was one of her wind chimes that hung in her kitchen. It still hangs outside my front door, 15 years later, and whenever I hear the chimes, it makes me think of her.  

A year or so ago, on our annual work day at my maternal grandma's I remember her telling me about her favorite gardening tool. I call it a 'poker' but I think it has an actual name. All I know is that I have a similar one and it is also my go-to tool for gardening. When she told me that it belonged to her mother, I knew I had to have it.  I waited a little bit, so as not to seem so outrageous, and then gently brought up the fact that I would like to have that tool when she died.  I also claimed it because I have a sneaky suspicion that someone is taking all of the good things from my grandma's and I will be left with some weird knick-knack that holds no meaning for me.  My suspicions were confirmed when Grandma told me that she couldn't find the gardening tool anymore. It conveniently went missing after I said I wanted it. Hmm. She kindly bought me the same tool at ACE but that is not quite the same as having her much used one.

After mourning the loss of the gardening tool, I realized there was something else I wanted. Her recipe book. My grandma is known for her pies, cobblers, breads, and most importantly her cookies. She makes the best 'chocolate chip-less chocolate chip cookies' just for me that are to die for.  I wanted her recipe book and all her recipe cards in her writing.  Take that, garden-tool thief!  

This year for Christmas I unwrapped my present from my grandma and found this book inside. In it, were all of her favorite recipes handwritten, complete with who first originated the recipe. It was a complete who's-who of friends and family who lived on Swede Hill.  All of it in my grandma's writing, complete with personal notes about how she altered the recipe to make it even better.  

It was an incredible gift, and more importantly, she was (with my mom's help) able to photocopy the recipes and hand out 11 books, one to each of her grandkids.  My first attempt at making a recipe from the cookbook did not go well, as I some how combined the cookie recipe and the biscuit recipe together. I didn't realize my mistake until I mentioned to my grandma that I was surprised her cookies needed cream of tartar. They don't she said, well, the recipe I was making did. No wonder the cookies were so biscuit like.

Yesterday I attempted once more to follow one of her recipes. I wanted to make rhubarb cobbler, just like my grandma used to make. With my boys help, we cut down rhubarb from our yard, washed it and assembled the cobbler. The whole time I was talking to them about how I grew up eating this and how this was one of my favorite desserts. We ate it that night still warm from the oven with vanilla ice cream melting on top.  Jack summed it up when he said, "It tastes better then it looks". It was absolutely perfect.  Made even better as the rhubarb I used was taken from a start of my grandma's rhubarb.  

I would love to close this blog post with a picture of the yummy goodness that was my cobbler, but alas, it is all gone. The boys and I finished it off as our afternoon snack today. If any of you, doubt the goodness that is rhubarb cobbler, come on over. I have tons of rhubarb and I am all too happy to follow my grandma's recipe one more time.  I'll even add ice cream as an added incentive.

As much as I love this notebook, I am still keeping tabs on her original recipe book.  I'm just saying.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

It is one of your most brilliant ideas! I love my book.