Sunday, May 31, 2009

Gram Potter

Looking back I have come to realize how much my father's mother influenced my life. She was widowed when I was about 5 and lived independently in her sparkling clean house in Sussex, New Jersey for many years. She loved to sew and cook. She was a wonderful cook - nothing fancy - just good. She did not spare the butter, sugar or cream. My sister and I each had some time with her in the summer. She took me to my first auction and I still have the little flatiron with the wooden handle that I bought for a dime!

She loved auctions, pinochle, church suppers, a good "tsk, tsk" story and shopping. My mother used to take her to Bamberger's in Morristown and she would not come home until she had spent what she had planned on spending. If there was $1.50 left, she found something for $1.50. I inherited that gene! She made most of her clothes and her crocheting was legendary. All of her pillowcases had knitted or crocheted lace trim and most surfaces had doilies.

The dining room had a bow window that was full of plants and looked at a perennial garden. She did well with begonias and gloxinias as I recall. I still have her oak dining room table. Her china was a Limoge with pale blue flowers and gold trim. She used the "good stuff" for family events. The china cabinet was built-in and was the wall between the kitchen and dining room. You could open it from either side so the dishes could be washed and put away from the kitchen side. There was a special place where food could be passed back and forth. I loved that cupboard and everything that was in it.

She could bake and when we would arrive there would be cookies in a pressed metal tin. The tin was silver and black, shaped like a treasure chest and lined with wax paper. There would be layers of cookies separated by wax paper. My absolute favorite were Rocks! A few years ago when my sister was visiting in Maine, she and I decided to make them to see if they were as good as we remembered. We thought it would a nice gesture to make them for our parents who were there for the summer. Well, they were just as we remembered and we saved one for grammy! The cookie dough will seem quite crumbly but kind of squish it together.


1 cup sugar
2/3 cup butter
1 ½ cups sifted flour
1 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup chopped dates
3/4 cup dark raisins
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water
Cream together sugar and butter. Combine the rest of the ingredients. Drop by spoonfuls on greased baking sheet. Cook at 375 for 10-12 minutes. Makes 3 dozen.

To be continued.....

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