Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday Favorites

I have been talking about my grandmother in a few posts recently so I thought I would repost one of my earliest blogs this Sunday for Sunday Favorites. Join Chari today at Happy to Design for this event.

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.....


Anonymous said...

Hi Carol

it is lovely to hear about your Gram and I can see you inherited your craft skills from her. My Grans were chefs and I love cooking meals etc.. I don't make cakes and things otherwise I would want to eat them and get even fatter!!

Looking forward to hearing more.. Jackie in UK.

Maggie B said...

What a lovely trip down memory lane, we love our Nana's don't we?

podso said...

I love this story and it takes me back to my own grandma's house and her pantry that we loved to play "restaurant" in. I spent a good part of my life in NJ so those NJ areas are familiar to me, as is where you live in FL. Thanks for your comment on my blog today.


Keetha Broyles said...

I've had cookies turn into "rocks" when that was NOT my intention! Hehehehehehe

Chari at Happy To Design said...

Good Morning Carol...

First of all, what a pleasure it is to have you join in with the fun of Sunday Favorites, my friend...WELCOME!!! This was such a lovely and endearing post to share with us today! It was so sweet to read about your Grandmother...she sounds like a wonderful woman! Very creative and talented and loved her family...especially her granddaughters!!! Your beautiful post took me down memory lane...with so many precious memories of my own Grandma! My Grandma was the most influencial person in my life...she passed away 2 yrs. ago at the age of 93! I have always said that she was my hero and I always wanted to be just like her!!! My Grandma wasn't a "fancy" cook either but ohhh boy, she was a fabulous cook and it always tasted better at Grandma's! Her recipe for "Rock" cookies sounds divine! I love dates and would really love to give this recipe a try! Thank you so much for sharing it with all of us and thank you so much for joining in with Sunday Favorites today! Your post about your Grandma and all of those precious memories is just the sweetest!!!

Well my sweet friend, I had a little gift waiting for me in my mail...Friday! I was sooo excited!!! I had so much fun unwrapping those pretty pkgs. with the beautiful aqua and brown ribbon...loved that pretty ribbon! I have saved it and will find something pretty to use it on! I carefully unwrapped those precious little silver birds and just squealed! Yep...I squealed! hehe! They are absolutely delightful and they have already found a home in a vignette on the bar between my kitchen and dining room along with my large apothecary jar full of silver mercury glass ornaments! They are the perfect addition!!! And...if all this sweetness wasn't enough...I find your cards with your fabulous art work!!! My friend, I was just elated!!! In fact, my honey was sitting with me when I opened your pkg. and I took him to your blog...straight show him all of your beautiful art!!! You are such a gifted and talented artist! I am thinking about framing your cards...they are sooo gorgeous!!! Thank you soooo very much, my dear lady!!! I love, love, LOVE my gift and I will always think of you when I look at those precious little silver birds and beautiful cards!!!

Well dear lady...thank you again for sharing this sweet post with us and thank you sooo much for the lovely gifts!!! Have a wonderful Sunday...

Warmest wishes,
Chari @Happy To Design

Linda said...

Hi Carol- thanks so much for sharing your lovely memories! It is making me reflect on my own grandparents and how my grandchildren will remember me...

Cozy Little House said...

I haven't heard of these, but they sound good. I love your story, your memories. You have such recall! I could just picture myself there with you.

Cozy Little House said...

Oh, and I forgot to say I LOVE your banner! So clever. Did you do it yourself? Don't know that I'd know how to achieve the effects you've done here.

Barb~Bella Vista said...

Carol, your post is lovely. It was a treat to read.

Blessings, Barb ♥

Kathleen said...

Loved that story! Such wonderful memories!
I am copying that recipe..So glad it was just as you remembered!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Carol, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post! What a wonderful tribute to your grandmother. It's funny because your description of her is so much like my maternal grandmother who was my very heart. I adored her. Her speciality was cupcakes, but she also made a fabulous caramel cake and coconut cake with fresh coconut. And she was as sweet as her desserts were.

I've been MIA lately, but I'm so delighted to have seen this. It made my evening.


Sheila :-)

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

Your grandmother sounds like a wonderful person! My MIL used to make "rocks" and they really are yummy! Happy week!...Debbie

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Hi Carol, Sweet post! Loved how the cabinet could be accessed from the kitchen or dining room. Smart thinking. My Mom could never understand why today's big new homes did not have a bedroom on the first floor for the sick and elderly. Now they are doing that but it's not an extra's a master suite. :) Have a super great day.


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