When I was younger, I remember my granny telling me that one of her top compliments in her life came from her mother-in-law. My great-grandma told my granny that her nails looked very neat and clean. It was a simple statement, but as a child of the Depression, it made quite the impact on my granny. Even with Rheumatoid Arthritis, she always kept her nails well manicured, even if she didn’t paint them any longer.
My own mother also has beautiful nails, and when I was starting kindergarten (1991), I remember them most often as long and red – very fashionable for that time.
Now, though, it seems as though history is repeating itself as it so often does. The half-moon manicure is making a comeback! The next time I get a manicure, I think I’m actually going to attempt this trend as a nod to my granny. I’m going with red, though, for my mom.
Fun fact: There’s an old wives’ tale that states that the more nails you have that have half moons, the more attractive you are.
My granny was known for her sweet tooth. There was never a day in her home that we weren’t offered dessert after every meal. This was the lady who added sugar to my bowl of Lucky Charms. 😉 And she oozed sweetness. There will never be another one like her, and I’m thankful to have several of her “recipes.” I use that term loosely because she rarely measured, but today I’m very happy to share the first recipe of hers I remember making.
My granny loved peaches. In fact, the jarred vanilla peaches from Atwoods were some of her favorites. She always had canned peaches at home, and it was from this very simple ingredient that she was able to create a favorite dessert of mine – easy peach cobbler.
In a 9×13 pan, melt a stick of butter in a 350 degree oven. While it’s melting, combine 1 cup of flour, 1/2 teapsoon of baking powder, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of milk and a dash of salt. After the butter has melted, pour the flour mixture on top of the butter. Add two cans (16 ounces each) of sliced peaches in syrup on top. As if that weren’t sweet enough, sprinkle on sugar and cinnamon before baking in the oven for about 45-50 minutes. Delicious every time.
I’m thrilled to share receipes with you, and I can’t wait to hear from each of you about your favorite recipe. Please feel free to share them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last night I made some pies for a rehearsal dinner. Every time I make pies now, it reminds me of my granny. She was the pie queen. Every single crust of hers was perfectly thin and flaky. Just enough of the filling would soak in to make it delicious and worth every calorie. Like most Southern cooks, she never measured; she just felt the give the mixture gave to let her know if more milk, sugar, etc. might be needed. It never mattered. They came out just right each time.I wish I had that talent. I, on the other hand, have scoured over a dozen recipes my granny had written down (just for chocolate meringue pie) to try to find one that remotely tastes like my granny’s did. Before she passed away, I had her try some, and she gave me pointers for improving it – let the crust bake for about 90 seconds longer, increase the temperature about 15 degrees. Suggestions like these. About six months before she passed away, she gave me the approval. But, truthfully, I think she said it to be nice. No pie could ever touch hers.
My mother-in-law has always joked that if someone asks for her recipe, she gives it to them with a minor alteration. Maybe a slight measurement change or missing an ingredient that isn’t vital to the dish. She said that way people think, “Hmmm, it just isn’t quite as good as when Jane Smith made it.” However, I truly believe that it never is the same anyway. Recipes keep memories alive. Sometimes that right bite takes us back to our granny’s house, with a window AC unit, open windows in the kitchen that had simple white curtains blowing in the summer breeze, our bare feet on the laminate flooring and the perfect creamy bite of chocolate meringue pie in our month. No earthly mansion could compare to the paradise we experienced in that moment. No need for keeping up with the Joneses, as we had something they never would – a pie made with love from arthritic hands and a beautiful heart.
Although I’m missing my granny a lot lately, I’m so thankful for every memory I had with her and the recipes I get to share with Katherine and Grant. I hope you have plenty of memories like these, as well. If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comment section. Let’s keep the memories alive.