Friday, November 2, 2012

My Grandma

Aside from my mother there is no other person I admire more than my grandmother. We all think our grandmother's are the best and rightly so. Grandma's give you hugs and love that only a grandma can give. I think that's what makes them so special. They have a way of making your banged up knee feel better in seconds. And only your grandma knows just how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

My grandma was the best at everything. She was the best cook, baker, canner, quilter, crocheter and the list goes on. I never knew anyone that worked as hard as my grandmother did. The only time I ever saw my grandmother sit was when she watched "As The World Turns" soap-opera. Boy did she love that show. Never did understand why but even sitting she would peel an apple and when she was done she would have a big long snake. She rarely broke the apple skin snake I would call it.

Each day of the week was designated as laundry day, canning day etc. Baking day was my favorite. I got to help from time to time, but mostly just watched. It wasn't that my grandma did not want me to help, it was like watching an artist paint a masterpiece. You don't help. You just watch in awe. That's how it was with me. When my grandma baked it was nothing short of heaven. The smell of fresh baked bread would send your taste buds in a whirl. My uncle Jay could smell grandma's bread clear across the yard. The bread had just been taken out of the oven when he burst through the door and into the kitchen. He would slice up a thick piece of bread and slather butter and homemade jam on it. I can still hear her "Jay that bread hasn't cooled off yet!" There was no stopping him when it came to fresh baked bread. It truly was the best bread ever.

She would bake all day and her morsels would last until the next week. They should have lasted all week but I doubt they ever did. I wouldn't be surprised if she made a few extra loafs or cookies for us snitchers. My grandma always made oatmeal cookies, never chocolate chip, peanut butter or snickerdoodles. They must have been my uncle's favorite because that's what she made every week. I didn't mind it so much because she always made some without the raisins. I love raisins but not in cookies or cinnamon rolls. So I had my own little batch of cookies.When I ran out I started in on the others, carefully picking out those nasty black raisins.

Years later when I married I wanted to learn how to bake bread just like my grandmother. I struggled for the longest time trying to repeat her recipe. It wasn't easy you see back then women didn't use measuring cups or at least no woman in my family. They all used their hands. A handful was considered a cup. Well I couldn't bake like that. What if my hand was smaller or larger, the recipe wouldn't turn out. Many loaves of bread didn't turn out. But after 25 lbs of flour, I master my bread making. My grandmother would be estatic! I knew she was smiling down from heaven when I pulled from the oven my first loaf of bread that actually looked like bread and tasted divine. I instantly called my mother and told her. She was proud. I was proud and I knew my grandma was proud.