In the Kitchen with Grandma
If there is one experience I want to impart to you in this space it’s the feeling of being ‘at grandmas elbow.’
Some of my earliest kitchen memories involve my grandma. I have vivid memories of not being tall enough to see into the pot she was stirring, needing a stool and grandma warning me to be careful because the wood burning range was hot.
I believe the reason these are my earliest memory of the kitchen is because in those early years the kitchen in our own home was a very busy place. I am the middle of 9 children and have two older sisters who were very competent in the kitchen, and while I was running wild with my 4 younger siblings most of the responsibility of the kitchen fell to my mom sisters.
When I spent time at grandmas home however things were different, the pace was more relaxed, the amount of food needed was minimal and there were no siblings for me to run with. The only thing for me to do was to help grandma and grandpa with their chores. Grandma was not a fancy cook, she grew up in the Great Depression and her cooking and housekeeping were greatly influenced by this. She cooked over a wood cook stove and talked while she cooked, telling me stories about her family and experiences that surrounded the ingredients.
I loved helping her bake cookies in the wood cook stove and noticed how the row of cookies that were closest to the fire box got baked much harder and were dark and crispy while the cookies on the far side from the fire box were chewy and soft. But no worries, Grandpa loved the crispy cookies and grandma and I were more than happy to leave those for him.
On the warming shelf of the wood burning range is where she would clabber the milk from our family milk cow. From this clabber she would make a couple different kids of cheeses that grandpa would pile onto thick slices of home-made bread and sprinkle salt and pepper onto them. He would then wink at me, tug one of my two braids that fell to my waist, and tell me what delicious cheese I had made.
The memories of grandma’s kitchen with the cozy wood burning range, the dining room table with her simple but delicious meals, and the comforting presence of the generation that had enough life experience and skills to make me feel like there was no challenge too big for them, It’s these memories that are the biggest influence in the home I create for my loved ones and the meals I put on the table.
I strive to keep my recipes simple and yet delicious. Using food that we have grown on our homestead is my number one goal and our meals often reflect what we have most of in our larder and freezers. Cooking from scratch is a skill that I inherited from my mom and grandma and I am excited to share the recipes and skills with you here on the website!