Archive for the ‘Grammie's Advice’ Category

Happy Birthday!

March 29, 2010

Today we get to wish a very Happy Birthday to Grammie {Edna} and Evan!

Today would be Grammie’s 82nd Birthday, and Evan Dane turns 10 today!

We still miss you Gram! How fun it would be to celebrate these two birthdays together! I know that Grammie would be so proud of the many things our family has done and accomplished, and looks down on us frequently with smiles. (Or smirks, you know, depending on the situation)

In honor of her birthday, I’m going to share a story from when I was lucky enough to have Grammie taking care of my brother {Nicholas} and I.

I must have been in the 3rd or 4th grade, and at the time Lucky (Aunt Mary Jo’s dog) was living with use while she was living overseas. Lucky was very fond of all sorts of fruit, and we admittedly spoiled him endlessly and gave him fruit like it was our job. Grammie would always cut up watermelon for us and then cut very close to the rind and get the leftover fruit to give to Lucky. One afternoon I decided I was going to cut up some watermelon for myself and Lucky. At the ripe old age of 8 though, you can imagine that I wasn’t very experienced with using a large butchers knife. I started cutting with no problems until I decided to cut more closely to the rind (for Lucky) as a sliced the watermelon the tip of the knife cut my pointer finger on my left hand. It was very, very ugly. I didn’t want Grammie to be mad at me (since I did not have permission to be using the knife) and I also didn’t want to need stitches again (since not long before I had split my chin while ice skating and needed stitches) so I grabbed a kitchen towel, covered my finger and ducked for cover in the bathroom. I managed to stay hidden for about half an hour or so when the darn dog blew my cover. He was barking at the door and Grammie grew suspicious of my silence and came to investigate. When I finally relented and opened the door, Grammie came in and discovered the injury. Although I didn’t know it at the time, Grammie wasn’t one to elbow her way to the doctor for minor injuries. She agreed with me that I didn’t need stitches, and we could just run it under cold water and put a band aid on the cut. I probably did need stitches, but I lived. Still have a scar on my finger, and every time I look at it I smile and think of Gram.

Lesson learned: When you really are hurt (even if it’s your own darn fault) don’t be afraid to tell someone who can help you. Even if they’re mad, they’ll take care of you first and lecture you second.

Happy Birthday Grammie and Evan!


Grammie, this is when I need your wit….

January 15, 2010

In case there are any of you reading that aren’t related to me (or practically related to me), let me introduce you to Rocco. He is the worlds absolute greatest dog, and I say this with confidence as I have another dog, Harley, who I love dearly but he still has a lot to learn from Rocco. (And while Rocco isn’t perfect, he is perfect for me and has been by my side through thick and thin since my junior year of college. He also practically potty trained himself, which is proving to be the single most challenging thing to train Harley, so I’m appreciative of that. Also, he lets me sleep as long as I want in the morning NEVER whining to go out, as long as I’m sleeping, he is too)

Anyways, Rocco has a small problem right now:

He has something going on with his eye. It’s all red and irritated.(It looks worse in person) A few days ago he had a pimply looking thing, which I used a tea bag as a compress and wiped his eye. It seemed to go away. Until tonight when his eye is all red and swollen. Grammie wasn’t one who was much for sentimentalities with animals. (Who remembers the Kelsey and White’s Bakery moment?) And she probably would have told me something like, “Oh, for the love of Pete he’s fine. I swear that dog goes to the doctor more than I do and I’m an old lady” And while that isn’t exactly true, especially since our “in network” vet is 45 minutes away…..well it takes more than just a pimply looking something to make the drive. (And yes I just used the term “in network” in reference to my dogs healthcare. Just trust me, it’s cheaper than paying for everything out of pocket)

Well greatest dog let me flush his eye with water and examine his eye fully. I’m 99% sure he probably scratched his eye because the pimply looking something was irritating him and now its inflamed his eye lid. And I’m going to New York for the day tomorrow, and I’m all worried about his eye. Worried enough that I might ask someone else to make the 45 minute drive to the vet with him, just so I can have an answer tomorrow and be at peace. And this is when Grammie would say: “You’re taking the chinese bus to New York? Well good luck with that….. and stop being such a pansy about the dog. You’re being a hypochondriac…about a dog.” (But he’s a dog I really, really, love)

P.S.- If you leave mean comments, I will delete them. I have that sort of power around here. 🙂

Boston Baked Beans

January 10, 2010

Being that Grammy was from the Boston area, I wonder why I can’t locate a “Boston Baked Beans” recipe?  (As I type this, I know that someone will ultimately comment that she did have one- or tell me that she was satisfied with beans from a can. Either way, this recipe seems much TOO divine to pass up and not share with you!)

I’ve loved to cook for a long time (And {Dad} has always had a messy kitchen to prove it) but the world of blogging, more specifically food blogging, has opened up an entire new world of opportunities for my cooking delights. Additionally, having friends at Alpha Tau who enjoy cooking as much as I do, and cook with me has made it that much more fun. But The Pioneer Woman is a new delightful find and her blog is just so much fun.

She recently posted this recipe for Boston Baked Beans, which made me think of {Dishin’ with Edna} and all those canned beans we ate with ham how wonderful they would be with a Ham dinner. It also made me covet a Bean Pot. How can I not have one?

Here’s the link to the recipe. I will certainly be making this recipe soon and will share my thoughts!

Next up are Stuffed Mushrooms! Just need to edit the photos and type the recipe for you!

Everyone’s a Critic

January 3, 2010

You would think you could catch a break when offering to cook for people – not this family! Thank goodness I could dial up {Aunt} Loretta and get confirmation on the recipe and my methods….

Here’s how it went:

I had {Dad} call {Aunt} Mary Jo and invite her over for dinner (Spaghetti and Meatballs with Grammie’s Sauce)..She was coming at 7:00 p and questioned wondered how long I had been cooking the sauce for (okay I admit it, it was cold and took me all morning to get the “oompf” to get to the store and get what I needed and we didn’t get back until 4:30…) So, the sauce was simmering for 2 hours having been prepared to the exact specifications of the recipe which read as follows:

1 Pepper
1 c Tomato Puree
2 c Stew Tomato
1 c Tomato Paste
——–> 2 paste cans of water, 1 of wine
Sugar to taste
Italian Seasoning

The tomato paste cane was 6 oz. so in my brain I accepted that she must have just meant to use one can. It never dawned on me that all those “c”s could mean can and not cups. (That’s what happens when you are semi-formally trained and aren’t used to a home cooks shorthand!)

Then what should have been the easiest part of the meal: Pre-Made Meatballs from Wegmans.…wouldn’t cook all the way through, so at the others suggestion I popped them in the microwave for 2 minutes. Oh well, dinner was served!

My sauce was too sweet. The peppers should have been in strips not chopped. Grammie used whole tomatoes not stewed. Are you sure it said to use wine? Grammie never had wine. Plus that wasn’t a good wine to use. Need I say more?

Thank goodness {Aunt} Loretta came to my rescue. I had already realized the whole can/cup mistake and verified that. BUT she assured me that YES she used stewed tomatoes. YES she used wine (or Sangria!), usually a sweet wine. SOMETIMES she did the pepper in strips, but she also threw it into the blender with the tomatoes too. (I used an immersion blender) However, she never used sugar despite the fact that she lists it in her recipe “to taste” (Her taste = No sugar)

I’m not posting a recipe for this yet. I’m going to go ahead and have a re-do with this, and share the details with you.. of course you can go off of what I wrote above. I do however, have this to say about sauce. I think it’s a very personal thing and allows for a lot of variation among cooks, so don’t be afraid to experiment because even though my version wasn’t “right” it tasted DARN good to me!

Best Christmas Cake Recipe Ever

December 29, 2009

Grammie had a wry sense of humor. And although she was a very good cook, at time she too would have agreed with the following (except she’d of been drinking manhattans not wine!)

* 2 cups flour
* 1 stick butter
* 1 cup of water
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 1 cup of sugar
* 1 tsp salt
* 1 cup of brown sugar
* Lemon juice
* 4 large eggs

* Nuts
* 2 bottle wine
* 2 cups of dried fruit

Sample the wine to check quality. Take a large bowl, check the wine again. To be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink. Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar. Beat again. At this point it’s best to make sure the wine is still OK. Try another cup… Just in case. Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 eggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.

Pick the frigging fruit up off floor. Mix on the turner.. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the wine to check for tonsisticity. Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something. Check the wine. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or some fink. Whatever you can find. Greash the oven. Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over. Don’t forget to beat off the turner. Finally, throw the bowl through the window. Finish the wine and wipe counter with the cat.
Go to Costco and buy a cake.

And if it were up to us, this year we would have gone with Costco’s Red Velvet cake. Oh my goodness, it was SO delicious!

Bingle Jells!