A love for baked goods runs in my family. A few weeks ago on Facebook, my cousin started a conversation on my Grandma and all the wonderful things she used to cook and bake. I lamented that as the second youngest grandchild, I didn’t get to experience as much of her food as my siblings & cousins did. But I’m so glad I knew her for those fourteen years!
Every year, Grandma made a birthday chocolate layer cake (two yellow cakes with chocolate frosting in the middle and on the top and sides) for my dad and my brother, who were both born on Christmas. My mom has continued the tradition, always striving to get closer and closer to Grandma’s original cake in taste, texture, and chocolate flavor.
The rules for eating chocolate layer cake are simple: you get your triangular-shaped piece, and then slice it down the middle. Hopefully each half will still have chocolate frosting on it, but sometimes it sticks to one half. That’s all right. Some people might eat the frosting off and then the cake underneath, but the frosting complements the cake, so I say eat them as one. Have a glass of cold milk close at hand, because there’s nothing else that will quench that thirst. The most important thing is to take small to moderate-sized bites and savor that cake. It won’t last forever, but you’ll wish it did.
Grandmas was also famous for her apple pie, and my dad, her youngest son, has continued the holiday apple pie tradition faithfully. I’d love to share the recipe, but all I have are some scribbled notes on scrap paper that aren’t terribly cohesive. Here are some great shots of the apple pie making process that Andy captured, with my dad holding up the recipe:By the way, sampling those sliced apples coated in cinnamon sugar is an essential part of the pie preparation. Trust me, it’s a family tradition. Moving on… One last thing I remember fondly from Grandma’s kitchen is the chocolate chip bars we had nearly every time we ate dinner at her house. These weren’t ordinary chocolate chip bars, however: they were sunshine squares. Isn’t that such a grandma name? I love it. Sunshine squares were wonderfully full of vanilla and brown sugar, so flavorful and full of chips, and also perfect with a glass of cold milk.
I wish I could spend time with my grandmothers now, as an adult. I wish I could have asked them so many more questions than I did: more about their childhoods, where they got their recipes from, and what it was like to grow up in the early 1900’s.
Do you have a cherished family recipes? How long did you know your grandparents?
This is my second post in the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Today’s theme was Baking. Stay tuned tomorrow for a C post!