Thursday, January 6, 2011

From my grandmother's hand

A nut cookie recipe passed on to me by my aunt.  My sister also has another original written by Grandma.
I realized that since Grandma's death on December 4, I hadn't really said a whole lot about her.  On the day that Grandma died, she was 93.  She had 3 children.  Pat, her eldest, had been murdered by her husband on Christmas Eve back in the late 60's. 

Grandma had married twice.  She had been married to my grandfather, Les, until his death in 1977.  Grandpa Les was very diabetic and extremely allergic to bee stings.  Combine the two together (he got hammered by a swarm of bees) and his extreme stubbornness (um, where'd ya think I get it) and he passed away as a result.  He signed himself out of the hospital, came home and died. 

Grandma married a few years later to Charlie.  Charlie was a quiet guy, a good handful of years her senior by most recent findings, and he was missing a digit and part of another.  Grandma and Charlie snowbirded for many years, finally making their permanent home in Indian River, Florida.  They were able to see the shuttle launch from their yard and witnessed the day that it blew up.  They would visit for a bit in the summer, taking us on day outings.  They would take us to the movie.  First, they would stop by Woolworth's, give us a dollar and allow us to pick something out.  It could be a snack or a trinket.  We would go to the movie, but then Grandma stopped taking us when we started getting older and the movie selection we liked and the movie selection she hoped for differed wildly.  Then, they decided to start taking us to the local fair.  We were all cool with that, but my sister got that one tossed out when Grandma came around the corner and found her latched onto the face of one of the carnival guys.  Grandma started taking us for picnics to the park and she did that for many years. 

Grandma was a strong-faith Baptist woman who made no apologies for her faith.  She loved the Lord and everyone, I mean everyone, who knew her knew it.  K- started belting out, "Thank you, Lord!" when she was about 3 1/2 and that was all Grandma.

Grandma could be very picky.  She knew what she wanted, how she wanted it and that was the way it was to be.  In this case, if Grandma wasn't happy, ain't nobody happy.  She was very picky with food and when she had radiation to shrink the tumor on the roof of her mouth, it only made that pickiness worse.  Everyone made her different food.  My sister made her some old time pudding she wanted.  "Blah!"  She wanted gravy on mashed potatoes.  I got her the exact gravy she wanted.  "Blah!"  She wanted pudding cups.  I made a batch a week for her.  That one actually held. 

Her one true love?  A Wendy's chocolate frosty. 

Grandma loved the color red.  She would have painted the world red if she could.  Yellow was something that she could not stand. 

I looked up Grandma's birthday and found an interesting smathering of information. She had been an only child, but had siblings that all died in either pregnancy or childhood.  She ended up terribly ill when she was a child, from the same affliction that took out many of her sibs, and her mother brought her home and nursed her back to health herself.  The other siblings died in the hospital and her mother insisted that it wasn't going to happen to her. 

Onto Grandma's recipe. 

Grandma always wrote in cursive. 

She always wrote at a slant.

I can't imagine where you could locate lard, or oleo for that matter.  (My mom STILL! calls it oleo AKA to her as margarine.)

Cake yeast?  I think that those are the blocks, yes?

I find it interesting that she added later that the walnuts needed to be in shells.  I assume that you were to shell them, but perhaps they had a fresher taste if they were newly cracked from their hard housing? 

I love that Grandma wanted to bake a "crecent" at "375%."  :)

My mom told me that she made these cookies once.  She said that it took all day long.  My aunt says that they are wonderful.  My hatred of walnuts prevents me from putting myself through modernizing this recipe (although lard would probably be the best stuff for it) as I wouldn't even enjoy them. 

Selfish, I know. 

I just wanted to share a bit of my Grandma with you. 

Smiles in my day:
-  So much better today!  K- had a good morning, a great day, a wonderful evening and was in bed on time, without complaint.  She even had a little time to play with the DS before bed.
-  K- was listening to Disney music and I finally had to tell her to switch over to a bedtime (classical) CD.  Mary Poppins was keeping her awake!
-  I've been a bit remiss about working with K- on math flash cards.  They aren't her favorite, but I decided to hunt down some math fact worksheets.  I'm having her do one column of addition and one column of subtraction a night.  It works so much better.
-  Stripping the trees at work and bringing the nuts and corn home from the nature tree.  K- and Hubs took it out to our new feeding area in hopes that someone will find it soon. 
-  The end of my work week.  I dislike this time of year.  Everything is stripped and it looks like a thrift store through a hunk of our store.  We have inventory this next week, another one of my non-loves, and then we'll be on task to reset the whole store.  What inventory that remains after the Christmas crush (a great thing!) needs to be flipped and re-displayed.  I will be happy when our store looks crisp and clean once again. 

Have a great day!


Rach said...

Oh my! Reading this recipe was like stepping back in time and reading my Grammy's recipes done in her hand.

Oleo? Yup, she wrote it, used it, and called it that until she died. Love it!

Cake yeast? Yes, yeast came in cakes, not in the convenient packages of "active dry yeast" we have today. Yeast in cookies? Really? Hm.

I'm not a huge walnut fan either. The recipe may be good with pecans, though. Mm. Pecan crescents. Or maybe almonds and use some almond extract? Hm, I may have to tweak this a bit, play around and see what I can come up with. It looks interesting!

You CAN still get lard, strange as it seems. But, you can substitute Crisco/shortening instead.

Grandma was a special special lady, that's for sure, and I KNOW she will be missed for a long time to come. Thank you SO much for sharing her with us! :o)

Sharron said...

I loved reading about your Grandma. Mine has been gone for 28 years and I still think of her almost daily. She had a huge impact on my life.
I have a hand written recipe from my Grandma framed and in my kitchen. Maybe you can do this too.