My Grandma was ace! She was a baker, knitter (you know the professional knitter who can watch TV, hold a conversation and still knit a pair of socks) and a gardener. Her name was Mary and she lived in Waddington, Lincoln, UK.
My Grandad owned a red Mini and whenever me and my brother went to stay for a week over the summer, we loved going on a trip into town (the heady destination of Lincoln) in the back of the mini with Grandma and Grandad.
The first thing that springs to mind when I think about my Grandma is that she was a wonderful cook and especially her baking. So many delicious pies and cakes and biscuits. She always welcomed help from me as far as I remember, even when I was little I would help sift flour and put the weights onto the scales.
She had a little stool which I could stand on while I was helping and I am happy to be the proud owner of it now. Lovely reminders like that stool make me a happy girl every day.
I am so glad I have her recipe books now, they are full of recipes I still use and I love all of the little extra comments she has written with the recipes – ‘economical’, ‘very good’, ‘too sweet’. My favourite is ‘The vital ingredient in this cake is 1/4 pint beer’ in Beer fruit loaf. Sounds like an obvious statement, but don’t forget how we all try and substitute ingredients if we don’t have the exact ones! I am assuming a 1/4 pint of Dr Pepper wouldn’t quite work!
She also noted who gave her the recipe or where it came from ‘Eva’s’, ‘Weekly News’, ‘Kathleen’ (my Mum).
My recipe cards are kept in a little grey index card box, not at all pretty, but I am happy to have a gathering of recipes I use all the time and some I forget about all together! I will write on them and cover them in ingredients – my ‘Banana/peanut butter/chocolate chip bread’ recipe is covered in peanut butter stains!
I look forward to passing my crabby box, or my lovely recipe book (when and if I gather the energy to transfer them all over onto a pretty book. Frankly unlikely) onto my kids or grandchildren or whoever wants an old fashioned written collection of recipes from various sources.
Don’t get me wrong I love Pinterest and online recipe gathering and get lots of recipe ideas from there, some of which are in my little box. But I like to follow a recipe from paper where it won’t switch off to a black page every time I turn my back. I might need to hold open the pages of my new recipe book with a couple of cans, and cover the whole lot in flour and butter, but I can’t write a note on my iPad screen, which has just gone black, again.