Who wouldn't love to go back to those simpler times when all we had to worry about was what would be waiting under the tree on Christmas morning? This time of year, I always get a little nostalgic for those times...and Christmas Eve at Granny's house. So why not a trip back in time to yesteryear? (PS: I had four grandmothers until I was in college - two great grandmothers and two grandmothers, but for today's post, I'm sticking just with my paternal grandmother.)
|Granny & Gramps Wedding Picture - Jan. 3, 1924|
What I remember about Granny:
- She had white hair for as long as I can remember. When I was little, I loved to watch her open the gelatin caps that she mixed with water for a hair rinse - she was one of the original "blue hairs" that have become today's cliche. In her older years, she went to the salon and sometimes had a lovely pink or lavender tint.
- She always wore hats to church. And a girdle.
- She loved to go fishing.
- She had a concrete goldfish pond in the side yard of her farm house and a cherry orchard on the other side where we picked (and pitted) cherries every summer.
- She was the first person I knew to have an aluminum Christmas tree with a rotating light in different colors.
|Photo from Wiki Commons (Table top size) - Granny's was full size.|
|Color Wheel for Aluminum Christmas Tree - Photo from Wiki Commons|
- She and Gramps raised five kids during the Great Depression (a sixth came along later).
|My dad (2nd from right) and his siblings during the Depression|
- Her hands were gnarled and scaly with psoriatic arthritis, and I spent many an hour sitting on the floor beside her winding crochet thread into a ball. She crocheted stunning doilies, table cloths, and even bedspreads and taught me how to block them after they were washed.
- She made yummy frosted cut-out sugar cookies - so pretty I hated to bite into them.
- She loved to play the old upright piano in her living room and sing "When the Roll is Called Up Yonder" in a rousing voice.
- She was a wonderful cook, but whenever I think of Granny, it's her rice pudding with hard sauce that floods my memory. Here's her old-fashioned recipe for you to enjoy.
GRANNY’S RICE PUDDING1 cup boiled rice
1 cup sugar
4 eggs, separated
2 tall cans milk (3 cups light cream or half and half works as well)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons melted butter
2/3 cup raisins, softened in boiling water and drained
Beat egg yolks; add sugar and butter. Pour in rice with milk, vanilla, raisins, and salt. Beat egg whites and fold in separately. Bake in 300 degree oven for 30 minutes or until pudding begins to set.
Custard Sauce (optional but sublime)
4 beaten egg yolks
¼ cup sugar
2 cups milk, scalded and cooled slightly
In heavy saucepan, mix egg yolks, salt, and sugar. Cook over low heat, gradually adding milk. Stir constantly until mixture coats a metal spoon. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour into small pitcher and cool slightly before pouring over bowls of warm rice pudding. Enjoy!
I was a pretty lucky girl to have the influence and warm memories of both my grandmothers who lived until I was a mom myself. I treasure them and the time I had them on this earth.
I'm leaving the blog after this month, but want to thank each of you who have read my posts and encouraged me in numerous ways. I will miss you, but invite you to visit me at my website or FaceBook Author page so we can keep up.
As a farewell gift, I'm offering a $15 Amazon card, chosen from comments on this post. To make sure you get it in time for Christmas, I'll draw for a winner at noon on December 20. It will come as an E-Gift to your mailbox so please leave your contact info (name at dot com format). To enter, please share a favorite memory you have of one of your grandparents.
May all your days be merry and bright!
Carla Stewart is the award-winning author of six novels. With a passion for times gone by, it is her desire to take readers back to that warm, familiar place in their hearts called “home.” Her 2014 release, The Hatmaker's Heart, was a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award and the Selah Award. Her newest release is A Flying Affair. Daredevil Mittie Humphreys navigates her heart as well as the skies in this beguiling adventure of grit and determination during the rollicking Roaring Twenties. Learn more about Carla at www.carlastewart.com
"A well-written romance with characters willing to do what they need to achieve their dreams. The storyline is believable, and some of it is based on true events. Stewart did her research and brings to attention a forgotten piece of history, the Women's National Air Derby."―RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars
"Compelling action scenes, clever dialogue, and believable characters add spice and depth to a multidimensional tale....The historical detail and vivid action scenes anchor an enjoyable story."―Publishers Weekly