Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas at Grandma's

A big thank you to Carla at Cosmogirls Emporium for suggesting today's post:

This is a coming home to Kentucky for Christmas memory-from a child's point of view.

When I was a little kid our family lived far away from our Grandma Rechtin, when we would return home for Christmas every other year we got to stay in her one bedroom house. It is hard to believe that as our family grew to seven members that we could still stay there for a week...she must have been infinitely patient. Upon our arrival we would run into the solarium (our bedroom for the next week) and find all the cookies grandma had been baking weeks before...pinwheels, nut balls merri josies, chocolate chippers. Most were stored in wonderful square glass jars so we were able to drool over them but not on them.

Then there were all the homemade candies- mint thins, haystacks, opera creams, and peanut butter cups.
We would move all those goodies into the dining room and set up the bed; fill the drawers with our clothes and crash. Until Christmas we would busy ourselves in her basement with all the 'old' toys and games that were new to us. Then there was the huge container of Legos, oh the hours of entertainment that provided. My sisters and I would create cities of sorts on the unplayed ping pong table, all around Grandmas unfinished wrapping, boxes and bows.

On Christmas morning there was breakfast, not just any breakfast but a full blown pastry delight.

All photos from Flickr
In the early years it included a hot breakfast but as the family grew it became more and more about pastries. Grandma would begin her baking in October and would freeze everything she made. There were tea rings and coffee cakes galore. As we set up the tables from the dining room into the living room and covered it with vintage holiday tablecloths it must have looked alot like the Who's in Whoville gathering around for a feast.

As grandma aged the recipes would change a little, every year or so she would be unhappy with the way something came out, I always tried to assure her that the ingredients themselves probably weren't the same and therefore tasted different. She would occasionally try a new recipe but she realized we were traditionalists and really just wanted the tried and true. Grandma left us a few years ago and the tradition went with her, there is still some talk of reviving it but no one has taken it on. I still have hope that it could return for my children to enjoy.

If you have a Christmas tradition you would like to share to you can link it up to Carla's blog too, just go here.



Carla said...

Oh Angie, that all sounds so magical! I would have loved your Grandma! I LOVE to bake, (even helping Mom when I was little). I would have been in heaven back then . . . as it sounds like you all were!

Maybe next year you could revive at least a bit of the tradition by starting with a few of her signature baked items.

I truly enjoyed reading your story. Thanks so much for sharing and linking up with mine.

Merry Christmas!

J said...

Alright sis, you're making me miss Gram... and her Tea Ring coffee cake... and the nut balls (I think I was the only one that liked them). I'd LOVE for someone to revive the tradition, I'd do it but... well, I live too far.

BTW, Gram wrote out her recipe for nut balls for me a few years ago, I still have it. I think mom may have the Tea Ring recipe

Violet said...

What lovely memories! Have a wonderful Christmas! ~ Violet