Monday, May 5, 2014

Grilled Cheese

Last night I took two more recipes out of my newest cookbook, another Cooking for Two edition from America's Test Kitchen.  I really am trying to cook and buy in smaller amounts to prevent waste.  
So I made a Beef Barley soup, and a Grilled Cheese.
And it reminded me of my very first experience making a grilled cheese.  
I must have been about 10 years old.  We grew up thinking, loving and believing that "cheese" came in a box, wrapped in foil and was hard to slice.  Yep, Velveeta.  And of course Wonder Bread (or the store version of plain white bread) was what we had.  
Mom had a big square waffle iron, the kind that makes 4 waffles at a time.  And for an extra treat, you could take the waffle irons off, top and bottom, and reverse them and it make the appliance now a perfect grill!  
So I carefully buttered the outside of the slices of the bread and then proceeded to get some nice thick chunks (you just couldn't call them slices) and placed them on the bread,  put the tops on the sammies and put the lid down.  So it grills both slices and melts the cheese all at the same time!!  
However......I seemed to have overestimated the amount of cheese needed and before too long I had this avocado green countertop appliance that now more resembled some kind of flat top volcano oozing unbelievable amounts of orange goo all over the counter.....
So much for my early sandwich making.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Early Memories

This is my Mom putting tinsel on the tree.  We ALWAYS had a live tree, we ALWAYS had tinsel on the tree, we ALWAYS started to put tinsel on as kids and ended up losing the job when we would put clumps on instead of strands and Mom would take over.   It didn't take long to figure out that if we started with clumps we would be done sooner.... Many of the ornaments were made by Mom.  I still have a couple of them that I rescued over the years.

For as long as I can remember Christmas, there were things I could always count on.  First off, those bowls of that hard candy.  Ribbons, some filled candies, and they were always all stuck together until you starting breaking pieces off.  I started to think it was the same glob of hard candy that just got a bit smaller every December.

Christmas cookies were the same.  Spritz, krumkake, sugar cookies we would cut and "decorate".   Fudge, divinity were a mainstay and into my teens, Mom had added the cathedral windows cookies, that you rolled in green or red tinted coconut and sliced them.  They had those colored mini marshmallows in them.

And the shallow wooden salad bowl which was converted into a nut bowl.  Real nuts, shells and all, and a nut cracker included.  So if you wanted nuts, you had to work, at it.

Christmas Eve we were allowed to open one designated present.  Was from Water Gramma and Grandpa (named because they lived on the beach in West Seattle, and easy to differentiate from Candy Gramma and Grandpa who always came with candy in purse and pockets) because it was a new pair of pajamas.

The house I spent the most years in was in Seattle.  It was a split level, with the big windows in the living room and family room at the front of the house.  And Mom would paint Christmas scenes on those windows.  Loved that.

Stockings were stuffed ALWAYS  with an orange, an apple, nuts, some wrapped candies (guess I should be glad it wasn't those hard candies in a glob).

I don't recall having a traditional breakfast or dinner for the actual holiday.

I still find myself looking for a bag of that hard candy in the stores when I am shopping this time of year, once in a while I find it and buy a bag.

I'll share more old Christmas photos over the course of the next several days, and stories of some of our traditional holiday events.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Yes, It's True

I am the QUEEN of getting great ideas and then putting something in action.  Not so great at maintenance but I am working on it.

So what is this?  It's a new blog that I am starting to tap into a more particular part of my life, past and present.  It's designed to be a record of my life that hopefully my kids, grandkids and their kids and grandkids can have to learn more about their Geema.

I'm going to start out exploring our family when I was one of five kids in our family of seven.  I'll add some photos along the way that I'm blessed to have available to me.  It will work into my relationship with food and meals and recipes and how those things bring warm memories of the past and bring some of those things into the present.

You are welcome to come along, I love to see comments.  No promises of how often I'll be here, but those who know me know that I usually start out with a BANG so there is hope for lots of activity in the near future.
Names of my family will NOT be changed (because none of us are really very innocent) but last names will be left off to protect their privacy.