Thursday, February 20, 2014

Lunch Like Grandma Used to Make

 My grandma (left, back row) and great grandma
with some of Grandma's siblings

One of the things I loved about my maternal grandma was that when I was the sole grandchild at her house, the McCalls magazines were dragged out, along with pinking shears, typing paper, paste, and crayons.  Betsy McCall, a paper doll with accompanying outfits, took up a couple pages at the back of the magazine, and it was such a treat for me to play with those paper dolls. I don't remember having those things at home, but at Grandma's, I loved cutting, coloring, pasting, etc.

And eating Grandma's food.

Does anyone else remember a nice little bowl of raspberry sauce? or blackberry sauce?  Delicious, home-canned berries with a light sugar syrup. I loved that stuff.

And real mincemeat pie. The mason jars of canned mincemeat sitting on the basement shelves looked really disgusting, but I tried not to think about it when the beautiful pie was made and sitting in front of me. It was so good!

Grandma (left), much later
and me (right), putting on my most angelic smile.
I have a little grandson who has a very similar smile.

But one of my very favorite lunches at Grandma's was this:

Open-face rye with sliced green olives and pimento
Cheese Whiz 

I loved that!! And usually I had a glass of 7-Up with it - and maybe some of that raspberry sauce! Sounds like enough to give any kid a belly ache, doesn't it!

Testimony to the fact that even that long ago we ate junk food.

Does that look like an owl to you?
I know. It's been a long winter.

But I don't want you to leave here without knowing some other very important facts about my grandma. First and foremost, she loved God and shared that love with others. I remember hearing that she used to set out food for the hobos (yeah, I know it sounds like ancient history!) who came in on the train and scavenged for food. Evidently they knew which houses were going to help them out. I think Grandma set food out on the window sill of the kitchen. At least that's a memory I have. Maybe it was in a novel, but I think it's something my mom told me.

She helped her neighbors, even those in the town who were considered sort of 'odd' by others. Grandma was not a 'respecter of persons,' so to speak.

Grandma could often be found sewing doll clothes or making rag rugs on a huge loom that was in her upstairs room. Under the eaves were stashed hundreds of balls of rags that she had cut and wound, ready to be made into rugs. I have no idea whatever happened to that loom or the pedal organ that was in her living room.

She collected tea cups and plates and displayed them on a shelf in her living room. Her backyard was a garden of irises of many colors and a wonderful grape arbor that was full of Concord grapes. I have no idea how she managed to do all this stuff, but her gardens always looked gorgeous and she was always busy.

 One of the irises from my garden
via my mother's garden
via Grandma's garden

One of the most important things to Grandma was her work with Child Evangelism Fellowship. She was a wonderful teacher and would visit homes to teach children about the love and hope that only Jesus can give. It was a weekly class where kids would get off the bus and meet for an hour or so to listen to my grandma relate accounts of Jesus' life, as she deftly placed paper figures on a huge flannelgraph board. We loved it, and Grandma definitely lived her love for Jesus.

I wish she had lived long enough to know my children and grandchildren.


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For the Kitchen Sink
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TexWisGirl said...

i'd go for the berry sauces, but you can have the olives. :)

love the bows in the first photo. and yes, your smile in your grandson...

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

Your Grandmother sounds like a remarkable woman!! I lOVE your family portrait of your Grandmom and Great Grandmom!! The clothes and their hair!!!! What year??? Be sure to have the names of the people on the back and year and place taken for future generations!! Your sandwich sounds great too!!

Butterfly 8)(8 Bungalow said...

Wonderful memories.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Judy, this reminds me so much of my own grandmother. It is funny sometimes how you can live across the country from one another and feel as if you have led parallel lives.

Loved this SO much! Love the fact that she loved Jesus, too!



Sandra said...

wonderful memories of your grandmother... the food looks good to me. and thanks for bringing to my mind that i am just like my grandmother, she did not bake or cook or sew or craft or do anything with needles or sewing machines. reminding me of this makes me feel better because now i know why i am like i am... she loved to read and listen to music and drink cokes. the only thing i remember her cooking was a baked ham with brown sugar and pineapple. she had that ready when we got to her house and would say, the ham is here the rest is up to you... i loved her dearly.
about the McCalls and the paper dolls and all that you did. i did the same thing and guess what made it wonderful. My name was Sandra McCall.... i felt like it belonged to me...

Ruth Kelly said...

I played with paper dolls when I was a kid. My grandma used to take my brother and I to get pick chokecherries. She would make syrup and jam out of them. She also made real mincemeat pies mostly at Thanksgiving along with pumpkin pie and suet pudding. How I miss those days with my grandma!

Kim said...

This is such a lovely post. I also adored my grandmother. She never served olives and cheese whiz but it looks so good I am going to make that some night.

Margaret Adamson said...

HI Judy Many thanks for sharing about your wonderful Granma. Memories are wonderful adn I loved looking at all your old photographs.

Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

I remember those McCall papers dolls too - Didn't they have them in the magazines well into the 1960's when I was a little girl. I loved them too :-)

Carla from The River said...

Hi Judy,
I just lost my grandma in January.
I loved riding my bike to my grandparents house. They lived a mile and half from our house.
She had a candy jar on the shelf right in the entry. :-) My sister and I always took a piece when we visited and one for the road when we left.

Susie said...

My guardian angel let me have those cut out of the McCalls' magazine. I love having them. I am glad you got to feel special too. xoxo,Susie

Noelle the dreamer said...

A beautiful testimony to her love for others Judy! Thanks for sharing!
My maternal grandmother raised my sibling and myself and we owed her everything!
Granny was famous for her fruit compotes! We couldn't get enough of those!
Love to see your smile at her younger age which apparently hasn't changed!
Thanks for those memories Dear!
P.S. I can see an owl in the photo but yes, Winter has been long enough!
God bless,

Primitive Stars said...

Afternoon, loved this post, so touching and the old photo is wonderful. Loved my Grandmother too, Blessings Francine.

Primitive Stars said...

Afternoon, loved this post, so touching and the old photo is wonderful. Loved my Grandmother too, Blessings Francine.

Debby Ray said...

What a sweet post...isn't it fun remembering old times? I have so many sweet memories of my own that that my other blog is dedicated to them. My husband would probably LOVE those sandwiches...rye bread, cheese and olives are three of his favorite things! My mom used to can mincemeat too but I wasn't a fan of the pies...her strawberry-rhubarb was my fave :) be able to go back...

NanaDiana said...

Judy-What a wonderful tribute to your grandmother. She sounds like a wonderful person.

I do remember that sauce and we also had it made with elderberries (my favorite). My grandmother's FAVORITE pie was mincemeat and she always brought that to meals as her contribution. I liked it until I found out what was in

Those are great old pictures and your grandboy DOES have your smile! xo Diana

Anonymous said...

What an enjoyable read today, Judy. I loved these photos/memories you have shared. My mother loved mincemeat pie. Your grandson certainly does have your smile. That's a unique sounding sandwich to me - my hubby would love it!

Heide at ApronHistory said...

Grandma's have a special knack for creating memories. I don't have an special memory of a certain food at Grandma's house, though she always had a large stash of candy in her huge strawberry jar. She loves fruit and berries and we have fond memories of picking strawberries with her.
I still remember having bologna sandwiches on fresh italian bread at my great aunts. Sometimes I get a craving for one!

podso said...

Loved this post! It almost could be my grandmother. I did a post on the urn that my grandmother stored her mincemeat in and that started a thread of comments about the subject. Yes, there were special things we did there that we didn't do elsewhere, that makes the memories so sweet. And that's an old word, hobo, but that's what we called them, and loved to be for Halloween when we got older. Because it was basically a flannel shirt, jeans, and a hat. My husband came to faith through CE at the age of 8.

podso said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
camp and cottage living said...

Your G'Mother sounds like such a special lady, Judy.
Her children's meeting remind me of the 'Good News' club I attended as a child.
I'm wondering what part of the country she lived in, because those sandwiches are nothing I have ever heard of before-very unusual.
Thanks for sharing your sweet memories!

Diane said...

We sure miss our grandmas, don't we? Love the "sofa" picture. My grandmother always gave a handout of food or clothing to "bums" who came by during the depression too.

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

Your grandson definitely has your cute smile! Oh, I loved those cheese whiz and olive sandwiches. My kids loved them too.

Anonymous said...

Judy, oh gosh the pictures are so precious! I often wonder if those huge bows that the young girls wore back then were heavy and uncomfortable.

Your grandmother sounds like such a wonderful woman.

Denise said...

Loved this post.

Chatty Crone said...

I love seeing the pictures and hearing the stories about your grandma. Love the bows too.

Yes your smile looks like his or vice versa.

And I wish I had one of those sandwiches right now.


Daniela @Frugal Aint Cheap said...

I lost both my grandmothers in the past month, and I have been thinking a lot about memories...I remember breakfast at grandma was hot milk with cookies. What a beautiful tribute to your grandma

Mike Biles said...

Loved your memories of your grandmother. I think we are all very lucky and privileged that some people come into our lives. Thanks for your recent comments on A Bit About Britain - I'm afraid I don't have as much time as I'd like to fully reciprocate.

Mike Biles said...

PS And what a cutie you were!

Jenn C said...

I love this post, Judy. The memories you have of your grandma are wonderful and I thank you for sharing them with us. It makes me remember all the wonderful things about mine!!
I also love the food memories... on dad's mom used to make us fried spam sandwiches or liverwurst!!! I still love both today :)

Eileen said...

Precious memories! I'm so thankful for a Christian family.
My aunt and I would make lots of mincemeat in the Fall. And lots of lefsa before Christmas. How I miss those fun times but am thankful for the memories. Mom was a "writer" and has preserved much family and church history.
We live in NE near Shawano. About 30+ miles from Green Bay or Appleton.

Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

I love that first picture: the girls had huge bows! Fashion has always been weird!

Donna said...

This is such a lovely tribute to your grandma and the values of time gone by. BTW, your grandson's smile is identical to yours! I remember well the simple foods (no fast food or tv dinners back then) that were tasty treats. And I remember cutting out those paper dolls from magazines that were given to us!

Terri D. said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories of your grandmother! I have heard stories, from my dad, about my Granny putting food out for the hobos, and yes...they would put markers on fences for other hobos, to let them know they could get a meal at this house. The hobos of olden times were much different from the lost souls who are homeless vagrants today.


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