Digging into Grandma’s Recipe’s

A few weeks ago, when I was on a cleaning/purge spree of a few bookcases in the house, I stumbled across a little gem that I forgot I had..

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My Grandmother’s recipes, tucked into one of her cookbooks!  When she passed away, I was excited to be able to get this keepsake!  There are so many of her favorite recipes, handwritten on note paper, tucked into the book!  I could almost taste some of these treats when I started looking through them again.  Aside from all the handwritten recipes, there are also her own notes added in the margins for many of the recipes within the cookbook!

20160828_134808Today, we start the adventure of Grandma’s Home Cooking!

I have decided that it is time to bring some of these recipes back to life for everyone to enjoy!  Every few weeks (more if I can help it!) I will bring you one of these special treats as part of “Hamster Bites” and “What I Eat Wednesday”!  There are several reason for this:

  1. My son never had the chance to experience many of her famous recipes, as she passed away when he was very young.
  2. Everything is hand written and slowly fading because of the decade that have passed since these were written down.  By adding this to my blog, I am hoping that I can create a lasting archive of her recipes for the rest of the family (and all of you) to enjoy for years to come!
  3. As you all know, this hamster likes to eat.  Eating to fuel the crazy adventures.  Since I am always on the lookout for tasty eats, what better place to look!
  4.  These recipes bring me back to those days when I was young and carefree. When spending time at Grandma and Grandpa’s house was the highlight of the week.  When Friday night meant spending time at the pond with Grandpa, catching dinner… if we didn’t catch anything, Grandma always had a plan B ready to go when we got back to the house.  Or Sunday afternoon cross country skiing through the woods and fields around their property, coming back to steaming cups of homemade hot chocolate or hot tea.

A step back in time starts today!
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One of the first recipes I found:

Pickled Beets

I just happened to have a few bunches of beets that I received in my weekly produce crate that needed to be used, so it was fate!  Grandma’s Pickled beets were the best!  They were always made with beets that she planted from seed, nurtured and then pulled out of her own garden every summer.  She would spend all day simmering and then canning these red beauties.  Once the canning process was complete, they were carefully stored in the root cellar in the basement to be enjoyed later.  The best part was being there on the day she made them, so that you could claim the “extras” that would not fit into the jars, enjoying them right away!

The one thing that will be interesting with this project was evident right away… most of her recipes have limited directions!  She wrote down the basics, but not all the details.  Why would she need to?  She made these all the time and knew the rest!  I wish I could sit down with her again and get all of the missing details from her, but since that is no longer an option, we will do the best we can!  I am sure there will be some flops along the way, but that’s just part of the process!

I had to guess on how many beets I needed today!  So, I used all of them!  2 bunches of beets, peeled and sliced by hand.  Yes, sliced by hand because the handle on my mandolin slicer broke and I have never bothered to get it replaced.  But then again, for recipes like this, I need to remember, she did everything by hand, so I can too!

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By the time I finish, my hands were stained and so was the cutting board but it was worth it!

The other good thing about using recipes that were written a few decades ago, there are usually no “weird” ingredients in them!  they kept things simple.  Granted I did not have everything on hand, but running to the store to pick up cloves was worth it!

 

Ingredients:

  • Beets (I used 2 bunches) Peeled and sliced
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 2 Cups vinegar
  • 2 Cups water
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp Allspice
  • 1 Tbs Cinnamon

Directions: (yes I was winging this since I had nothing to go on)

  • Combine all ingredients, except beets in bowl.
  • Put sliced beets into large enough pot that will fit beets and liquid, giving it room to boil
  • add rest of ingredients to pot
  • Cover and bring to a boil
  • Once boiling, allow to cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until beets are tender
  • Cool and enjoy

There was not going to be any canning of these beets.  They will be enjoyed as they are, over the next week!

And yes, they were just as good as I remembered them!

Stay turned for the next edition of Grandma’s Home Cooking!

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