To me, my recipes are priceless.” ~~ Colonel Sanders (and Wendy!)
Some things are just sacrosanct in my memories. They have the power to transport me to another time and place, just in their smell, taste, or appearance. I would love to duplicate these things, to keep those times and places alive in the present, and yet, I don’t want to change them in any way. You would think that, with a written recipe, simply following the instructions would yield the desired result, but it is me we are talking about here. 😉 And it is my grandmother’s recipe, where ingredients are measured by a “pinch” and a “handful!”
My grandmother, Nana to everyone who knew her, had a way of making everyone feel special. She had four children and nine grandchildren, and every single one of us will say we were her favorite. Like so many mothers and grandmothers, she loved us “behind the scenes” in ways we didn’t know about for years, and in some ways we will never know.
When my daughter tried desperately to make her appearance into this world three months early, Nana prayed…and prayed…and prayed. My father stopped by her home one afternoon and found her in her chair, with a baby quilt she was hand stitching for my daughter covering her lap, crying and praying for that sweet child.
We lived in a “not so safe place” several years ago, and after I returned home, Nana showed me a flag she suspended from the ceiling between her living room and kitchen. On the white stripes she had written the names of my husband, daughter, me, and several other young men whom she knew who were living or serving in hazardous areas. Every time she walked under that flag, she prayed for us.
She loved us well in other ways — especially in her kitchen! I had a fun Facebook exchange recently with several family members about some of Nana’s cake recipes, specifically “her children’s birthday cake” — a three layer strawberry heaven! This lovely piece of perfection appeared on every birthday, and even though I had not tasted it in years, just the thought of it brought me back to her kitchen. A few days later, the recipe arrived in the mail from my aunt (thank you, Aunt Jan!). She didn’t make me a copy, she sent me the original, handwritten in Nana’s handwriting. **Read “tears flowing and heart smiling” here — I know I’m not the only one who would react this way!**
Nana’s birthday is this week, and she has been celebrating in heaven for several years now (I wonder how sweet the strawberries are in there??). In honor of her, I decided to make this cake for the first time ever as my February “1st on the 1st.“
Don’t let those tastes of home and family disappear just because the precious one who created them may no longer be with you. “Why Not?” dig out a favorite family recipe that you have never attempted and bring those tasty memories alive in your home today!
Please let me know what you are making and whom you are celebrating!
** A note about the recipe: It has long been a family quasi-joke that this was a tightly held secret recipe, so in that family spirit, I will refrain from sharing it unless I receive sufficient assurances from the familial powers-that-be that I will not be disowned! 🙂