Friday, October 20, 2006
I've been thinking a lot about my grandmother lately.
She was a gentle soul and a true blessing in my life. It took me many years to realize how lucky I was. She was an only child who left school early to work and help out her mother, when her father disappeared. Having a strong faith in a higher power, she lived her life through kind words and acts. Married late in life (was 28 in 1944...an old maid...gasp!!) and still had 6 children. Then she had the heart to take in a small baby and raise her too (that would be me) LOL
She was of the old school who believed that a girl should know how to knit, crochet, sew and cook.....but progressive enough to talk about anything and everything. Our home was always open to the kids in the neighborhood and she was called "mom" and "grandma" by those who frequented our door. My uncles and aunts always talk about on "bread day" my grandmother always made a couple extra pans of cinnamon buns because she knew that her visitors would appreciate them.
One of these cooking traditions was puffed wheat squares.
Every year about 2 days before Halloween, my grandmother would pull out this old black caldron style pan. It was huge!! She would line the counter with pans, margarine, puffed wheat, cocoa, Roger's syrup, brown sugar, and vanilla and then she would start to work. She would work all morning filling the pans with the chocolately creation. Then once cooled and set, the squares were cut and placed into baggies with the treat of the year. One year it was tootsie pops, the next it could be chocolate bars or gum.
We handed out these treats of love every year and kids always knew what to expect at our house. We didn't worry about if the treat was safe or could the "old lady" be trusted. It was a tradition.
To this day it isn't Halloween until I pull out my baking supplies and create this dessert for my family. It makes me feel close to a special lady that isn't here in body anymore...but I can feel her spirit everyday in the little things I do.
Puffed Wheat Squares
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup Rogers Syrup
2- 3 tbsps cocoa
2 tsp vanilla
Bring to a boil...let bubble for a couple of minutes
Add 8 cups puffed wheat
Pour into margarine greased pan.
Press. Cool. Cut. Enjoy!!!
This same lady taught me to knit and crochet. At the age of 7 she pulled out some knitting needles. They were huge to me! I remember my grandfather cutting one in half and melting the tip. She also pulled out a small bag that was big enough to hold one ball of yarn. The bag also had a small hole on one side, which the yarn was to be pulled thru.
She sat me down on the couch and patiently taught me the simple skill.
With the patience of Job she taught me the stitches over and over until I got the hang of it. A knitter was born. LOL
Admittedly this obsession comes in streaks. I can knit nothing for a couple of months and then BAM! I am off knitting up a storm again. That is happening again.
I went into a local yarn store I love. Don't visit it much because it is a long drive. Anyway....Went for a couple balls of wool...and came out with this.
Then I went in search of more Bernat Marsala. The blanket I am crocheting obviously was meant for a pygmy because I wouldn't call it a blanket of any kind. LOL
And while picking up more yarn for this blanket I found some pretty pink to make one for my daughter too...
I think I have lots to keep me going for awhile anyway.