My grandmother loved to cook. Actually, if I really think about it she LOVED to bake, but she was also a very good cook. Some of my fondest memories of her and all of my family revolve around either the kitchen or food.
My grandma lived in a mobile home that had a bar at the kitchen counter. I would sit there for hours watching her, helping her follow a recipe or sample her latest. At Christmas she would bake hundreds and hundreds of cookies. She knew EXACTLY how many cookies were there. And as she gave them away to literally everyone she knew, she would count how many she gave and knew how many were left. It was incredible to me. They truly were a labor of love for her.
One of the other things I would do at this bar of hers was write. My homework over and over, a thank you note to her neighbor for an African Violet she left on the back porch – just because, her Christmas cards or her beloved recipes. Recently I convinced my mom to bring the recipes to California so I could make copies for myself. I wanted to be able to share them with JJ and Matthew and the rest of our family. As I was taking pictures of them, one-by-one, I realized that the handwriting too is an important memory that I wanted to cherish and freeze in time for us to enjoy for generations to come.
I am still trying to figure out the best way to catalog the recipes. I’ve thought about a photo book or a hand-typed cookbook with pictures of the recipes on the pages. But for now I will share them as I make something new in hopes that you’ll enjoy them too.
This is my favorite treat that my grandma called Yankee Doodle Dandy Candy. It’s super simple, and ADDICTING. When I make it I have to either give it all away or hide it because before I know it, it’s gone!
1 – 12ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 – 6ounce package (or 1/2 12ounce bag) butterscotch chips
1 – 6ounce bag chow mein noodles
1/2-1 cup coarsely chopped peanuts (or whatever you prefer)
Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips together in a double broiler. When melted, take off heat and quickly stir in chow mein noodles. Add nuts (if you desire – I’ve done it both ways). Drop by teaspoons on wax paper. Refrigerate to set. Enjoy at room temperature.
Whatever you do to enjoy time with those you love, make sure you cherish every moment. I am so thankful that I paid attention while spending so many hours sitting at that bar.