I have many memories of eating at both of my grandma’s houses, each had her specialties. Grandma Romrell was the queen of candies, cookies, doughnuts and other sweets. She always had a big carton of vanilla ice-cream in the freezer, ready for when the grand-children visited.
As a small child, I remember standing on a chair next to her, watching her mix the cookie dough. When I was a little bit older, and I could read, she had me get spices from the cupboard for her, and most importantly, let me choose the flavor to for the suckers she was making (I always chose watermelon). Divinity was so mysterious –how did she get it to form those peaks? And penuche, I loved the smell of the brown sugar carmelizing. And I vividly remember burning my fingertips on the hot taffy that she taught us to pull. Both grandmothers made carrot pudding, steaming the pudding in tin juice cans in a pan of boiling water. I still love carrot pudding, and the sauce that goes on it.
And both grandmas usually had cookies in cookie jars. My favorites were the raisin-filled ones at Grandma Romrell’s, and the chocolate chip ones at Grandma Luthy’s, although on second thought her applesauce cookies were mighty good! Grandma Luthy was an excellent cook. Besides mincemeat and huckleberry pies (a specialty for Thanksgiving Dinner), she made horehound candy for us once, but I preferred the honey candy she made for Christmas. One of the other things I loved was her amazing chocolate cake, super-moist and ever so tasty.
Oh cakes! She made each of her grandchildren a cake for his/her birthday, every year. There are twenty cousins. So twenty cakes a year, for I don’t know how many years — that’s a lot of cake baking and decorating. Grandma coming to our house and bringing my cake was the highlight of my birthday. The one I remember most vividly was a doll cake. The cake part was a bell-shaped “skirt” of a ball gown, and she put a Barbie doll in the center. I thought it was the most beautiful cake in the world, and I got to keep the doll! (Usually we had to give the non-edible decoration back to Grandma.)
And she made wedding cakes too. However, by the time I got married, she was no longer making them because her hands shook to much to get the icing on the way she wanted it, but she did make melt in your mouth butter mints for me which we served at our wedding reception. (My mother made my wedding cake.)
Oh, I have so many fond memories of not just these two grandmothers of mine, but of Kelly’s grandmother’s too. I foresee more grandma stories and recipes being posted. But for today, I will share a recipe from my Grandma Romrell’s collection: Pumpkin Bread