Friday, March 4, 2011

Favourite Thing Friday

After reading Shay's post about being a grandmother, I thought about the special times spent with grandparents.  Our kids have been very blessed to have known many grandparents - when Josh was born, all of Rob's grandparents were still with us and both of my grandmothers as well.  I am so thankful that our kids have had the opportunity to have such special relationships with great-grandparents!

Do you have special memories of visiting your grandparents?  I do!  I thought, since this was a cooking blog, I would share some of the special treats I associate with my grandparents (and Rob's) - and finally, to share some special things our kids enjoy when they visit our grandmother's. 

My paternal grandmother was a generous and kind person.  I am thankful to possess pictures of her holding and looking lovingly at each of our babies.  Sadly, she passed about five years ago.  This is kind of hilarious, but my fondest memories are of toasted crackers (that she kept in an orange tupperware container - my sister preferred saltines) and mint tea that she always kept in her refrigerator. 

I also remember her love for singing (even though she was seriously tone-deaf).  I would sit next to her in church (always the 6th row on the right) and she would belt out the hymns.  She loved to praise her Creator, and I'd like to think that now she probably has perfect pitch!

When Josh was about two years old and she was in her eighties, I had her babysit for a short time while I ran to the store.  When I came home, I found her playing guns with Josh - she crawled out from under the dining room table and had about six guns stuck in her belt!
this is my grandmother with Emma - about ten days old

yes, that's me with the long white shorts - cute, huh?  

My maternal grandmother - we call her Nanny - is still spunky as ever!  Our kids love going to her house and she has a very special relationship with our girls.  She spoils our kids with cookies and milk, lollipops, and pretty much anything they want.  When I was younger, we would visit her in Florida (where she and my Pappy went for the winter) - and she would make me strawberry shortcake.  I would eat it for every meal - no kidding. 

this is my aunt Connie, my Nanny and the kids at a bank opening

Kate and Nanny at her 8th birthday party

Rob's paternal grandparents lived with his family.  His grandmother has moved to Iowa since she lost Rob's grandfather - so we only see her once a year.  Rob's grandmother is an exceptional cook and baker - her rhubarb custard pie is one of my favorite foods of all time.  He enjoyed special treats from her all of the time - and all he had to do was walk down to the basement!  She spoils the kids with treats when we go to visit, and she even lets them pick out something special from her house to take home with them.  She loves to spoil us with books and I've never met anyone who rivals her wisdom in raising a family or knowing the Bible. 

isn't she beautiful? 

Rob's maternal grandmother has always lived in Iowa - she is the wife of an Iowa farmer!  They moved to "town" once they became a little older and we lost Rob's grandfather a few years ago.  She, like Rob's other granny, is ageless.  Rob and his sister's were only able to visit once a year, but they have many fond memories of summers on the farm.  One of their favorites (and ours, when we visit) are her famous waffles with homemade rhubarb jam. The kids love visiting and we usually enjoy many games of Take One.  Her quiet wisdom and unflappable nature are inspiring. 

Granny is on the left, with the sunglasses!

most of Rob's family here, minus one sister and a couple of babies!

We have been blessed with grandparents - I'd love to hear your special memories.  Did you have a special snack or a special trip you took with your grandparents?  Did they spoil you rotten?  Please share! 


  1. Thanks Kirsten for taking the time to talk about your grandparents and reminding me of mine. A food thing -- my mother's parents always used to travel with fritos and rice crispies, so those two foods always remind me of them. And my mother's father used to always make us ice cream sodas! Isn't that funny how those things stick with you!

  2. Oh Kirsten, I love this post!!!!!!!!!!! I remember my grandparents too as great and loving people who adored me as I was the first grandchild of many.
    I say to my grandchildren now that they are in training to be grandmothers and grandfathers, what better way to be remembered.
    Rhubarb custard pie...almost that time of year isn't it?

  3. My Nana and Pop were the best they looked after us after school because my mum worked full time and school holidays was always spent with them, nan taught me to sew and cook and pop taught us the silly stuff like pulling faces as you wave goodbye. Near the end of his life I looked out for Pop as both Nan and my Mum died within 3 months of each other 20 years ago. My hubby and I did his shopping and made sure that he was ok and then after a few falls helped him find an assisted living place down the road from us. They were the best and helped make me the person I am today.

  4. What a lovely post and how lucky to have such wisdom and longevity in your family.

    All my grandparents bar one were gone by the time I was 5 years old and although I loved my remaining Nanna she wasnt exactly the cuddly bake stuff , get into activities with the grandchildren type. Children (or maybe it was just me ) were seen and not really heard.

    I think it's wonderful that you and your children can recall such loving experiences and times.

    Best part of this post - imagining your grandmother packing six shooters with Josh. That's the kind of great grandparent I want to be !

    You knew I was going to love this FTF didnt you? Thanks for sharing these memories Kirsten.

  5. Grandparents are very special people aren't they? You are very lucky ( and so are your kids ) to have had so much time with them. Lovely post
    Helsie from Helsie's Happenings

  6. This is one of my favorite posts you've written, Kirsten! Love it! How blessed you are to have such wonderful memories with your grandparents...Rob's too. Grandparents are a fabulous favourite! Thanks for sharing. Happy FTF! :o)

  7. Wonderful FTF! My maternal grandmother was a quilter, she encouraged then quilted my first attempts. For my birthday each year Grandma would bake me a chocolate creme pie, complete with the meringue topping. She died 5 years ago this month. She's sitll missed.

  8. What a sweet post, Kirsten. Oh, so many memories of both my grandmas. My southern grandma made awesome biscuits, and sent us homemade date nut orange cake at Christmastime. Mmm...still remember how sticky sweet it was with the orange glaze. It got better as the days went by. My other grandma made a pie every Sunday morning before church, so it'd be cool for anyone who dropped in afterwards. It varied with the season, cherry, rhubarb, apple, etc. I can still remember her pie crust, which had a unique flavor because she used lard.