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Old 10-19-2014, 05:32 PM   #11
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if we're allowed other than blood relatives to be grandparents, then mine would have to be an ex-gf's grandparents.
i dated this girl from when i was 19 to about 27 years old, and a couple of times a year we'd head down to florida to visit them.

grandma lena was an amazing italian cook. her family was from calabria, and grandpa louie was sicillian, but they took me in like i was family.

grandpa louie and i would go fishing or crabbing just about every morning at 4am, and when we got home later that morning, lena would have pepper and egg sandwiches, or eggs in purgatory, or my favourite: freshly baked rolls stuffed witb a scoop of gelato. strange as it sounds, it was great on a hot florida august morning.

then my gf and i would head to the beach with a cooler filled with sandwiches of various cured meats with the rolls generously drizzled with evoo and vinegar, and some kind of fresh herbs. she would even make homemade potato chips (n9ne of that bagged crap), and her own lemonade on ice.

we'd get home when the afternoon rain would come in off the gulf, which happens every day on anna maria island, and lena would be hard at work making dinner. usually, it was what we had caught that morning. while the gf helped in the kitchen, louie and i headed into the living room and share a couple of cold beers or scotch on the rocks as he would regale me of stories of his childhood in sicily at the turn of the century. stories of the black hand, and village "dons", respect for family above everything else, and so on. other afternoons were stories of his life n the garment industry in nyc and how importing italian fashions changed from the '30s through the '70 s.

then it was time to feast. a gigantic bowl of perfectly dresed salad that would feed an army, and more freshly baked crusty bread. then baked sea trout and a side of of penne or bucatini, or blue claw crabs marinara and cappelini, or garlic gulf shrimp and roasted potatoes. and pasta, lol.

i miss them so much. more than the ex-gf by far.

i still regret not smuggling some locatelli, various salumi, and oddly enough sabrett hot dogs (not sold in florida at that time) down to him just before he passed away. he was suffering from heart disease so both the gf and lena forbade me from bringing him such salty foods.

looking back now, he was going to die anyway just after that last visit, so it's always been something i've regretted which has stayed with me these 23 years or so.

because of that, i've learned to appreciate making little gifts thoughtful and special in some way, but more importantly to cherish every minute with your family while you can.
even if it's family that you've adopted such as italian grandparents.

Spring is finally here! I got so excited that I wet my plants...
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Old 10-19-2014, 05:39 PM   #12
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My maternal grandparents died when my mother was only nine. And both paternal ones died before I was four. So unfortunately I have no memories to share. Only those from my mother. But I did learn from her and have passed a lot of it on to my kids and grandchildren. So the memories continue.

Illegitimi non carborundum!
I don't want my last words to be, "I wish I had spent more time doing housework"
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Old 10-19-2014, 06:14 PM   #13
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I came to California as an infant and my Dad's mother was left behind in Minnesota, so I was never around her. I hear she was a good German cook, and my father learned well from her.

My Mom's parents lived here and Grandma made the best fried chicken I've ever had. I remember Grandpa cutting off their heads and throwing them to run around the chicken yard, headless. Geeze, it was fascinating in a weird sort of way.

Anyway, I was grown before I discovered the secret to her remarkable, unforgettable fried chicken. It's cooking the chicken the last day of it's life.

If you're ever able to fry a chicken like that, the flavor is something you'll never forget it.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but rather by the moments that take our breath away.

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Old 10-19-2014, 07:03 PM   #14
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My Maternal Grandmother was no cook. Her Mother, my Great GrandMother was a fantastic cook. Nothing specific comes to mind, but she put on Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter every year, the whole spread.

My Paternal Grandmother, Chicken and Dumplings...found out years later her secret was a whole canned chicken. She was a great baker, cookies and coffee breads from Eastern Europe.
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Old 10-19-2014, 07:33 PM   #15
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What a great idea for a thread, Larry!

I was born and raised in SoCal. My maternal grandma was from the Midwest, and my paternal grandma was from the south. By the time I was born, they had all moved here to SoCal so we all got to spend a lot of time together. They lived good long lives and passed away about 10 years ago, both were in their 90's.

I'll never forget my maternal gma's everyday cooking...she put on a huge midday spread at 'lunchtime' for the main family meal, and boy could she cook. Fried chicken, pot roast, mashed potatoes, homemade pies, fresh veggies....it was a huge feast and I loved everything she made. My paternal grandma....I don't remember her main meals all that well (except for succotash, lol) but whenever my brother and I went to her house for mom and dad's date night, she went all out for desserts. I remember her marshmallow snowmen , she'd build snowmen out of marshmallows using toothpicks to hold the arms and legs together, and use choc chips for eyes. She wanted to go all out and make something us kids would remember.

Going another generation back, I also remember going to my maternal great-grandmother's house. She was mean and served us day old oatmeal and played solitaire by herself while we were there.
Grandchildren fill the space in your heart you never knew was empty.
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Old 10-19-2014, 07:40 PM   #16
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Remembering Grandma's Cooking

My mom was adopted, and her mother died when Mom was 14. Apparently she was a talented cook. Dad's mom was a fantastic cook. I learned how to can, cook, garden, etc. from Gramma and my great aunt. Both wonderful women. Grampa's mother was also an interesting cook, still can't forget the whole pig's head she had on the table to make headcheese!
She who dies with the most toys, wins.
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Old 10-20-2014, 07:41 AM   #17
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i too lost all 4 grandparents before I was born. But Like BuckyTom, my fond memories is of my now ex-wife's grandparent. Grandaddy Neal and Granny Vivian. They were wonderful people and treated me so well. I pulled up to their table so many Sunday's after church, I cannot count. It was always good, always simple and with tons of love. 'thanks for bringing back some wonderful memories. I am sure that Vivian is correcting Peter's eating habits today.
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:46 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Cheryl J View Post
What a great idea for a thread, Larry!
The idea literally came from me waking up at like 5am from a dream about my grandmothers Hungarian goulash ( which I haven't eaten in close to 30 years). Not sure what sparked my brain to start thinking about it, but then I started thinking about the meals I missed from both grandparents. When they both passed away, all I wanted was my Grandma Rosie's soup pot ( her directions were to fill the pot to one inch from the top, so I needed it in order to correctly make her soup ) and my GRandma Ruth's rolling pin / pastry board, since it was primarily her baking / cookies that I remember , and can still eat now.

I also forgot to mention that in addition to her ulcer and being kosher, she also had diabetes, so her cooking was very limited ( and in most cases didnt taste too good).

I also remember for my birthday, going out to an Indian restaurant, and my Grandmother saying ( very very loudly) " who likes to eat this gourmet crap" . I guess not the best choice of cuisines for someone who is kosher, has diabetes and ulcers. SHe was know for saying it like it was.

Another time, we went to some diner, with my grandmother, and 2 of her sisters. Every time we went out to dinner with them, they would find something to complain about and send back to the kitchen, and this time was no exception. The only difference was , after they bitched and complained how crappy it was , and that they wanted something different, they then insisted that the waiter wrap up the stuff they returned so they can take it home . The rest of us watched in horror, shame and embarrassment as this whole thing took place, but now 30 + years later, we still talk about it
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Old 10-20-2014, 10:43 AM   #19
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Reminds me of my Grandmother saying loudly in a Chinese restaurant, "What's with all the rice, do I look Chinese?" She ended up with a hot dog off the kids menu.
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Old 10-20-2014, 10:50 AM   #20
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they sell. hot dogs in a chinese restaurant?

Spring is finally here! I got so excited that I wet my plants...
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