There’s just something about food. I’ve been reading my grandma’s diaries, and they’re not particularly juicy or detailed. She had a lot of better things to do than sit and write in a book all of her own.
And yet… reading this in her handwriting brings her voice back to me.
It also brings back what I recall as those halcyon days growing up on the family farm. It ALSO reveals the fact that those days weren’t all as glit-edged as my memories would have me think.
There’s stunning beauty and serenity, yes. Self-sustainability. Contentment. But there’s also relentless never ending back breaking work, disappointment, setbacks. It brings back my own attitudes, which were largely not great. I hated the work. When I wasn’t captured by the beauty and love surrounding me, I was just flat-out bored and resentful of the endless toil.
In reading her diaries, I realize how much I missed. I spent what felt like endless 6am chores working alongside my grandma… never knowing or really listening when she was grieving the passing of loved ones, or pleased and proud of her children and grandchildren.
Anyway. All this to say, though she did not recall deep thoughts and feelings, she did take the time to record what kinds of foods she served to those who visited her and grandpa. This was important. This meant something. This was how she demonstrated hospitality.
Reading these menus brings back the feeling of being hugged by my grandma. Eventually, it occurred to me start writing them down. These menus mean something.
Please join me for a tour of a sampling of menus on offer by my grandma on the farm.
Stuffed green peppers. Nectarine upside down cake.
Summer borscht. Plum pudding.
Roast pork. Rhubarb pie.
Sausage, vereniki, rice pudding.
Sandwiches and chocolate cake.
Hamburger Tarts. Lazy Daisy Cake. Peanut Butter Crispy Bars.
Sausage rolls, carrot salad, ginger snaps.
Roast beef, potatoes, carrots, pie.
Sweet & sour spare ribs, saskatoon crisp.
Beef stew & saskatoon crisp.
Sweet & sour ribs, jello with carrots, orange & marshmallows, apple pie. Later, cinnamon rolls.
White buns, bean salad, lime-carrot-pineapple jello.
Here are some other entries that appeared solo… dishes that I strongly associate with memories of her:
Wild plums (canned for moos).
Dill pickles (garden).
Saskatoon berry platz.
All of this has caused me to begin to fantasize… what if there was an eatery whose menu was based upon my grandma’s menu diaries?
Ah, what if.