It’s been a trying couple of days in adoptionland on twitter and now someone else is trying to stir the pot. Oh Yay! I’m ignoring the sheer nonsense of the kept assuming they know more than the ones adopted on whether adoption is good.
Instead, I want to talk about memories. Memories that pop into your mind unbidden, that have nothing to do with anything happening in this century. I’ve found it happens more, not sure if it is part of growing older, the pandemic that never ends, or just a need to fill your soul with warmth and push back on the coldness you find in so many souls.
Anyway about favorite memories – here’s one of my most precious memories that I can visually see and smell play out in my head, with a bit of backstory first so it makes sense and because I want to.
Grandma would come over every morning to wish us a good day, then she’d go back to her home, she repeated the ritual every evening, most days I’d go over after school to say hi and watch the price is right with her for a bit. Grandma was Dad’s mom and she lived next door in an old two-story, two-bedroom house, the staircase going up to the second floor had a couple of the steps in it designed to be pulled out that revealed secret cubbies to hide valuables in. The basement had both a washer/dryer and a washer wringer machine or a washer mangle, I don’t know which. Upstairs in the kitchen she had both a modern stove and a two-burner wood burning stove that she used on a fairly regular basis, despite there being a furnace in the basement. Her kitchen also had two or three tip-out drawers designed to hold bulk products, hers held flour and sugar, it also had a big over-stuffed rocking chair that she used all the time when she was cooking. Now that you know what her house was like (no idea why I felt that was necessary to the story, but whatever), her kitchen also had a small wooden kitchen table and a couple of wooden chairs in a small nook next to the wood stove.
And that small kitchen table is where one of my favorite visual memory comes from (yes, I always take the long road to every story). Me helping Grandma make gingersnap cookie dough, then watching Grandma rolling out ginger snap cookie dough super thin, and me, using her cookie cutters to cut out the cookies, carefully putting them on cookie sheets and popping them in the oven to bake. Repeating the process over and over until the last sheet of cookies were cooling on the racks, because you didn’t make just one small batch, you made a big batch because it wasn’t a quick process. Writing this out I can almost smell the gingersnaps, and that memory is one of the most precious memories I have from growing up.
I just looked in both mom’s recipe box and mine, neither has Grandma’s ginger snap recipe, but in my recipe box I found my old Blockbusters membership card. Do you have a favorite memory from childhood? Feel free to share one, or talk about anything happening in your world right now. And yes, I know the cookies in the picture below aren’t gingersnaps, use your imagination and pretend they are.
December 10, 2021 at 12:46 am
Were they crunchy ginger snaps, or the softer ones with molassas? Did you decorate them with icing or sugar? What shapes did you make?
I’m happy it’s cookie time 🙂
December 10, 2021 at 1:11 am
Crispy thin gingersnaps. I don’t remember icing them, but they were different shapes, just don’t remember what – just having sugar was a huge win for me, dad was super focused on what we ate, that it was a balanced meal, dessert was once a week and usually a homemade pie. But he never argued with his mom…
When he was really old, his doctor said he needed to eat more ice cream, chocolates, things like that because his cholesterol readings were way too low. Until then, none of us knew he had a sweet tooth, that permission had him eating chocolate every single day. Will power.
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December 10, 2021 at 2:18 pm
oh yummy. I’m going to have to make some of those too LOL I made the little round crunchy ones similar to those in a box at the store, just better and not as hard as a rock. And then made vanilla wafers to match, then made some chocoate ones to match, and then I had to make some red and green ones…
Then I melted into my favorite molassas cookies. Made the classics, chocolate chip, oatmeal, peanutbutter, snowballs and snickerdoodles. Now it’s off to some fancy ones, but I can’t decide what yet. I think some thin crispy gingersnaps with sparkley big sugar snowflakes on top maybe 🙂 I’m overrun with apple flour, our brilliant youngins’ new product of the year. Have been trying to figure out how it wants to be cooked. It’s really good and you don’t have to use as much sugar, I’ve only made muffins and breads so far, I’ve become a junkie. We’ll see how it does with cookies.
All these cookies bring back so many memories to me, of so many people. My boys all get a big box to take with them, they’re known to fight over them, true cookie lovers. My daughter, the Chef, shows me up on the cookies every year, and we all love every second of that! My dad always wanted oatmeal raisin and peanut butter, and he got them nearly every year as a gift. His grandma made his favorite oatmeal cookies, mine were never right, until I put so much flour in them even the big mixer would barely turn. They were pefect he said, so I think the grandmas of the past may have had more flour in their recipes. And I think I really feel bad for all the grandmas that had to mix the ough with a spoon! My dad didn’t hide his sweet tooth, but had many fights with it. I knew he was going down when he turned down everything including ice cream and fresh baked cookies for dinner. He passed at the end of September, I’ve been hanging pretty tough since, the dumb cookies made me crack a little. I’ve been avoiding seeing a Santa Claus, since someone pointed out I’d lost my own Santa, but it’s bound to happen. So I think maybe I’ll just bake for a few weeks, until I turn 60. Sweet and Hard all around.
Song of the day = Hard Candy Christmas! Gotta love Dolly.
December 10, 2021 at 2:32 pm
Oh Beth, I’m so sorry your Dad passed, this year will be extra emotional for all of you. Hugs from me to you.
December 10, 2021 at 3:34 pm
Thanks TAO. He got to be my Dad for 60 years 😀 We got to keep him until he was 90, and felt guilty asking for even one more day with him in it. I didn’t handle it at all like I expected, thought for sure I’d be a blubbering mess before, at, and after the funeral. Instead, I was so happy for him, for so many reasons. I was happy about so much. I guess I knew it was coming, no suprises. The sorrow stings for sure, but the waves have been quick and small. Not tsunami like, as I’ve experienced before. I got to talk about so much with my dad all day during his last months. I got to ask a billion questions, and answer just as many. I got to tuck him in almost every night 🙂 we made great peace with the world. Good memories. I apologized to the priest for smiling so much during the ceremonies, and explained why. She told me she is always happy to see someone handle a loved ones death like that. I’m not sure how to think on it all. I think it sounds awful, but I am still so happy for him and his life and family, one to be happy about. Its been interesting observing all that’s gone on over the last year or so with the family. Thankfully anything that came up about adoption wasn’t triggering, but very interesting, to me. I’m still processing, and probably still fooling myself, who knows. Thanks for the hugs
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December 10, 2021 at 5:55 pm
Dad was ready to go too, he knew it was his time, told me without words the Wednesday I was down, I knew he’d passed the next Monday and headed down, Mom had no clue it was time, maybe didn’t want to see it.
I understand why you are handling it that way. Hugs
December 13, 2021 at 3:49 pm
Too emotional! I got a text at 4am this morning saying “Uh, we are going to need cookies, a lot of cookies. And a ham. And every tarp, tent, chainsaw, generator and extension cord you got.”
I sent every cookie, muffin and quick bread in the house to Kentucky, with the guys that are on their way to help clean up the tornado mess. They had just finished rebuilding a home in NC where the big flood was. I’m so proud of those that choose to serve their neighbors in need, I didn’t mind so much that they just robbed me! Not all storm chasers are in it for the money, believe it or not. This bunch is in it to help those with no money… and no insurance. So, I’m happy to continue baking cookies, with electricity and running water in a nice cozy warm kitchen 🙂 with others coming to help me any minute now 🙂
That Christmas spirit is pretty thick around here today
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December 14, 2021 at 3:52 am
Awe Beth, you do my heart good, I’ve watched from afar and just can’t believe all that happened, thank you and your boys for being there, helping.
Paige Adams Strickland
December 10, 2021 at 1:19 pm
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December 11, 2021 at 7:33 am
Gingersnaps aren’t something I’ve enjoyed very often in my life. Your post has got me searching for recipes online 🙂
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