I Remember Laura--Family Recipes

"When you haven't milk enough to have sour milk, however do you make such delicious biscuits, Laura?" she asked.
"Why, you just use sour dough," Laura said.Mrs. Boast had never made sour-dough biscuits! It was fun to show her. Laura measured out the cups of sour dough, put in the soda and salt and flour, and rolled out the biscuits on the board.
By The Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder

In Week Three of the "I Remember Laura" Blog-a-thon, Miss Sandy and all other "rememberers" will be sharing family recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation.

I have so many memories of my maternal grandmother's cooking. I am blessed that she is still alive so I can record as many of those memories as possible. Bohemian kolaches (not to be confused with Polish kolatchke) are soft, light danish-like rolls filled with a thumbprint of fruit, cheese, or my favorite, poppy seed. Pasties, savory meat pies, would make anyone's mouth water. Spareribs, sauerkraut and homemade potato dumplings are the ultimate in comfort food.

And then there is her strawberry freezer jam. Equally as delicious on vanilla ice cream as on a slice of homemade bread (especially warm Finnish Pulla, one of my paternal grandmother's recipes!). For years, a jar of that delicious jam was a hotly sought-after commodity after a visit with Grandma.

All these years, I pictured Grams slaving over a hot stove as she cooked the berries, added the magical ingredients, poured it into jars and froze the ruby red spread.

Now that her health is waning, I wanted to make sure to get her recipe, so I asked her about it last month when I visited. Grams was only too pleased to oblige, giving me tips about how I'd have to follow the recipe EXACTLY, or it wouldn't set up. I waited with pen and paper, only to find out, that all these years, my Grandma's famous freezer jam...

...came from the insert in the Sure-Jel box.

I made my first batch tonight, and I remembered the magic. It's not about where the recipe comes from, whether it's a homemade creation, passed down from generation to generation. It's about the love that goes into the food and the memories that go along with it.


MyThreeDaughters said...

Thanks for the information about the kolaches. I posted a pic of ours about a month ago.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

How delightful! Straight off the box!! Hahahahaha...hope that yours turned out equally as well.

Miss Sandy said...

What a wonderful story! I laughed at your finding our your grandmothers secret recipe! I discovered my grandmothers secret recipe for pinto beans. She made the best beans with thick brown soup and a flavor that was fantastic. Every time I made them they never came out like hers no matter what method I used. One day she grinned and said, "Let me tell you a secret, they come from a can!" I was shocked. She pulled a bright yellow can of Lucky's brand pinto beans from the very back of her pantry and chuckled. Now it is my secret to carry on as she recently passed away.

Thanks for sharing and for reminding me of my own sweet memory.

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

The story about your grandmother's freezer jam is precious and priceless. Thanks for the smile.