Grandma's Kitchen

My Grandmother was a big bosom, no nonsense kind of woman.  Her name was Bertha.  She worked hard all her life and looked it.  Her hands and fingers were gnarled and spotty.  She was never without an apron, except for church. 

On Saturdays she would butcher a chicken for Sunday's dinner.  She would take the the uneatable parts of the chicken and stick it in a pot along with veggie tops, potato peels and other garbage items and simmer for stock.  In moments, with out measuring she would whip together the ingredients for noodle dough.  With her massive hands and wooden rolling pin she would roll out the dough.  With out any sort of guide she would cut long strands of dough and place them on the noodle rack to dry.  Grabbing her basket, out she would go to her garden and pick the ripest vegetables to add to the broth.  In a wink she would have the veggies clean, cut and added to the soup.  At the right moment she would add her noddles.  

If I close my eyes, I am almost back there in her wonderful kitchen, smelling those wonderful smells, listening to her broken English tell such lovely stories while she taught me her secrets. 

Freestanding Freestanding
56-60, F
27 Responses Jan 9, 2008

Wonderful memories

reminds me of the scottish band scocha, and their song "granny's muckle soup pan" -- grandmas are sort of a common bond for all. at least, the grandmas of our imaginations. my grandma was a horrible cook, and when i asked her why she was so bad, she said, "i have 13 kids, don't want them coming back for seconds!" ;) lucky you!

OMG!! we're related??? Sounds EXACTLY like my Nanny! She is an AMAZING woman! :)

I can taste those noodles. YUM!

That also sounds like my grandma..She worked in a bakery for over 40 years and she also made homemade egg noodles. When she made them she had a special noodle board that was for her putting them on there and cutting them out by hand. Thankfully this family recipe went down the line and I still make them for my family to this day!! She was a great cook also.. But those noodles are what I remember the most!! Thanks for your story!!

my grandma too was a good cook. Do I miss her?? Alot, alot.<br />
she was a teacher. after returning from school she would cook something and call all the kids palying on the street nearby to come and eat it. these kids are now 60 year old and live in differeent parts of the world. Sometimes they come and tell me the stories of my grandama.<br />
she loved rusks, a kind of toasted sweet bread, which is available in India. whenever she returned from outside, I would check her bag for rusks, and eat them.

Thanks Joellevh...thanks for stopping by:)

Great story!

Sounds wonderful

Calling it garbage is in reference to what most people would have tossed as garbage and not seen as a savory component to a meal.

you just said the ingredients for the stock was Garbage!

I like the cooked pork.You have no mind of it.just put the pork in water and boiling then add some salts so you can eat it . It is delicious.

Ah, I remember "White Shoulders." How cool that you have such a wonderful touchstone for her memory. Thank you for your comment, blueize.

My grandmother,"nanny"was my angel on earth. She worked 18 hour days,owning a lunchanette in Brooklyn along with my grandfather. Coming over from Europe,their lives were hard.The food, it was love flowing from her fingertips. The smells so entoxicating.I wish I could bottle it. To this day when I make one of her prized receipes,I close my eyes,breathe deep and I am back in her kitchen by her side,learning her secrets of cooking,hearing her stories of life, hearing her speak yiddish when she didn't want the "kinda" to hear...never again will I feel such love and security. Out of 17 grandchildren I was the only one at her side,their loss.Smells...just open a bottle of "White Shoulders" and and a pot of chicken soup and I am with my nanny....forever.

I would love a taste last taste when I am old enough to really know how great a cook she was...

Great story, Nancy. Damn. I sure would love to taste some of that :-)

*blushes* Aw shucks Juan, thanks.

I'll bet you can roll out a pizza dough or whip out a pan of freshly baked bread without measuring etc. Grandma Bertha has quite a legacy in you, Nancy Drew.

Thanks, Mother.<br />
<br />
Ladee, me too, with you!

She was rock solid Ladee. Thank you for commenting.

Grandparents are wonderful to remember......

Thank you picklethepenguin.

What a beautiful tribute to your grandmother. All I need to do is change the name and I could say those very same things about mine. <br />
It must be their generation, thrifty, talented, strong work ethic, love of food and sharing. Mine taught me how to cook by taste and measure by eye. And the garden, mmm....

These memories contain the glue that holds me together most days. Cooking and baking is a form of meditation for me.

how lucky you are to have these memories. Sometimes i catch a scent, or a sound and it takesme back to my family's kitchen when I was little. (I also make 'vats' of chicken and dumplings, and fresh pies too)

Just a few weeks ago I made chicken and dumplings. <br />
<br />
Thanks MM. I'm glad you like it.

Great visuals. I can almost smell it. That kind of cooking is almost a lost art today. When was the last time you had good homemade chicken and dumplings for instance? Bet its been a while. I loved this story brought my days watching my gma on rainy days cook and bake. She had the best smelling kitchen I ever smelled.<BR>Whatta sentence that was lol<BR>great post. Almost had smellavision