A handful of years ago, while I was still living in Vancouver, I worked with my Grandma Lauer to collect all the recipes she's made over the years into one place, a cookbook for all of her kids and grandkids, even great grandkids who love everything she makes.
At the time, it made perfect sense to put these recipes and some of her favourite quotes onto disks that I could share with the family at Christmas. Personally, I was happy with the idea and the result and consider myself the lucky one in that I got to bond with my Grandma through something we both enjoy - food, plus I have the original notebook with her hand writing and all the notes back and forth.
An email from my Aunt Pam, earlier today, got me thinking that I would like to introduce Patrick to one of Grandma's Jell-O salads for the upcoming 4th of July. Alas, it's one of a handful of recipes we forgot to include. The first recipe I noticed that we omitted were her famous Dunk Pancakes. Something she makes for any of us that show up for breakfast, if you're extra lucky sometimes she'll have homemade sausage from her sister Rose. I justified this omission in a rather selfish way - figuring it would be a wonderful way for my family to connect with Grandma, instead, most still show up expecting this special treat and some never visit at all. Another recipe we left out of the mix is her Dill Dip. What makes this dip unique is that it has Beau Monde and Worcestershire Sauce. Again I had a justification for leaving this one out, as she submitted it for the Lauer Family Cookbook and lucky me, I have a copy. All this aside, I have no written account of her Jell-O Salad, one I have happy childhood memories of. Sometimes pink, sometimes red, sometimes orange, but always with this lovely, marshmallow-like layer on top! Perfect for a summer picnic and for my Irishman who is not familiar with many of the dishes I enjoyed growing up in the States.
Thankfully, Grandma Lauer is still alive and cooking! If only she were on email, it would make it easier and cheaper and quicker to get the recipe. Instead, I've just sent an email to Mom, to relay the request to Grandma. Which makes me wonder if any of my cousins take the time to make any of Grandma's recipes or if they simply take for granted that she will always be in her kitchen cooking for all of us. Ah well, I have the love and appreciation to carry on her tradition of sharing her love through her cooking and baking.
We were able to work together in the kitchen, for the first time while she visited us here in Ireland. It was a truly special time for her and for me. On this occasion we enjoyed the Chocolate Swiss Role Cake I like to make (not one of her recipes). And on another occasion she made me Stiff Cocoa, a hot drink she used to serve to her children with buttered toast. They enjoyed it like a soup (of course, one more recipe not included in the cookbook).
I suppose, at the end of the day, that's why books go through so many revisions and reprints. Although, in this case, I'm not sure we'll do a re-write, so instead, I'll just keep adding these uncovered recipes, as I find them, to my notebook and look forward to sharing them with the people I love and in-turn with anyone interested in this blog.
Thank you Grandma, for all the love you've given me, for sharing your love of food and for taking the time to share your recipes with me. I couldn't ask for more.
Sure hope Patrick likes Grandma's Jell-O Salad - stay tuned for the verdict!