baking & pickling She will not be forgotten
time has come to rest
Haiku by Ranelle Kirchner
My sweet grandmother Martha, GG, was an amazing woman. Not just because she was a devoted mother/wife; not because she dedicated her entire life to her family as a homemaker, raising her 11 children, and later caring for her 23 grandchildren, and 27 great-grandchildren. Or because she volunteered all her spare time to the church and helping others. It is because of all the reasons I've mentioned, along with her charisma, love, patience, kind-heartedness, and the genuine care she took with her everywhere she went.
Everyone who knew her would tell you she expressed her love through her food, and she never allowed you to leave the farm with an empty stomach. She never wanted you to leave without taking additional food home to your respected family, either: If it wasn't jams, jellies, horseradish [praised by the community as the best], or pickles, it was apple pie or her famous cookies.
When I was younger, I often spent time walking to my grandparents farm, an easy 8-10 minute walk down the gravel road. Along my journey, I'd think of what she had baking in her oven, or if she would be in the garden harvesting... so much of her life was centered around food. Polka music played in the background as we'd sit together over a snack in her warm and familiar kitchen.
She knew everyone's favorite treats, and filled everyone's arms with dyed Easter eggs; ice cream pails full of creamy cucumbers and seasonal goodies. Her food was, without any doubt, a symbol of her unconditional, and never-ending love.
Much like my Grandmother, I also love to show my affection through food. In light of her recent passing, I decided to prepare her four favorite cookie recipes, dedicating my annual holiday baking [as Christmas was the most-favorite of holidays], to her.
The recipes were simple to follow, with a few surprise endings: Yields were not always mentioned [as grandma only baked by touch], so I had to guestimate the amount I thought each recipe would produce. The chocolate chip was a typical batch of 2 dozen, while the roll-out sugar cookies turned out to be nearly 8 dozen. Needless to say, I wasn't a short supply by the end. My favorite of them all are the ginger snaps, but the spritz were the most fun to prepare.
During an entire day of baking [8 a.m. to 7 p.m., with a two-hour break in between], I couldn't help but smile as I rocked out to Christmas jams, knowing, feeling, remembering Grandma alongside me the entire time.
results of the cookie extravaganza, yielding ~20 dozen