Thursday, 13 October 2011

Memories of my Grandmother

Today is my Maternal Grandmother's birthday.  Known by family and friends as Bella. She died on 25th April 2003 at the ripe old age of 96.  I always believed she would live to be 100 however that was not to be.  She saw many changes in her long life and surprisingly adapted well.  (Although she disliked her microwave and took a long time to get around to using it). She remained in her own home until the end, how wonderful was that.

For many years she would cook for one - roasts, fresh fish and I particularly remember her bread pudding, which was always thick and soft just the way I like it. As a child we would visit her every Saturday and I was always intrigued that her milk tasted different to the milk mum would buy - it was sterilised in a tall skinny glass bottle and the cap had to be removed with a bottle opener.

On occasions when she would cook her version of scrambled eggs which turned out more like an omelette, I remember sitting in her kitchen, just watching and waiting quietly (children were seen and not heard),  her kitchen table always had a tablecloth, and felt grown up being at liberty to add salt and pepper to my eggs.  That was never allowed at home.

She would pickle her own onions and gherkins and red cabbage which I loved and mum would come home laden with jars.

She was very active at the church and for many years ran the old age pensioner's club attached to it. Organising afternoon teas, functions, activities, bus trips and holidays, and at Christmas time cooked all the turkeys to feed the club members for a Christmas lunch before they closed for a few days over Christmas holidays.

Made in England
Matching mugs purchased in Billericay Cook Shop on a trip to UK in 2008
One of her purchases for the club back in the 1950's was china in my favourite blue and white cornishware in the domino pattern.  I am fortunate to have some of that original old china to hand down to my children if they want it.  I also have in my cutlery drawer half dozen of her bone handled knives and forks made in Sheffield that I remember holding as a child and loving their smooth worn comfort in my hand.

She looked after herself and was fiercely independent - I hope my grandchildren remember me as fondly as I do my nan.

1 comment:

  1. Of course your grandchildren will remember you with probably more affection because you are active in their lives at a time when they want you to be.

    I remember Nan's apple pie because it always seemed more "cakey" than Mum's and she always sprinkled it with caster sugar after it came out of the oven. Her roast potatoes were scrumptious too - somehow different to any I have ever had, it may have been that she peppered them or just the juices from the meat.

    She also managed to clean the Church for many many years together with Aunt Jane who was ten years older than her - funny how she was well into her eighties and still doing this as well as looking after her "old aged pensioners' club". When I used to clean the Church myself (sadly a job I no longer have time for) I would think of Nan and felt close to her as if she was looking down with approval. I wonder what other memories her other grandchildren have?

    Almost forgot, all the tea cosies she must have knitted in her time and always donated several for the Church Christmas Bazaar.

    It amazes me that she managed to live such a long and healthy life (until the final few years) considering the very hard life she had as a child. Never had a pair of shoes of her own, she always had Aunt Jane's "hand me downs" who had a smaller foot than her. Never having a toy of her own until she had an accident and was knocked down in the street and went to hospital and given a doll of her own.

    This was a lovely post Denise - well done, she deserves to be remembered with love and affection.