[goofy family stories]
This post is inspired by Keviana Elliott’s post called “giggles.” Check it out – it’s hilarious and sweet.
My Grandma was the Cook of our 5-women clan. Well, that was one of her numerous roles. Main hat she wore was that of the glue-that-held-us-all-together-tighter-than-the-duct-tape – but that’s for another post.
Grandma was the Cook. She could make a glorious feast out of nothing, it seemed like. Considering the tough last years of USSR and then the feeble economy of finally-independent Ukraine, the “deficit” was the word you could hear everywhere. Yet for every holiday and family gathering, we had such delicious meals that now I have to wonder how did Grandma manage to make all that.
Grandma was also the Gardener. Starting around late March and until late October, she was at our “dacha” – the summer house. She would usually stay there for a week and come home for the weekends to buy food (there was no stores available back in those days at the dacha) and to go to Church. Vegetables, fruits, berries, rainbow-colored flowers – the garden was magnificent when she was alive.
Well, one time, mom and I decided to surprise Grandma and cook something for when she comes.
Keep in mind, Grandma was the cook. Mom could cook basic stuff but didn’t enjoy it and I was still a kid.
Also, there was no normal internet so we couldn’t simply Google a recipe. We decided to open Grandma’s Cookbook.
Even back then, it was an old notebook where Grandma wrote all her recipes. Sometimes, there could be four different recipes for a carrot cake, one crossed out with “NOT TASTY” written over it, and another one could bear a mark of something like “VERY GOOD.”
Looking through the recipe book, we realized that the surprise will not be as easy as we hoped.
Grandma’s recipe book resembled more of a short-code notes / outlines of the recipes. For example, a cake could take “as much flour as needed” or “water or milk can be optional.” Reading her cookbook was like deciphering a 16-bit code.
Finally, after a few minutes of leafing through the pages, we found a recipe that we wanted to try.
It was for a cake / cookie thing. We were not sure what that was, but it looked easy enough and we were not giving up on the idea of making Grandma pleased with us.
We made the dough and then the recipe said that we ought to add some jam to it. The only jam we had available at hand was black currant one that Grandma made the previous summer. So, following the instructions, we put the jam in the dough.
And laughed… Laughed so hard we cried.
The pretty beige dough turned dry-asphalt-grey with a slight purple tint.
… We did finish baking that cookie cake (and it still was purple-grey color even after baking), but Grandma said she enjoyed it and mom and I had great time together. (It actually wasn’t that bad, except for the way it looked…)
Since then, many years have passed by. Grandma passed away, and mom learned to cook. But until this day, mom and I still share a laugh when we remember that greyish purple dough and our frantic ideas regarding what can be done to improve it.
Have you ever had funny mishaps in the kitchen? Feel free to share 🙂