Grandmommy’s Girl


My mother can get Princess to do just about anything. Like polish the silver. You know, a cleaning task. Because she thinks she really is a Princess and she’s waiting for her servants or fairies or something to appear and do everything for her. I started telling her she was a princess when she was a baby, and when she went to kindergarten, she introduced herself to her teacher and informed her that she was a princess. Perhaps I convinced her too well…. Or maybe it also has something to do with the fact that she is the only granddaughter, which is a catch-all justification for why she often gets this, that, and the other that the boys don’t get because, after all, they are boys and they wouldn’t want it (whatever it is) but she’s a girl. My mother even had a porcelain doll handmade in her likeness and dressed in one of her baby dresses. Not that she’s spoiled and deified or anything…. Okay, she is!

My parents visited recently for a couple of weeks and, as always, Princess insisted that her grandmommy sleep with her in her room. They’re tight, those two. Grandmommy is her favorite person, and my mother is a very good grandmother. She even remembers to pay attention to the boys sometimes. (Just kidding. She loves them, too. And they love her. Did I mention she’s a good grandmother?)

But she has a special relationship with the Princess.

My mother was the keeper of Grandmother Bread in her generation. My father’s mother taught it to her as a young bride brought to West Virginia by my father. My grandmother had two daughters, but neither of them grew up to be bakers. My mother, a daughter-in-law, carried the bread down to the next generation.

I’ve made Grandmother Bread with Princess before, but I wanted her to make it with my mother so that she would remember making this special family recipe with her grandmother.

She looks very serious about it, doesn’t she? She’s the new Keeper of the Bread. It’s an important job.

They measured.

And they kneaded.

And Princess proudly carried her fresh, warm loaf to the car on the way to a family lunch.

As a side note, my father has never made bread in his life, and if my grandmother hadn’t lucked into my mother as her daughter-in-law, this recipe would have been lost in our family. I hope Princess will carry it on to the next generation, but just in case, I’ll teach it to my daughters-in-law, too. You never know who will carry it on. And, no, my boys just aren’t interested. My father, by the way, kept calling it “light bread” while he was here this time. I’ve never heard him call it light bread before. My mother always just called it bread, and that is what my grandmother before her and before her and so on called it. It was just the bread. I did a little research, though, and figured out that “light bread” is an old-fashioned term for any white loaf bread, so it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that it’s a throwback term my father heard when he was a child. He’s 82 now.

My mother had a birthday while they were here (she’s only 29, by the way), and I took her and Princess to lunch at my favorite restaurant in Charleston. (Soho’s at the Capitol Market.) Princess always has to run into one of the shops inside the market and buy a giant lollipop. Because, you know, she needs a giant lollipop.

Then I took them to a spa where I had them scheduled to have massages together. No, I didn’t get one, too. I was the facilitator.

Princess backed out at the last minute. How anyone can pass up a massage, I don’t know. But she’s twelve, so I guess she doesn’t get it yet…… She ended up changing her appointment to a pedicure. (Sorry for the blurry picture! I was sneaking! Look at her pointing at me….! Which is why I was sneaking.)

Her happy feet!

My parents are back in Texas. School’s back in session. Football games are on the calendar for 15, and 17 is in his last year of high school. (How did that happen?!) And I’m already thinking about ice on the driveway………… Where did summer go?


  1. J CopperCreekers says:

    :purr: Priceless those pics of gran and Princess making their bread… what a warm feeling that gave me.
    Your mom has gorgeous eyes!

  2. KathyB. says:

    What a special memory for you and Princess ! As a grandma with several adoring granddaughters, I found this posting very touching. My granddaughters will be learning some recipes and traditions MY grandmother taught me and I hope they treasure the experience and memories .

    Also, I have made Grandmother Bread several times and it is an ‘always successful’ recipe ! I did make it with 2 granddaughters and plan to make it many, many more times in the future. Thank-you Suzanne. KathyB.

  3. Kathleen in Michigan says:

    I love the story about the Bread. The only thing I regret about having no children is that I have no one to pass anything on to. My sister also is childless and we are the last of the family.

  4. wkf says:

    That was a great post!

  5. liz in NY says:

    I think that making anything with your granddaughters is a blessing. I spent the weekend with my granddaughters,they are 4 and almost 3.We had a wonderful time making gingerbread. Thank you for a great post.

  6. ChaoticMom says:

    That was wonderful! I hope I can be that kind of grandma when it’s my turn. Princess seems to be growing up! I’ve got a 12 yr old daughter now too. What an age! It’s so great that she has such a good relationship with your mom. :hug:

  7. wammy says:

    Grandparents, grandmothers are very special. I have lost both of mine but now I have become one…two times. It is the greatest. But they live on the other side of the US so it makes times with them few and far between. Enjoy them. Love the girls day out shots. Memories that will last forever. Glad Princess is now the keeper of the bread!

  8. Kathryn says:

    We have two Grandgirlies who are seven and six. We love having them visit, and boy do we cook! They love cooking, and help their daddy and mama all the time at home. I think it is great. They are so serious and careful, too.

    My mother uses the term “light bread”, too. And, “light rolls” to differentiate between whole wheat or rye or whatever.

    This was a great post. Thank you for the memory starter!

  9. jane says:

    Wonderful day – spa, great food and a wonderful grandmother to share it with. Great you are passing the recipe on to Princess – so important to keep it going. and to polish the silver which reminds me—- hmmmm

  10. Tresha says:

    I have a grandmommy too that is still alive and is a great grandmommy to my 15 yr. old daughter…I hope I can be as good of a grandmommy to her baby…EVERYBODY needs a grandmommy…..we are suppose to get a lot of rain due to Gustav…I will have the day to make Grandmother Bread…does humidity affect bread rising???

    catching up from the Labor Day posts…I LOVE Bantys…also, we had Cochens (sp?) they are a little fatter and their legs are totally covered with feathers…it looks like they are wearing chaps! I saw one of your commenters spoke of Silkies…oh my gosh, they are adorable, I totally forgot about silkies…we had a pair and she was a great setting hen. I do remember doing the trick with golf balls too…you might try it…AND I also agree with your other reader, I am afraid you have too many roosters…they will tear up your hens backs once they start laying…in fact you could have featherless backs on your hens once they start laying…it is a mating thing and it gets really really ugly. aawwww I miss chickens….they are so fun …just wait until you have a mother hen…it is just the BEST….

    tell Clover thanks for sharing the spot light and allowing a chicken post!!!!

    last year of high school….this could be an emotional roller coaster of a year for you huh? good luck. My daughter is only a sophomore but I know the time is getting closer and faster for when she leaves the nest and I just dread it already…. she is my only so it will be very empty when she leaves…I just need to remember how I felt at her age….the “get me out of here” thoughts! ha ha

    Tresh in Oklahoma

    ps- Happy Birthday to your mom!

  11. jan n tn says:

    I commented yesteday on your blog, about the same time todays post was going on line. I don’t know if you backtrack to read new comments so I’ll copy/paste:I read your blog every day. May I comment on the laying dilemma?
    Have you tried adding a 20 to 22 percent protein laying mash in with the feed? It should speed egg production.
    I have found that the golf ball does work, as a marker for the hens to start laying in the right places. The nest boxes, not on the floor or outside! Love your writings, homestead, animals, family, pictures, and all your recipes. Grandmother Bread is on the list of things to do today.

  12. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Tresha, it’s not the humidity that can cause problems but the low pressure. You can make bread on low air pressure days, just expect that it may take longer to rise. I make bread all the time, no matter the weather, so carry on–just let it rise however long it takes!

  13. Blaze says:

    Looks like you had a fun girls day 🙂

    And I’ve never heard that term light bread used for homeade bread before, only for store bought stuff. Werid little kinks in the language I guess

  14. Heidi533 says:

    What a wonderful post today. You made me cry. I had that kind of relationship with my own grandmother, and my daughters have it with my mother. It’s a beautiful thing. I wonder if it’s a grandmother thing or a bread baker’s thing. I suspect it’s a grandmother thing and the bread baking is just an added bonus.


  15. Beckynsc says:

    My Grandmother made the best hot rolls! She was over the hospital kitchen at a now defunct hospital in Charleston. Everyone requested her rolls. She told me the ingredients, but not how much or anything else. She was used to making a large batch and could not tell me how much to use. She just knew in her head how much of what ingredient to add. One of these days I’ll figure it out. In the meantime I will use your bread recipe.
    Cute toe nails, Princess! Does she ever get tired of you snapping pics of her. I know my Boo does!

  16. Abiga/karen says:

    I have seven grandchildren 4 girls and 3 boys. Two of the girls are in sunny California so I do not see them as much plus they are still very little. The other ones I am blessed to live with and be a part of their daily lives here on our mini-farm. One of the girls is called Princess C and sometimes her brothers all try to make life so wonderfully easy for her. The memories made at the spa and baking bread will last a lifetime. Blessings.

  17. Debbie in Memphis says:

    Grandparents are a blessing. Mine have all passed on, but one day, hopefully, I will get to be a grandmother and I hope I can be half as wonderful as my grandparents were. When it comes down to it, those precious memories are the most important things we have.

    Thank you, Suzanne, for sharing yours with us.

  18. hawkswench says:

    I made your Grandma’s bread but added raisins and cinnamon to it. It didn’t last long around here.
    warning this is a large pic so if you have a slow connection it might take a bit.
    I took the second loaf and made it in a biscuit pan so it was only about 3 inches high but about a foot wide which made it great for slicing thin, brushing with olive oil and herbs and then broiling.

  19. Claudia W. says:

    This post was great! Happy Birthday to your mom! I learned so many things from my grandmother. Now that I think about it, I would probably be so helpless about a lot of stuff around my home if it weren’t for her. (My own mom taught me a lot, but grandma taught me the homey type things, like making bread, etc.) What a wonderful couple of weeks you had with them!

  20. MMHONEY says:


  21. Jill S. says:

    Your mom is pretty! And I don’t know where summer went, but I’m mourning it like I would a missing limb.

  22. Jodie says:

    :hungry: I need some grandmother bread! Plus just had my own pedicure last week after some medical tests that were stressful as a reward to myself. I need a massage too. SOON.

  23. Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife says:

    I love how you are making memories through the generations. It’s really important and sometime hard if the granparents live a distance away. I’m not much of a baker, especially bread, but I am going to give Grandmother Bread a try. Thanks.

    – Suzanne, the Farmer’s Wife

  24. Mim says:

    What I have found out is that your own kids age you but your grandkids keep you young (but with a few aches & sore muscles). When my baby boy turned 18, I told him to give me some time to adjust to him being an adult because it is hard to break a 18 year old “habit” of taking care of him. He is now 26 and I still have not totally broke myself of the “habit”. Maybe when he is older but I doubt it. My daughter (step) but we don’t use the “S” word has 2 sons 17 months and 4 weeks. :treehugger:

  25. L says:

    Sounds like a wonderful visit.

    I don’t think I’ve ever made a real loaf of bread that wasn’t either done in a machine or called Banana Bread (which might not count here).
    And my daughter just turned nine last week.

    I have read your recipe and how-to (make bread) page. I think Daughter and I shall embark on this adventure together.
    Thank you for sharing your family tradition.

  26. Lisa L says:

    I agree where did summer go. I miss my two already and they have only been gone 1 hour. I’m so glad that your daughter and mom are close. I was super close with my gramma and I miss her so much since she passed. I have amazing memories of her and I together, chatting over tea. Lisa L.

  27. Katharina says:

    Beautiful beautiful Princess feet.
    I have a recipe from my grandma, who passed on 25 years ago, in her own handwriting which I cherish. I am looking on line for a couple of recipes each grandma made for me when I was a little girl. This idea of passing on recipes is a big deal. Thanks, Suzanne, for the reminder. I hope my boys will remember the special foods I baked for them and not those times I was scolding them for their messes. :hungry:

  28. Donna says:

    :mrgreen: I LOVED that!!!! Suzanne, your mother is GORGEOUS! Her eyes are so beautiful and OF COURSE Princess is a Princess (she’s the daughter of a KING!! the KING OF KINGS!!!)!!! She is so cute and fun to hear about!!!! PRECIOUS!
    It made me think of my gorgeous late mother!!!! We were so close and did everything together!!! She also had light blue eyes that sparkled like your mom’s and she was soooo fun and loving and loved to do everything. Fun to be around! She had a PERFECT figure until she died and ADORED her grandkids (all boys) – they were my parents life!!!! Brought back good memories! Classy lady, that mother of mine, as yours is. :mrgreen:
    We used to get the large suckers like Princess has!!! My sister told me I dug in a sandpile with someone’s when I was about 3. LOL
    Polishing silver – OMG…I get sooo sick doing that….now my husband polishes it for me and he dunks it in a liquid that does it FAST. It works! I almost hate I inherited all that. LOL I think mother had some pieces treated, so they never have to be polished again…I guess I can’t handle that smell, with Rosacea.
    They are good people if they live in Texas – my father’s side if from there. :mrgreen: Notice I said “if they live there, cause I know your dad is from Stringtown. LOL”
    Thanks for sharing! :mrgreen:

  29. Sarah S. says:

    It is hard to believe summer is over. We started back to school today. It is so quiet here today! :snoopy:

  30. Karen Erickson says:

    That’s wonderful, sharing all of those family traditions and passing them on. I hope Princess carries on the bread making duties…

    I lurk more than I comment but I wanted to let you know I gave you a blog award on my blog! Check it out here:

  31. Beach Girl says:

    I love the happy toes. The polish is such a cute color. It is wonderful for Princess to spend time with her Grandmommy. My daughter loves to spend time with each of her grandmothers and will cherish the memories from those times always.

  32. Susan says:

    You, Princess and your Mom made memories for each other that will last forever. :heart:

  33. Jean says:

    How wonderful that you are passing on traditions. My Grandmother died in 1961 and there is not a single day that I don’t miss her. We used to polish silver together, too. I have made your Grandmother Bread with my 4-yr. old granddaughter. We took pictures, too, so she will always remember. Light bread to my father was any store bought bread, usually white. When it became possible to buy bread instead of make it, women loved it, although it was never as good as homemade. Glad you are keeping the traditions alive.

  34. Martha F. says:

    Keep calling her Princess! Because she is.. I believe that what we call our children they become.. My mother called me contrary, contrary, contrary.. always three times in a row. Just ask my husband I’m a little contrary now. I chuckeled at the “light bread” that is all we ever knew to call it. I grew up in the sticks. I’m 44 and if my dad were living he would be 97. He passed on lots of made up words that if my sisters and I use at family gathering none of our spouses know what in the word we are talking about. Your mom is grandgorgeous… you have a beautiful family.

  35. Shari C says:

    What special times. I loved to do things with my grandmother and we always made chocolate chip cookies together while I was growing up…some of my favorite times that I will always remember.

  36. JeannieB says:

    Suzanne, I just love your blog, I have been hooked for several months. Thank you for sharing your daily life with us, you are so full of life that it’s contagious. I hope your children appreciate what you are giving them, most of us don’t (didn’t) take the time to enjoy and share the small daily events with our children as you do. Keep it up, you are an inspiration to us all.

  37. Nell says:

    My cousin, in Japan with air force hubby, went in to the base commissary and asked for white bread and sweet milk. No one seemed to understand this sweet little Texas gal!
    This has become a family story.

  38. Amy Addison says:

    Very cool on Princess picking up the bread-making mantle.

    I think there were 11 minutes of summer this year. And they occurred during the night, while we were all sleeping.

  39. Estella says:

    Great post, Suzanne!
    Tell Princess I envy her. I’ve never had a pedicure.

  40. Maureen says:

    My daughter is the only granddaughter also and loves her status. It’s sweet that you have the pictures of your daughter and mother together making the bread.

  41. Suzette says:

    Great story! My daughter also appreciated the older generation, and it always warmed my heart.

    As for the “light bread,” – that’s what my dad (and my grandparents) always called it too. I guess that was to distinguish it from cornbread which, as far as I know, was the only other kind of bread they ever had. Other than biscuits, of course. He also used the term “sweet milk” – when referring to regular ol’ milk. I guess “sweet milk” is milk that isn’t buttermilk.

    My sisters and I often use these terms on purpose…with a smile.

  42. Brandy says:

    I wish my Daughter had a Grandmother like that. My Mom passed when she was very young, but they were close. My hubs mother? She’s not very maternal. *g* Looks like everyone had a good time!

  43. catslady says:

    My mom was the “cleaner” and my aunt was the cook. I wish that had been the other way around lol. My mom just turned 86 yesterday and probably because she was always so active, she’s is in wonderful shape. Although she does cook some, she’s always there to help everyone clean lol. I do regret not having kids ’til my 30’s because both my husband’s parents weren’t around.

  44. hawkswench says:

    Suzanne where did you get your flour canister? I noticed that Paula Dean has one like it.

  45. Suzanne McMinn says:

    I got it at Wal-Mart. Do we think Paula Dean shops for her kitchen stuff there, too? LOL.

  46. sunnid755 says:

    Princess is so Very Lucky to have a great relationship with her grandmother. Glad she’s carrying on the family recipies. I passed down the family ones here. It took a really long time to get the chicken and dressing one down. I watched and helped since childhood. For how many eggs it takes, she said “just keep putting them in until you feel like you’re wasting them and then stop”. She also baked the egg shells in the oven and crushed them up and fed them to the chickens for good egg shells. Or you can buy oyster shells(?) for laying hens along with special feed. Good luck and thanks for sharing.

  47. Donna says:

    I used to hear “light bread” alot…”Do you want wheat or light bread?”…and heard “white bread” alot too. My grandfather used to use those terms most. He also used to say (about commercial bread)- “This is nothing more than an edible napkin”. (no nutrition). He always said “sweet milk” too. Yep, all those terms. LOL

    Princess did an EXCELLENT job on her loaf of bread!

  48. tea4too0 says:

    Oh Suzanne, you made me so wistful. I have always wished I could have been older so I could have gleaned more from my great Granny. She probably was a well fount of great stories, and recipes. I do have her chocolate no bake cookie recipe, which has her name attached to the recipe title, and I sure do wish I could have her green tin cookie canister. I can still “smell” the aroma of those cookies from that tin. She also was a master at tatting, something I never tried. It was a sad day for me when she passed. I learned crochet and the fine art of snapping green beans from my paternal granny. Also she taught me to do the dishes as soon as the meal was finished, I don’t do it as religishely as she did, LOL. Gotta run, have a great day.

  49. Fran says:

    I love that Princess calls your mom grandmommy. I called both of my grandmothers that. I lived in the same town as one of my grandmommies and a favorite memory is making pies with her. She always gave me a pyrex custard cup to make a small pie while she made her pie. She made the best chocolate pie on earth, but sadly I do not have the recipe. 😥 I do have lots of other special recipes from her, though. I’m looking forward to being a grandmommy!

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