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Can You Cook Hope?

Submitted by: drmary on May 17, 2010
1 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 5
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Can You Cook Hope?

I love recipes and blogs about farms. This may not seem weird to you, but for me, it is because I’m an “indoor girl” who doesn’t like to “rattle the pots and pans.”

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But my favorite memories are of Grandma Flontsie. She wasn’t a farmer or …

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I love recipes and blogs about farms. This may not seem weird to you, but for me, it is because I’m an “indoor girl” who doesn’t like to “rattle the pots and pans.”


But my favorite memories are of Grandma Flontsie. She wasn’t a farmer or a fancy cook either. She was born on a farm in Iowa, one of six, and her mother died when she was ten. Flontsie was the oldest, and the responsibility of taking care of her brothers and sisters fell to her.

When she turned 16 she left the farm with her new Swedish husband and moved to sunny California.


Her husband did yard work, and yards were plentiful in the LA area in the 1920s.

When I came along, she lived 4 blocks from our house. The summer I turned 10, I walked to her bungelow every Friday afternoon and spent the weekend. The food she cooked for us was hearty yet easy. And she taught me about eating and loving–how to pull green onions from her tiny garden, brush the dirt away and dip them in salt. She helped me form gigantic hamburger patties, cook them till the outsides were crusty, then cover them in catsup. She also let me eat bread with butter and sugar any time I wanted to. Yum.

But most of all, Grandma proved to me that we can show our love with simple things. Over mashed bananas she encouraged me to study hard and be nice to others. When I cried she brushed back my tears and helped me laugh again. If we ran out of milk or butter, she sent me to the grocer on the corner–and even though she was on a budget, there was always a dime for candy.

She never used wine or expensive spices when she made a family meal, but her casseroles were sumptuous. Her kitchen was tiny, with a small table right by the stove. There were no granite counters or expensive copper pans, yet my memory always drifts back to Flontsie’s kitchen when I think of love and hope.

Mary blogs at Writing Without Periods.

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Comments

11 comments | RSS feed for comments of this post

  1. 5-17
    2:12
    am

    Sounds like a very special lady. I’m glad you had her in your life, so many aren’t as lucky. Thanks for sharing the memories….

  2. 5-17
    5:27
    am

    Love your post, Mary! How lucky to have your grandmother 4 blocks from you…mine was 400 miles, but I think I remember every single visit with her. I think of her often as I’m “rattling the pots and pans”.

    Thank you for sharing 🙂

  3. 5-17
    6:36
    am

    That was beautiful.

  4. 5-17
    8:52
    am

    Wonderful post! My grandmother taught me so much and I still miss her with an ache in my heart.

  5. 5-17
    12:48
    pm

    Mary, I enjoyed this post very much. I will always remember it now. And, when I get cross and irritated because my kitchen is not conducive for working there, I will remember how much your grandmother managed in her small kitchen. Thank you.

  6. 5-17
    1:00
    pm

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful memories.

  7. 5-17
    1:51
    pm

    great…. crying at work now….. thanks.
    😉 but really, thanks for the blog post, it was beautiful and thought provoking!

  8. 5-17
    2:04
    pm

    I’e known a lot of farm women thru my life and most of them were not good cooks,they worked so hard,they cooked plain.

  9. 5-17
    10:54
    pm

    What a beautiful woman–both inside and out. That, at the tender age of ten, she would take care of her five younger siblings says mountains about the kind of person she was. You certainly have right to be proud of your Grandma Flontsie. What a better place this old world would be in if more people had a Grandma Flontsie in their life.

  10. 5-19
    6:18
    pm

    You are very lucky to have been close to your Grandmother. Mine lived a long way from us and we only visited her in the summers.
    Darlene

  11. 6-22
    8:10
    am

    What a nice post…Thanks for sharing it.

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