Why this blog?
I started this blog as an online cookbook for my kinder. Since I cook-by-the-seat-of-my-pants (ie: I “eyeball” things, rather than measure), and have enough problem with “paper clutter”, I thought this would be a good way for me to document our family favorites that my kids are always asking me how to make.
The blog is named in memory of my Grandmother, a bundle of energy, and a woman who could pull together a meal, literally, out of almost anything. I think the folk tale, “Stone soup”, was with my Grandmother in mind.
Everything my Grandmother made, she made from scratch — pies, breads, cookies, as well as canning and freezing the bounty from her garden. It was very rare for Grandma to have anything “store-bought” in the house. I learned to cook by apprenticing at her side — not through any type of formality, but through peeling, shucking, chopping, eyeballing, tasting and adjusting — which included adding/deleting whatever happened to be needing “finishing up” in the pantry or fridge.
On my other side, my Nana, although born in Canada, was of a French (not Quebecois) Alsace family, and she loved to cook. Feeding you was how she showed you she loved you. I think, too, having a groaning table with always “too much” of everything was how she coped with the deprivations of the Depression. Nana loved braised stews, and never met a vegetable that didn’t cry out for a cream sauce. A butter-laced roux was Nana’s stalwart companion.
Growing up in a very diverse, working class neighborhood in the east end of Toronto, I was acclimated to a variety of tasty things from the kitchens of school chums — whether that was from the British Isles, Greek, Italian, German, Austrian, Indian, Pakistani, Chinese, Korean, Jamaican … you get the idea. I learned quickly that cooking for grandchildren is the language of love, no matter what distant clime your Granny may have hailed from.
So this blog is meant to replace all those tiny scraps of condiment-stained paper I have floating around, and as a loving tribute to culinary blessed Grannies and Nanas everywhere.