29 Jan 2010

Granny is the Best!

Posted by PastryPrincess at 02:50
I love my granny. You think you have the best granny in the world? Oh no, there's no better granny than mine. Seriously. She's the cutest little thing ever, I'd like to put her in my purse and take her everywhere I go...

You might doubt me but let me tell you more about my granny.

 My granny's nickname is Omel and she's turning 87 in a bit over a month but you would never guess she's that old. She grew up during World War II in which her house was bombed to the ground and her brother was shot. But she also met my granddad and they were married for over 60 years when he passed away when I was 18. She grew up in Cologne, Germany, an area that is known for it's humour and carnival and she is a cheeky one, let me tell you! My granny is small and soft, cuddly and cosy and she gets rosy cheeks as soon as she's had half a glass of wine. She's quite well-travelled for someone of her generation and she's always been very welcoming to all the visitors from around the world we've brought over to her place even though she doesn't speak any foreign languages and she always makes an effort.

I used to stay with her for a week of my school holidays and we would go hiking, eat all my favourite foods and most importantly bake. My mum is a great cook but she never bakes and so I loved when my granny would show me how to bake cakes and we'd be in the kitchen for hours while she would tell me funny stories from her childhood. I still know all these anecdotes off by heart and being in the kitchen with my granny is one my fondest memories. I think it's from her that I get the cooking and baking gene, obviously also passed on somewhat through my mum. My granny cooks traditional, hearty and wholesome German food that is comforting and makes you feel at home. She has a great butcher and always gets the best filet of beef steaks and her cakes are delicious. A running gag in our family is that she once used flavoured creemcheese with herbs instead of the plain one which made eating the meant-to-be fruity cake an interesting experience...!

I have always enjoyed helping her make Spätzle, a certain type of German pasta (you spread the dough on to a wooden board and then vigoriously scrape little bits off with a knife and chuck'em into the boiling water), and yeast dumplings with vanilla custard. I adore the sweet smell of yeast dough and its smooth, yummy texture and for obvious reasons believe that my granny's skin feels like exactly that yeast dough and I mean that in a positive way! Yummy, you just want to smother her with kisses. Seriously all the doughs she makes I just want to eat straight away because they're so good. She would always tell me I'd get an upset tummy from eating all the raw dough but of course I never did and so to this day I still devour her doughs and batters prematurely, they're just too good!
Take this waffle batter she mad last weekend for instance, hmmm.... I don't know her recipe for them but the batter had something slightly orangey and light to it and was very yummy. I ate several spoonfuls, just couldn't resist. Good thing she doesn't mind! =) I made half of the batch in the waffle iron though and we had them with cherries in a bit of a cherry sauce, very yummy. It's such an easy and delicious treat but somehow we tend to forget about it...

Unfortunately though my granny is not really interested in too modern foods i.e. those she might not know. Muffins for example would be quite critical. If she ever gave them a try she would make this very particular face and say "....interesting..." and you'd know it wasn't really her thing but mainly because she doesn't know it. So when I bake things and tell her about them she is very enthusiastic, wants to try them but when I explain to her what they are she will say "It wouldn't be known" which translates to I don't know it - I probably won't like it so I won't eat it. But what can you do... she would never like brownies or a chocolate-chip cookie, they're simply not her thing, too modern. On the other hand she enjoys eating out in restaurants and she loves going to this chinese buffet place in her tiny town! Spring rolls yes but muffins no... I can't say I get her.
But I do love talking to her because we're close and I like to tell her all sorts of things and she does the same with me, it's a very special bond we have. So when I went to see her last weekend, because I hadn't been around since early December, she gave me my belated birthday present and let me tell you it was gooooood... and made us cry a little bit, too. It was all very well concealed, I couldnt have guessed in a million years. As it turned out I got a massive art-déco box filled with the most gorgeous and extraordinary artisan chocolates and truffles , there was a sweet card with money in it and then a nondescript looking something wrapped in tissue, hmm....In the end it was a beautiful and special ring my granny gave to me because it had been the last one my granddad had ever given to her and I just thought that it was such a special gesture.
That's exactly it though, I feel like everything about my granny is special and our bond, too. I'm a granny's girl and I love this woman more than I can say. She drives me nuts sometimes but she is so sweet and warm, giving, adorable, funny, sad, clever, a good cook and baker and a good home economics lady, she listens to me, only ever wants the best for me and supports everything I do, she speaks her own laguage and I don't ever want to be without her.
My granny rocks. She uses her fax machine and portable phone, she watches dvd's, records stuff and has a mobile phone, too. How cool is that? And still she can be more stubborn than anybody when it comes to me wanting her to go see a certain doctor or whatever because at her age there's always little aches etc that can be improved but she isn't having any of it....As a matter of fact she just deliberately broke a promise she had given me sometime ago and we had even shaken hands on it! That's bold granny, bold!

In a nutshell, I have the bestest granny in the world and I couldn't love her more... Stay the way you are Omel and take good care of yourself my dear, no more falling down the basement stairs and such other shenanigans!!!

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