I'm a little slow today. I just switched to Sanka. So...have a heart?

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Three of my Grandmother's Doubtlessly Terrible Recipes:

"Po Nichbar Bella Bat Yitzchak, niftarah 8 Sivan 5760. Tehi nishmato tzeruah b'tzurur ha-chayim. Here lies Bella, daughter of Isaac, who died on June 11, 2000. May her Soul be bound up in eternal life."

Friday, the 11th, is my Grandmother's yahrtzeit. Bella Simons Cohen graced the Earth with her presence between January 18, 1920 - June 11, 2000. Although it's been ten years, I still miss her terribly, and trips to Massachusetts are an exercise in tongue-biting memory suppression. And I rarely go to Ft. Lauderdale for the same reason: Lauderdale by the Sea, and Hawaiian Gardens on Oakland Park Boulevard are basically self-imposedly verboten for me.

Still, she comes to me in my dreams sometimes, which is nice; I wish she'd come more often, because as it is, when she comes, I can't even get any words out to her, for hugging her so hard. It's amazing how little emotional healing can take place in 10 years time.

My friend Meredith is to be married on the 11th. And we'll probably be under sail on the wedding cruse at 4:30 p.m., which is when Babe faded to black. I'll think of my grandmother in the morning; say Kaddish before I leave the house. At 4:30, she wouldn't want me to think of her; she'd want me to focus on the here and now, and the celebration of my friend's marriage. She wouldn't want me to remember her too much on Friday, but I know I will. Cancer is a bitch.

She was a godawful cook, but a pretty accomplished baker. Her ruglach were known in my family. She also made these paprika-matzah meal potatoes that were out of this world. I have to get that recipe from my aunt. I can make her Sweet and Sour meatballs - I think I've published the recipe here once or twice. And to this day, if I eat a roast chicken, I only like it if it's been dried to dust.

We always said that the epitaph on her tombstone should be "Shit! Shit! Shit!" which is what she used to exclaim when she was pissed...or couldn't find her cah-kees. I guess the epitaph "Beloved wife and mother" works, but she left behind five grandchildren and a great granddaughter that still miss her hugs, and her laugh, and her drawer full of Snickers bars and the trace smell of Shower to Shower... and the sound of her flip-flopping around her house in her Dr. Scholls slippers, and the morning clinking of her spoon against the side of the glass, mixing her Metamucil.

So that the memory of my Grandmother lives on, I give you the first four of some of her recipes, exactly as written. It's funny - the recipes aren't terribly complicated, but seem to leave out certain steps or assume you know how to do certain parts of the recipes. I'd have no problem following most them... but I wonder if others would.

1) Bea's Brownies (Possibly my grandmother's recipe, because she went by Beatrice, Bea, Babe... or Bella.)

1/4 lb butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
3 sqs. melted bake choc
1/2 cup milk
1 1/3 cups flour
1 teas salt
1 teas vanilla
3/4 cup nuts or more

Cream butter with sugar. Add eggs. Add melted choc. then alternate milk with flour and salt. Add vanilla. Add nuts - bake - bake in flat pan 1/2 hr - 350 degrees. Test with tooth pick.

Let me know how they turn out... They don't sound terribly chocolaty.

2) Cinnamon Apple Coffee Cake

1 3/4 cup cake flour
1 1/2 tsp b. powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp soda
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
cinnamon sugar
1/4 cup chopped nuts
3 lge apples sliced thin.

Sift flour with b. powder, soda + salt. Cream shortening with sugar. Add eggs + beat until light & fluffy. Add flr. alternately with cream. Add vanilla. Pour 1/2 batter in greased pan (9x9x2). In sm bowl combine 1/2 cup sugar + 2 tsp cinnamon. Sprinkle this + nuts over batter in pan. Top with apples. Add remaining batter and spread evenly. Sprinkle top with remaining cinnamon sugar. Bake at 370 degrees 40-45 minutes.

3) Noodle Kugle (Carolyn Selby)

1/2 # Fine Noodle (cook + drain) (This probably means 1/2 pound egg noodles)
Add 1/2 # cottage cheese
1/2 pt sour cream
1/4 # melted margerine
6 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups milk.

3 qt buttered baking dish. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar. Bake one hour at 325 degree oven.

4) Strudle. (My great-grandmother, my grandmother's mother, emigrated to the United States in 1904, from Russia, but there were distinctly German traits about her, according to my mother. One of which was that she made strudel. This may be her recipe, which would go back 100 years or more. I don't know that I'd be able to pull this one off...

4 cup flour scant
1 tsp b. powder
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 cup oil
2 tbsp sugar
2 eggs (well beaten)
lemon juice (little)
1/2 cup hot water

Roll out very thin. Brush with oil. Make compote of jam marmalade + whatever + spread all over rolled out sheet. Sprinkle with cinnamon + sugar + nuts. Roll (or Pull) out in long thin strudeler type + put in pan (cookie sheet). Cut in angle but not threw. Again cinnamon + sugar top + bake at 350.

I can honestly say I'd give up 10 years of my life to be eight years old again, staying with her for a week in the summer. Of all the grandchildren, I was the favorite; and ten years later, I'm the one that still hasn't fully processed that she's gone, like, for good.


Blogger gcbron said...

Touching post, Superbee.

I'm going to ask Ileana to try and make the strudel.

4:55 AM

Blogger SuperBee said...

G - If I can give any advice, I think with respect to the Strudel, beat the eggs with the oil and the lemon juice, and mix with the dry ingredients, adding the hot water last, and then beating until it comes to a ball. When rolling it out, I'll be the dough is really sticky, so flour it generously. I have no idea what "whatever" is to put inside it, but when it's rolled out in the rectangle, I think you'd spread the filling in a rectangle longways on one-half of the dough, leaving a border, to fold over the other half of the dough, and then slit it.

I'm not sure she ever made strudel for me. Eventually I'll post her ruglach recipe, which is what I remember her making.

That, and Jell-O with fruit on the bottom and Cool-Whip.

7:16 AM

Blogger Yono Senada said...

Beautiful post Superbee. Time DOES NOT heal the pain ... it only dulls it, IMHO.

Thanks for the recipes.


7:39 AM


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