Tag Archives: Gramps

http://eyeslobber.com/about/

Jam Juice

“Waste not, want not,” my Gramps told me, as he scraped the last of the jam from the jar, filled the jar with tap water, and shook it up.

“What are you going to do with that?” I asked him, wide-eyed and spellbound.

“It’s jam juice!” he declared before pouring half the vaguely pinkish water into a small glass for me, and drinking the rest down straight from the jar. 

I followed his lead, noting that the liquid no longer tasted exactly like water, nor did it taste anything like juice.  In fact, I wasn’t really sure I liked it.  But I smiled widely and drank it all anyway, because I loved my Gramps, and that was good enough for me.

Jam Juice

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+EmailMore
http://eyeslobber.com/about/

Cacao Prieto

On a recent jaunt via ferry to the Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook, I scanned New York Harbor for signs of a floating bottle.  “If I ever find a genie in a bottle,” I fantasized, “My first wish will be that my grandparents return to life to spend a day with me in New York City.”  The thought slipped away as I took in street after street, and shop after shop, in Red Hook.  Then, about an hour later, I came upon Cacao Prieto, a stunningly beautiful distillery and single-origin organic chocolate factory founded by the grandson of the little girl depicted on the postcard accompanying the chocolate bars.  It seemed as if my grandparents had heard my thoughts on the ferry ride to Red Hook.  My Nana, a chocolate lover, and my Gramps, a bourbon lover, were there with me that day in New York City.

Cacao Prieto

 

Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries

My Gramps used many expressions typical of his generation.  Among them were “Now we’re cookin’ with gas,”  ”The early bird gets the worm,” and “Life is just a bowl of cherries.”  He made reference to the bowl of cherries — with a big dimpled smile on his face — whenever things were going particularly well for him.  His cheerfulness, however, left me a bit confused about the true meaning of the phrase, as I was more accustomed to hearing it used by the cynical members of my family who — when things were not looking up — were likely to rephrase the idiom along the lines of “Life’s a real bowl of cherries, isn’t it.”  The lesson I eventually learned from the experience was that the glass of life is almost always both half full and half empty . . . but a bowl of cherries is something to savor no matter what.

Bowl of Cherries

Pappardelle with Beets & Greens

I love beets, but I rarely cooked them more than once a year because they can take seemingly forever to roast.  This year, however, my friend Heather asked me several times for instructions about cooking beets.  Her requests for advice made me wonder why I didn’t just boil them once in a while; after all, if boiled beets were good enough for my grandparents, why shouldn’t they be good enough for me?  To my great surprise and delight, I rediscovered that beets gently simmered in salted water until tender are absolutely delicious.  A dozen boiled baby beets ― and the sautéed beet greens ― made their way into a dish of homemade pappardelle last night, along with a bit of feta and some toasted pine nuts.  It was so wonderful that I’m sure I will make it often.  I have Heather to thank for that, and I can only hope she never stops asking me for culinary advice.

Pappardelle with Beets & Green

Bourbon Brownies

Every Friday night when I was a child, my grandparents came to visit.  My Gramps would settle into a chair, readying himself to read me countless books, with a can of beer and a shot of bourbon.  He would allow me “as many sniffs as you want of beer but only one sip.”  The bourbon was relegated to “sniffs only” territory.  To this day, I still love the smell of bourbon.

Bourbon Brownies

Croissant & Chocolate

A few years ago, I found myself in Copenhagen visiting the country from which my great-grandparents emigrated.  I had envisioned myself spending a week indulging in decadent Danish pastries, but ― to my surprise ― I never found any.  Instead, I discovered a croissant so sublime that I suspect any Parisian baker would have been proud to claim it.  I only wish my Gramps had been there to enjoy it with me.

Breakfast is Served