Saturday, June 25, 2011

Heirloom Discovery

While in California for Mother's Day I was in need of a baking dish.  My Mom told me to look in the lower cabinet next to the stove.  This is one of those black holes that hide every pan you have ever lost.  I practically had to crawl completely into the cupboard to get to the back.  Not finding what I was looking for, I  spotted a mangled plastic bag and called out to my Mom asking what it was.  "Oh, I think it's just some old stuff of Mother's." Mother's? You mean my Grandmother? You mean NANA'S STUFF?????  It must have been comical watching me forcing myself further into the black hole to retrieve the precious plastic bag that had belonged to my beloved Nana.  I knew that whatever it was, it was mine now, because my Mother doesn't cook. 

As I gently tugged on the bag I realized that it was large and quite heavy. I had to get deeper inside that black hole. . . dang!  The first thing to emerge was this amazing Saladmaster machine with all the parts and pieces intact.  The only thing it was missing was the book. My Mom said she could still see Nana using it for all kinds of things.  I was in Heirloom Heaven! 

My first salad using Nana's Saladmaster.

The next thing to come out of the bag was this old Universal Meat Grinder.  It too had all the parts and pieces, although some of the parts need some rust removed.
Again - Heirloom Heaven.

Then last, but of course not least, was this.  I don't even know the proper names for these but I know what she used them for - Chokecherry Jelly.  I have never even tried to make jelly, but now I plan to.  Just for Nana.

Nana came from very humble beginnings.  I have seen where and how she lived as a child.  I think she knew everything there was to know about everything.  I've never met a wiser woman. Sadly, I don't know how she met my Pops (grandfather), but he became a very successful business owner, selling heavy equipment.  As far back as I can remember, they were quite well off.  They travelled around the world and thoroughly enjoyed life. I remember one time she made a centerpiece of a cluster of glass grapes.  She was so proud of it that the next time they had company she told Pop's business associate that she made it herself.  He looked at her really funny and said "Why on earth would you want to make something if you could just buy it?"  And she never made anything like that again, although she always encouraged her grandchildren to be creative.

Many of my memories of Nana and Pops are from the cabin.  They loved to entertain, and had huge parties with family and friends.  Everyone loved to get an invitation to the cabin.  Nana and Pops were loved by all. 

Interestingly enough, the only memories I have of Nana cooking are at the cabin.  She cooked like crazy for those big parties, but that's the only time I can recall seeing her cook anything other than toast.  I know she did, I just never paid attention I guess. 

When she died my Mom was the closest relative. Pop's was already gone and so was Mom's younger brother. (Killed by a drunk driver).  I lived too far away to get really involved in her estate.  I was heartsick that I would not be able to have any of her beautiful furniture, but I was truly grateful for the few little things I did get.  So being able to have these old kitchen tools is more than wonderful for me.  And every time I use them I can feel her there with me.

I have a few very special things in my home that once belonged to her.  I will share more of them in another post sometime.

Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, June 23, 2011