Friday, November 10, 2006


Food Fun for Gen Xer's by Amy Lathrop

Good Friday to you... well not "Good Friday", but just a Friday greeting...anyway...

I just got off the phone with my Gram; not grandmother, or grandma, but just Gram. We have a weekly phone date. She lives in Washington State and I live in Montana. We have found that if we don't have a "weekly" date, it could be months between chats. We both realized that about the only time we talked was when I was sitting in her living room. Those visits were just too few and far between.

Gram's "real" name, (remember when you found out that your grandparents actually had other names besides grandma and grandpa?), is Edwina Alice. She turned 70 last year. All the girls (she has three sisters and a brother) in the family celebrated with a spa party. We all had manicures and pedicures and then went to lunch. My Gram is now the matriarch of the family. Her mother died three years ago at the age of 97. WOW! This is a role she relishes. She is the keeper of the history and the traditions. A job that will be passed down to my mother, as the oldest daughter and cousin, and eventually on to me. (But, I have years to prepare for that-ha!)

On the phone this morning, after we talked about the weather, the elections, my mother, her son-my uncle, her neighbor, her breakfast group, Phil--her friend in New Zealand, and her new patio, we began to reminisce. I was fortunate to grow up living five minutes from Gram. My brother and I spent a lot of time at her house playing games and just hanging out and talking. I love that she is such a huge part of my childhood. She has always been my special friend. No one roots for you like a grandparent does!

We were talking about some of the things she has told me over the years. Things that have turned out to be so true. Here's my favorite, "don't wish your life away, it will go fast enough". As a child, I was forever wishing I was older so I could do this or that. Gram would quote this to me without fail. Of course, it would always elicit a groan or a roll of the eyes. But, it IS so true. Now that my kids are older life just flies by and by and by and by. Does anyone know why time passes more quickly the older we get?

A friend and I are writing a generational cookbook for the busy moms of today (me, you and everyone we know). I'd love to hear some wisdom from your own grandma/grandpa. What are some of the things you were told on your wedding day? What advice were you given on how to find your way around the kitchen? What are some of your mother's or grandmother's stories about their worst/best/funniest kitchen experiences? How about recipes that have been carried from generation to generation? If you were compiling your own list of "Things My Grandmother Told Me", what would be the first snippet of wisdom you'd share?

And speaking of recipes, here is my great grandmother, Lennie Viola's recipe for

"My Favorite Pumpkin Pie"

1 cup pumpkin
1 cup rich milk (evaporated milk)
1 T. melted butter, add to milk
2 eggs well beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 t. ginger
mix all ingredients until smooth
The filling makes one pie.

(Recipe for 4 crusts, use what you need freeze the rest)
4 cups sifted flour
1 1/4 cup shortening
1-2 t. salt (to taste)
using pastry blender cut in shortening
add enough ice cold water to make dough hold together

This recipe is circa 1942. I'm going to use it this year when I make my Thanksgiving pies. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!

Happy Baking and give your grandparents a call!

Amy finds herself smack in the middle of Generation X. Born in 1973 and a graduate of The Evergreen State College (think greeners, granola and bare feet liberality). She's been married for 12 years to hubby Bryce, and is mommy to two awesome kids, Dakota 9 and Madison 8. She is a woman of many directions--part-time caterer, part-time writer assistant, part-time writer, bible study leader, and official Mom-of-the-Year award winner!


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