Tuesday, January 22, 2008

GRANDMA'S HOUSE


I shared the picture of the farm......this is where that picture was taken from. When my Uncle took over the farm Grandpa build grandma this house at the end of the lane. It was a perfect house for the 2 of them and company when it came. There were two nice bedrooms in the house and the third they had turned into a office/sewing room. The living room was a wonderful size with oak floors and a beautiful area rug. Grandma had her precious rocking chair by the picture window so she could watch what on at the farm. The basement had her laundry room and she used her wringer washer until she was about 75. There was a canning kitchen there and a wonderful canning pantry. The one side had shuffle board painted on the floor. There was a living area too and some of our toys and games. The kitchen was just the right size for her to cook and make candy. How I loved going to their house.
Grandpa did not get to spend much time in the new house. He had awful headaches and after quite a bit of going to doctors they found a brain tumor. Grandpa had surgery and never got to come home. He was in a comma for about 6 weeks and only woke up to tell grandma to see the second farm and that night he passed away.
I remember going to sleep in my bed and waking up with my cousin from Florida and than being told that grandpa had gone to Heaven. It was a hard time for all of us and Grandma really was not the same after his death. He was really a young man to die.
This house soon became my second home. I felt safe here. I also felt grandma's love and she knew how to make me feel very special. I went to school just several miles from her home and so she would come and pick me up and we would spend a wonderful afternoon and evening and than she would take me back to school in the morning. As I look back I can say without a doubt this is where I loved to be.
Grandma loved the Lord with all her heart and the Bible was her guide in life. She was devoted to the Mennonite church and hated to see the changes it was making. To her our heads always needed to be covered and capes needed to be worn. A cape was an extra piece that was the same as your dress and was sleeveless and fastened at the waist. It was to hide our shape and really I think it started as a way a mother could breast feed her child without exposing herself. So when folks started to cut their hair grandma got upset and told us we never could do that to her. I remember her coming to our house and I was a teen and had just washed my hair. I had set the front with bobby pins to wave my hair and did not have my covering on.......she looked at me so sad and turned around and went back home saying I had broken her heart. She was set in her ways. The thing I see now is she did as she believed and never wavered. I did cut my hair after I married and she seemed to accept it.
I remember going to her house in the fall and I always knew she would have my favorite fall apple recipe....Her apple dumplings. To eat one felt like a celebration....a event.....something you took your time to eat. now that I described how good there are how about I share the recipe?
APPLE DUMPLINGS
6 apples.....Stayman or Granny Smith, peeled and cored
1/2 cup cinnamon hearts candy
2 cups all purpose flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound or 2 sticks butter
1/2 cup milk
2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
2 cups water
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Fill the cored apples with the cinnamon candies.
Sift the flour, baking powder,and salt together. Cut in 2/3 cup of the butter into the flour mixture until fine and crumbly. Sprinkle the milk over the moisture until moist, pressing in into a ball. Roll out the dough about 1/2 inch thick in a floured board and cut into 6 inch squares. Place an apple in each square and bring up the dough up around to cover it completely. Moisten the top edges with water and fasten securely on top of the apple. Place the dumplings 1 inch apart in a greased 9x13 baking pan or dish. Combine the brown sugar, water, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 3 minutes, remove from heat and stir in the remaining butter. Pour this syrup over the dumplings and bake in a preheated 375 oven for 30-40 minutes basting every 15 minutes. Serve with chilled rich milk, vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
Sometimes grandma filled the centers with chopped nuts and raisins......she did Carmel candy in the center too.....all are good!

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