I cannot tell you how thankful I am that my grandma never owned or knew how to operate a computer.
Because I have some of her handwritten recipes and handwritten notes here and there in some of her cookbooks. Handwritten in a font that is only hers, not pounded out on a typewriter or recorded on Microsoft Word. I recognize her writing, which ties it to her, which wraps it around precious memories that I have of her. This is our second Christmas without her and believe me, although time might heal all wounds, Christmas will never be the same without her.
Thankfully, my memories of her are still crisp and clear. And although I miss her deeply and wish she were still here, I can close my eyes and go through all the files in my mind that are filled with memorable events, lazy summer days, and many, many, holidays spent watching her in the kitchen. I was able to spend a lot of time with her throughout my life and I just can’t even imagine what growing up would have been like without her. I can’t believe that I spent 41 Christmas’s with her and they sped by so quickly.
Please make sure that if you are able to spend Christmas with your favorite grandma this year, that you take the time to really soak it in. Remember her perfume, the softness of her wrinkled hand, the pretty sparkly pins she always places on her coat or scarf, the beautiful costume jewelry she wears, all of your favorite memories you have from over the years, and most of all remember that she isn’t just “grandma”. She was once a young girl, then a teen, then a young woman in love, a woman who faced triumphs and tragedies over the years, and loved her children as much and as deeply as you love your own. A whole person, with a whole life prior to being “grandma”.
Dedicated to Mary Virginia Faris 1917- 2009
This is for you grandma, I finally was able to make your divinity! Not quite the same without you here to celebrate, but it brings back wonderful memories. Miss you deeply and love you always. ~ April “Ree”
Grandma’s Divinity (In her words)
3 Cups White Sugar
3/4 Cup Karo White
3/4 Cup Water
3 Jumbo Egg Whites Beaten Foamy (the recipe she wrote for my mom said medium, I beat mine to stiff, next time I would do medium)
1 Cup Nuts – Chopped (I did a scant cup of pecans, I don’t like mine too nutty)
Vanilla (Grandma never used a recipe or measurements so I just glugged a dollop of vanilla in)
Bring sugar, water, and syrup to boil. Boil until small bits dropped in water form threads or hard ball – this part is important otherwise, you’ll have to beat it for ages. (She also didn’t own a candy thermometer, I used one because I wanted to make sure I had it at hard ball. This was the fun part for me when I was little because she always used to let me eat the solidified sugar out of the cold water.)
Drip syrup into mixed egg whites and beat until loses its gloss and will stand by itself. Add vanilla and nuts and beat. Drop by teaspoon on wax paper.
This makes a nice large batch.
This gave my Kitchen Aid a major workout. My grandma only owned a hand mixer…shocking that it didn’t blow up! I guess “back then” they actually made kitchen appliances to last. My mom told me last night that my great-grandmother beat her divinity by hand with a whisk on a flat, bone china, platter. Can you imagine?