Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

I'm joining Barb over at Foley's Follies in her tribute to Mother's Day. Everyone's invited to join in with their tributes, just add your name to her link list or just come on over and check out the participating blogs!

My Mother's Day tribute is for my grandmother's. My Mom's mom and my Dad's mom. Both excellent cooks, but complete opposites in the kitchen. One was neat, the other was a lot less neat. One was bland, the other was spice. Both were love. Lots and lots and love. and in their world food meant love. Thinking of my grandma's brings up memories of not just them, but my entire family.

A few years ago, an artist friend of mine was working with stained glass. She helped me to make a frame to give my grandma a place of honor in my kitchen. This is the piece I ended up with in my kitchen. My Nana's two best recipes in my grandpa's handwriting. Grandma was always telling him what to do and I can just picture her telling him to write this down. So worn, torn and tattered, in my grandpa's hand and from my grandma's mind comes her challah recipe, framed in glass and made with love.

A work in progress...

Finally finished after weeks of work, one piece of advice for stained glass, never grab a soldering iron from the wrong end!

On display in the kitchen. Essen is "eat" in Yiddish. I can hear them now, both my grandma's saying "essen, essen" and we did!

Everything has a story, the word sculpture is from my brother in law, only he got the spelling wrong, but it's the thought that counts! Brings a smile to my face when I notice.

My grandma's Challah recipe...

Printable Recipe

Dissolve 2 packages dry yeast in 1/2 cup water. Then in a bowl add 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, 3 well beaten eggs, 1/2 cup oil, about 6-7 cups flour. Make a well. Keep mixing in flour with 1 1/2 cups water, mix into salt and eggs with sugar and yeast. Mix in a little flour, knead well. Cover with towel. Let rise in a warm place for one hour the turn out on floured board. Knead for 10 minutes. Let rise until doubled in size. Knead a few minutes more. Then divide into three parts and braid. Place on slightly greased cookie sheet, cover, let rise about 40 minutes. Paint with egg yolk, mixed with a little bit of sugar. Bake 350 degrees temperature.

The second recipe in the frame is Mandel Bread. Like biscotti but my Nan's came out softer. She sometimes spread jam in the middle instead of the chips. Her recipe says "glasses" but it means cups.

Mandel Bread

Printable Recipe

4 glasses flour
6 eggs
1 glass oil
3 tablespoons vanilla
1 1/2 glasses sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
chocolate chips
chopped walnuts

Mix all together in a large bowl and make 6 loaves on 2 greased cookie sheets. Shape each loaf with wet hands.

Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and slice. Then return to oven and bake 20 minutes at 325 until browned on top.


  1. Carol, what a wonderful tribute to your grandmothers! I am soooo looking forward to being a grandma some day, as it will be my time to show my love through cooking. The stained glass frame is just perfect in your kitchen. Thanks for sharing your special grandmother's recipe Carol. Happy Mother's Day to you!!

  2. Lovely tribute, Carol ... I love the recipe "under glass" of your grandmother's challah. I had no idea that is was your grandfather's handwriting. ... I didn't remember that you had actually done the leading for the stained glass.

    Interesting that your grandmothers were so different. ... What a nice balance and it definitely sounds like you have wonderful memories of both.

    How cute is the "Esen" essen sculpture of you BIL. We all need things around us that make us smile.

    Happy Mother's Day, Carol.

  3. I love how you have the recipes are displayed. What a wonderful idea. I wish that I had handwritten recipes from my GMs too. Happy Mother's.

  4. I remember seeing the framed recipes before but I didn't know you made the stained glass frame! I'll remember your advice if I ever use a soldiering gun - ouch!

    This was a lovely tribute to both of your grandmothers.

    Happy Mother's Day, Carol!

  5. I remember when you did that. What a great way to memorialize your grandma! Btw, you said 2 recipes. What's the other?

  6. The other recipe is for Mandel Bread. I forgot to add it.

    Thank you everyone! Happy Mother's Day! Hope you're all enjoying the day!

  7. Carol - what a great way to preserve the recipes! I love the one that says "paint with egg yolk"!
    Hopefully it wasn't you who picked up the wrong end of the soldering iron!
    Thanks for participating in the Tribute!

  8. What a lovely post Carol. I love the photo of you with the industrial face mask.

    That preserved recipe will be a wonderful keepsake for your family.

    I have to laugh at the glass of flour. My grandma measured with the scoop of her hands. A bissell this and a bissell that. Never a measuring spoon.

  9. I know a bissell, too, LOL, Arlene!

    Barb, it was me on the wrong end of the soldering iron! OUCH! You only do that once. You hosted an excellent event! Thank you :)

  10. That is such a great idea and a wonderful tribute! I would display something like that proudly too. So neat that your grandpa wrote it. I'd love to try her challah recipe. Do you make it now? That's you in the goggle thingies right? Looks like a labor of love :-) Glad to see you posting again and hope you're hanging in there.

  11. I forgot to say Happy Mother's Day!

  12. Thanks, Suzy! yep, me in the goggles. It's a mask for the fumes. The little box is a fan. Never made the challah yet. You know me and my baking skills. I should give it a try though.

  13. Welcome back, Carol..we missed you!
    This is a story I hadn't heard..What a piece of art you is filled with love and memories..nothing better than that..
    Happy Mother's Day dear friend!

  14. Carol, what a wonderful tribute to your grandmothers. I love the idea of your grandmother dictating the recipe for your grandfather to write down. How clever to put the recipe into a stained glass piece.

  15. What a great idea for the recipe..such a neat thing to do! I have some of my Mom's handwritten recipes which I have laminated.Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  16. That is a great idea - the stain glass framed recipe. (Did you really grab the wrong end?-Yikes!) I enjoyed reading about your grand-mothers. Thank you for coming to my blog and leaving a kind note on my Mother's Day post. laurie


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