I am currently reading a biography about Semi-Homemade cooking star, Sandra Lee. The first chapter tells about how her mother and father married quite young and after a couple a years divorced. Her mother then left Sandra and her little sister Cindy to live with Grandma Lorraine.
The details she shared about life at Grandma Lorraine's inspired me and I thought I would share it with you!
"Grandma Lorraine had milky white skin, kind brown eyes, and dark wavy hair. She wore pretty 1950s dresses and cashmere cardigans. Grandma was 5 feet 2 inches tall and always wore sensible, comfortable flat shoes....."
"Grandma Lorraine loved being in the kitchen. To her it was the center of our home and a place to be enjoyed. Some of my fondest memories are baking with Grandma in the kitchen in her cottage on Grant Street, which was just a few blocks away from the Pacific Ocean. She made the most fantastic cakes. Her buttercream frosting and vanilla cake was my favorite. My birthday and Cindy's are only four days apart, and every year Grandma baked each of us our own special cake."
"With a flip of her wrist, she turned to ordinary disposable aluminum pie shells into grand, shiny silver cake pedestals. On the top of each, she placed a single 8-inch cake, which she iced in white frosting, giving her a perfect canvas for dozens of pink flowers and rich green leaves. Her cakes came to life like her hydrangea bushes in our yard. Grandma was a masterful cake decorator with the precision of an artist...."
"Her baking was renowned at church bake sales. Members of the congregation asked Grandma to bake cakes for their special occasions. Weddings, birthdays and bridal and baby showers were her favorites. She never allowed anyone to pay for the cakes. These were her gifts, her way of giving to them something special that meant more than money."
"Grandma Lorraine was a modest woman who didn't have much money. She worked as a cafeteria food server near our home...."
"Grandma Lorraine knew how to stretch a dollar better than anyone, mostly because she had to. She taught me to save money at an early age, helping me to open my very own savings account when I was 4... Grandma made saving fun."
"Grandma Lorraine loved talking about tomorrow. She reminded us what a gift life was and how important it was to embrace the joy in each and every day. She spoke about all of the possibilities that tomorrow could bring. She energetically shared her enthusiasm, which made something as simple as going to the grocery store come to life like a great adventure. She talked about what the cookies in the bakery would look like in the bakery, which parking spot the angels would save for us, and her never-ending quest to find the perfect peaches for her pie. She was caring, loving, and nurturing--everything a mommy should be to little girls."
To be continued tomorrow....
~excerpt from Made From Scratch: A Memoir by Sandra Lee