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  1. #26
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    Re: Grandmother Wisdom, Wiles & Ways

    I was hoping this thread would inspire people to post something. I shall keep posting

  2. #27
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    Re: Grandmother Wisdom, Wiles & Ways

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosie Sanchez View Post
    I was hoping this thread would inspire people to post something. I shall keep posting
    For me, Rosie, I LOVE this thread! Three grandparents who passed away before I was born, one left that wasn't in our lives; I live vicariously through you here sharing such Joy about your Grandmother, Rosie!
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.


    True love is wanting to give to another person without any thought about
    who’s getting the better of the deal.

    Love always creates, it never destroys. In this lie's man's only promise

    ~All quotes by Leo Buscaglia


  3. #28
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    Re: Grandmother Wisdom, Wiles & Ways

    One of my absolute favourite things about Nan was here abilities in the Kitchen, so here are my memories about :

    COOKING

    She was not a trained chef/cook but an astounding home cook who could, in her early years (pre frozen Pizza - see I said it pops up everywhere even now lol) she could turn her hand to anything from a simple Cottage pie to French cuisine.

    She taught all us grandchildren how to cook a family meal, a budget meal, cakes and bread. With these elements she said we would be able to survive in any circumstances.

    I know it's cliche but the aroma of freshly baking bread is so intoxicating, couple that with loads of fresh butter, cheese and a cup of tea, there is absolutely nothing better in this world.

    I recall my first lesson in how to bake bread (strangely I struggle to remember the many other times I've made it with her) as I was about 7 years old and she said as I was tall enough to reach over the bowl it was time to learn.

    She had an exercise book and pencil on the table and all the ingredients, scales, baking tins and tea clothes waiting for me.

    We lived in a house where the Kitchen was huge and had the luxury of an old farmhouse, solid wood table extending down the middle. It was so big we had to ask people to pass things down or run round the other side/end to get what you wanted. LOL

    Bit like those you see in period drama's when they go downstairs.

    Anyway, she taught me that good bread starts with good ingredients and that you MUST sift the flour to allow air to flow through it. A pinch of salt, spoons of sugar and farm fresh milk.

    She explained how and why it needed yeast to make it raise and the importance of using luke warm water so you don't kill the yeast off before it has time to prove. Bringing all the ingredients together with a wooden spoon, then tipping it out onto the floured surface to gently knead the dough together.

    She used to have one those large brown ceramic mixing bowls with the criss-cross pattern on the outside and into that went the dough to prove for the first time. Covered with a tea cloth, placed close to the Aga I would now have to wait for at least 45 minutes to allow the yeast to do it's magic.

    You can imagine how impatient a 7 year old is so she had some she had done earlier to speed up the process and out came the mixing bowl and the wonder of how much dough was under that cloth. That yeasty aroma that wafted as it was gently tipped onto the table, allowing it to drop under it's own weight rather than using fingers or a spoon.

    She then cut it into two pieces and I had one and she the other. She showed me now to gently knead this risen dough for about a minute and because we were making cottage loaves how to cut it into two pieces, one smaller than the other then leaving on a tray for 5 minutes covered with the tea cloth.

    5 minutes up, the dough had puffed up a bit and then came the fun of pushing my finger down the middle of the top piece to join it to the lower one and of cutting into the top dough to make a pattern around it.

    Then onto the lightly floured baking tray again and left for another 45 minutes, covered, for it's final rise.

    In the meantime my own batch of dough was ready for it's first knead and now I had done it once and had my instructions in my book she left me to do it for myself. So off I went to start this process all again.

    45 minutes later it was crack and egg, brush it over the bread and into the oven for 35-40 minutes to cook while my own dough was proving again.

    I still love this part - Freshly baked bread out of the oven, turn over, tap and hearing the hollow sound. Placing it on a wire rack to cool but being so impatient I would rip the top off the loaf and head for the butter which melted before you got it to your mouth LOL.

    There really is nothing finer.

    It didn't matter that my batch came out a bit doughier because I thrashed it rather than kneaded it or that they were more like square houses rather than round cottages. Neither did it matter that there was flour on every floor tile and in my hair and on my nose. We did the clean up together and she found a space on her cooking shelf for my exercise book so I could continue with my journey into home made food.

    She was my biggest inspiration with regards to cooking and at the age of 16 bought me my very first cookery book, Mrs Beetons Household Management, which still stands pride of place in amongst more modern additions.

    Now if you are drooling at the idea of making a Cottage Loaf I give you below the details (with modern instructions) and hope that you do as I do on the first batch - head for the butter as soon as it's cool enough to tear apart.

    INGREDIENTS

    500 g strong white bread flour
    2 teaspoons salt
    1 teaspoon caster sugar
    2 teaspoons fast-rising active dry yeast or 1 ounce fresh yeast
    325 ml tepid milk, and water mixed
    1 egg
    salt, for glaze (not essential)

    DIRECTIONS

    Sift flour and salt into a bowl, stir in sugar and yeast. Make a well in the centre, stir in the tepid milk and water to make the dough. (If using fresh yeast - put the yeast in a jug with a little of the milk and water mixture, and allow it to dissolve and become frothy - mixing thoroughly, then add it to the flour.).

    Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 to 15 minutes until smooth and elastic.

    Put the dough in a large, clean, oiled bowl. Cover with oiled clingfilm and leave in a warm place until it has doubled in size.Then knead the dough for 1 minute and divide it into two-thirds and a third. Shape the pieces into rounds. Cover them and leave for 5 minutes.

    Put the smaller round on top of the larger one. Push a floured wooden spoon (or your fingers) through the centre of both rounds, to join them together. Take a very sharp knife and make cuts all around the top round and the bottom round - see my photos. Put the cottage loaf on a lightly floured baking tray, cover and leave for about 45 minutes, or until it has doubled in size. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 220C/440F/Gas 7.

    Beat the egg with a tablespoon of water and a pinch of salt. Brush the glaze over the cottage loaf and bake for about 35 to 45 minutes, until dark golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped beneath.

  4. #29
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    Re: Grandmother Wisdom, Wiles & Ways

    I LOVE reading this thread and look forward everytime I see a new post written SO beautifully that every feeling or image is evoked. I can actually taste the bread with butter melting on each warm slice. Yummy!
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.


    True love is wanting to give to another person without any thought about
    who’s getting the better of the deal.

    Love always creates, it never destroys. In this lie's man's only promise

    ~All quotes by Leo Buscaglia


  5. #30
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    Re: Grandmother Wisdom, Wiles & Ways

    Like most families from my generation our lives did revolve around food, especially fresh and seasonal foods.

    I have many recipes of the things I learnt at my Nan's apron strings and she was adamant that we all learn to appreciate how and where things came from so you could enjoy them and use them to the maximum.

    Which brings me to a topic called :

    PEAS!

    I love peas, sweet little green marbles of pure pleasure and frozen peas are great for many recipes and a staple in most people's lives.

    However, I love them best when they are straight from the pod, dark green, with differing sizes in the pod and tastes, the larger one's tasting slightly bitter whilst those smaller tiny ones at the end of the pod being a pure pleasure of sweetness on your tongue!

    Yep - I love peas.

    So imagine my joy when Nan told us that we were going pea picking in the Summer holidays and could earn some pocket/holiday money. Joy of joys!! Peas and money - yippee. She did warn us we would have an early start and a late finish but we were all excited about having money in our pockets.

    Three week's later the alarm went off at 4:00am and we sleepily got out of bed, dragged on our clothes and descended downstairs to find that Nan had been up an hour and had put bacon sarnies and cups of tea on the table for our breakfast and packed a huge picnic hamper full of goodies which would be revealed during the day.

    Collecting our warmest sweaters and a sunhat each we set off to the meeting point for our 5:00am collection point and were amazed to see about 30 women all with children and picnic baskets waiting.

    As the sun came up it was a bit like a scene from a 1950's novel with 30 odd women all wearing their hair behind knotted scarves chattering like chickens, with children running wild about their feet, being grabbed by woolly jumpers at their necks to pull them back or having their noses wiped

    Suddenly, over the clucking noises came the sound of our transport. All the kids turned to see what was coming over the hill as the noise got louder. By now the sun was warming up the ground and a small mist was floating a few feet above the tarmac road so it was quite magical to watch two huge tractors pulling a trailer with hay bales coming towards us. All the kids started cheering with sheer pleasure.

    The tractors stopped and the farmers put down big boxes to allow everyone to scramble up and find a seat amongst the hay bales. Mother's made sure the youngsters were all secured in the middle of the trailer or attached to them by babyreins and gathered the older one's at their feet.

    All aboard and away we went.

    Slowly we travelled in that cool morning air when one of the Mum's started to sing. Of course we all joined in and it felt more like a party than heading off to work all day . As kids we loved the singing and waiting for cars to come behind us or take us over so we could wave at the people.

    30 minutes later we pulled into two very large fields. At the age I was (13) they seemed huge, we disembarked and the farmer gave the women instructions on where to begin and what they would like for the day. So off we went, dragging our picnic basket with us, to the starting point.

    Out came picnic blankets for the little one's to sit on and those at the age of 10 were designated baby sitters for those younger. Us older one's were allowed to go and pick the peas and were given our own section. Armed with mesh nets in our hands, the sun now moving higher and the mist having disappeared, we set off to begin our contribution.

    At first we tried to work in pairs but it soon became easier to work alone as we all had differing speeds. I found my pace and soon found I had managed to fill 2 nets which had to be taken to the 'recorder' at the gate of the field who would weigh them and mark them down against your name. Lots of giggling and chatting filled the fields and I set back to continue with my mission to fill more meshes.

    For a few hours I resisted the temptation to take those delicious fresh pods and 'pop' them to get to this fresh little morsels. Then one pod 'popped' in my hand and I gathered those sweet little monsters straight into my mouth. There really is nothing like it and if you ever get chance to go pea picking do go.

    Once I started that was it, it soon became 2 for the mesh, 1 for me and by the time we had our mid-morning break I was too full to even think about having one of the home-made pastries my Nan had brought in the picnic basket.

    The farmers were quite strict about how long us youngster would work and when it got to lunch-time he called it quits for us and allowed us to head off into the next field to play about or just to chill the afternoon away.

    At 4pm it was time for the pick to stop and we all went to the 'recorder' at the gate to get our final count up and payment. The women got theirs first and then it was the kids turn. First they called the little ones in and those who had not picked they gave them lollipops and lemonade for being so good. For us older one's we got our totals and got paid £1 a mesh net - I made the grand of £5.00 for my half days work and at the age of 13 this was quite a bit of money so I was a very happy bunny - full of peas

    4:30pm and the trailers came back to collect this happy but tired band of pea pickers, the journey back being a lot quieter as youngsters fell asleep and the mum's were tired from their efforts.

    At the collection point we all disappeared to our own homes, money in our pockets, sun-tanned from a day in the country and fresh air and a whole mesh of peas to savour with our next meal.

    The pea picking period is very short and if you have the stamina you could make nice money but for us it was only going to be two days, the one we had just done and then one at the end of the week. For Nan it was the lesson of valuing your food and efforts rather than making the money. For me I got to make £12 for two half days of work and by rights, with the amount of peas I ate, I should be green

  6. #31
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    Re: Grandmother Wisdom, Wiles & Ways

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosie Sanchez View Post

    PEAS!

    I love peas, sweet little green marbles of pure pleasure and frozen peas are great for many recipes and a staple in most people's lives.

    However, I love them best when they are straight from the pod, dark green, with differing sizes in the pod and tastes, the larger one's tasting slightly bitter whilst those smaller tiny ones at the end of the pod being a pure pleasure of sweetness on your tongue!

    Yep - I love peas.



    For a few hours I resisted the temptation to take those delicious fresh pods and 'pop' them to get to this fresh little morsels. Then one pod 'popped' in my hand and I gathered those sweet little monsters straight into my mouth. There really is nothing like it and if you ever get chance to go pea picking do go.

    Once I started that was it, it soon became 2 for the mesh, 1 for me

    I have to repeat again just how much I LOVE this thread!

    Rosie, those quotations are exactly how I feel about peas and eating them as a kid from my Mom's garden.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.


    True love is wanting to give to another person without any thought about
    who’s getting the better of the deal.

    Love always creates, it never destroys. In this lie's man's only promise

    ~All quotes by Leo Buscaglia


  7. #32
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    Re: Grandmother Wisdom, Wiles & Ways

    Rosie, those quotations are exactly how I feel about peas and eating them as a kid from my Mom's garden.
    Peas are just something else. Most people think they come in packets frozen and have no concept of how they are grown.

    Grandad was a fantastic Gardner (as was Nan) and our early lives were filled with fresh, home grown vegetables.

    I can still taste the new potatoes, taken from the garden 20 minutes before cooking, with a sprig of mint. The runner beans snapped straight from the poles, top and tailed and quickly steamed, with a small knob of butter melting on the top before serving. Carrots, Leeks, Cabbage, all fresh from the garden, all cooked so they kept their crispness and all their goodness.

    Is there anything better.

    I love fresh vegetables and refuse to buy tinned goods when fresh can be as economical, better for your health, and be spread over several meals.

    I miss how food tasted from my childhood. I try to buy from Farmers markets but they are few and far between in our location and really expensive.

    Hmm, tomorrow is shopping day, I know where I shall be heading .... (peas are too early) ..... searching for fresh, crisp vegetables

  8. #33
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    Re: Grandmother Wisdom, Wiles & Ways

    Fresh vegetables eaten from and in the garden bring me good childhood memories, Rosie. I spent many hours there, eating peas, strawberries, and raspberries, as well as weeding in peace. Those were the days when we weren't afraid to taste a little dirt while eating a juicy strawberry.

    Have a great day shopping for vegetables, Rosie!
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.


    True love is wanting to give to another person without any thought about
    who’s getting the better of the deal.

    Love always creates, it never destroys. In this lie's man's only promise

    ~All quotes by Leo Buscaglia


  9. #34
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    Re: Grandmother Wisdom, Wiles & Ways

    Sounds like you enjoyed the bountiful fruits & veggies of our youth - we had, pear trees, apple trees, raspberries, blackcurrants, gooseberries, red currants but no strawberries. For strawberries we would go to the local farm and pick our own, 2/3 punnets at a time.

    Veggies we had everything you can imagine, Beans, Peas, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Leeks, Carrots, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Cucumbers and those lovely, lovely potatoes.

    Who would have thought I would be sitting here reminiscing about fruit and vegetables and the way they tasted - not I, for sure!

    And no, a little dirt never hurt us

  10. #35
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    Re: Grandmother Wisdom, Wiles & Ways

    We had raspberry bushes, too. Wild saskatoon berries which I loved picking from the bushes and making my lips and hands purple. We haven't gone to pick those juicy and wild huckleberries in years though.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.


    True love is wanting to give to another person without any thought about
    who’s getting the better of the deal.

    Love always creates, it never destroys. In this lie's man's only promise

    ~All quotes by Leo Buscaglia


  11. #36
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    Re: Grandmother Wisdom, Wiles & Ways

    Quote Originally Posted by Luba View Post
    We had raspberry bushes, too. Wild saskatoon berries which I loved picking from the bushes and making my lips and hands purple. We haven't gone to pick those juicy and wild huckleberries in years though.
    I have never heard of those berries - just had to look them up - they do look delicious though. Raspberries - yummy.

    My dislike was Gooseberries - my Nan's absolute favourite. She would make Gooseberry fool and Gooseberry crumble (which I didn't mind with loads of custard).

    So many memories based on foods - must continue to make mine. I did do some pear tarts the other days, which were scrummy, but must make an apple crumble and get the custard out before it's too warm to eat this kind of food

  12. #37
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    Re: Grandmother Wisdom, Wiles & Ways

    Rosie, while waiting for my husband to get his purchase rung in, and his visiting with the friendly cashier, I stood by the fruit and suddenly the scent of strawberries wafted up to me, I thought of you and this wonderful thread. I didn't buy any as they are so expensive so I just enjoyed the free and lovely scent
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.


    True love is wanting to give to another person without any thought about
    who’s getting the better of the deal.

    Love always creates, it never destroys. In this lie's man's only promise

    ~All quotes by Leo Buscaglia


  13. #38
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    Re: Grandmother Wisdom, Wiles & Ways

    Quote Originally Posted by Luba View Post
    Rosie, while waiting for my husband to get his purchase rung in, and his visiting with the friendly cashier, I stood by the fruit and suddenly the scent of strawberries wafted up to me, I thought of you and this wonderful thread. I didn't buy any as they are so expensive so I just enjoyed the free and lovely scent
    Ooh shame - although I understand how expensive they are out of season. What you could do is buy a tin of Strawberries and make a Lassi.

    You may use fresh or frozen strawberries for this lassi. You may also use strawberry pulp or puree if fresh strawberries are not available.

    You may also use canned / tinned strawberries for this strawberry lassie recipe. You may not need to use sugar at all. You may use the ready strawberry pulp too.

    How to make strawberry Lassi

    Ingredients to make to 2-3 glasses of strawberry lassie

    Ripe strawberry pieces or pulp - 1 cup
    sweet fresh curd (plain yogurt) - 1 cup
    Sugar - 1tbsp, more or less according to taste.
    milk - 1/2 cup
    Ice cubes as required.
    Strawberry pieces for toppings - 5-6
    Making strawberry lassie:

    Put the strawberry pieces, sugar, curd/yogurt in the blender.
    Blend till it becomes smooth. Add milk.
    Blend again till frothy.
    Add ice cubes or chill and serve. Fill tall glasses with lassi.
    Add a few slices of strawberries on the top and serve.
    Serve chilled.

  14. #39
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    Re: Grandmother Wisdom, Wiles & Ways

    I was reminded by one of my siblings on my recent visit of how much Nan affected all our lives. She was always there.

    All of us have the same over-riding memory of her being ready with a cup of tea and a big plate of egg and chips with fresh bread and creamy butter to make a "chip buttie". Her way of giving you a hug.

    We miss her very much.

  15. #40
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    Re: Grandmother Wisdom, Wiles & Ways

    Your beautiful thread and posts to honour your Nan has got me to thinking about my one and only that I remember a bit, and it's bringing me a lot of healing since I now don't think about her in the negative way she was presented, but as a person who suffered much in her life with the events that transpired.

    Sharing out stories here at Lifesupporters offers us, not only help, but a way to overcome and rethink thoughts that were generally one-sided.

    If only more people shared their stories, we could all heal together.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.


    True love is wanting to give to another person without any thought about
    who’s getting the better of the deal.

    Love always creates, it never destroys. In this lie's man's only promise

    ~All quotes by Leo Buscaglia


  16. #41
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    Re: Grandmother Wisdom, Wiles & Ways

    I said before Luba that I had hope this thread would evoke memories by those who read it and encourage them to share. If it also brings fond memories and helps heal then to me that is a huge added bonus. I am glad it has helped you lovely Luba.

  17. #42
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    Re: Grandmother Wisdom, Wiles & Ways

    So now where was I ..... my next subject is

    CLOTHING & STYLE

    You would think with the generation gap she would have her own older style and way of dress. This is partly true, she would never leave the house in her work clothes or shoes, she would never be seen without make-up on (though she wore very little as she had a beautiful face and skin) and she always wore a scarf about her neck with a brooch in it.

    On special events she would pull out her stock of hats and would colour co-ordinate her outfit around that lovely concotion .

    However, she would love to come shopping with us youngsters and she was easily persuaded into trying on more modern outfits.

    She had such an eye for style, bright colours and patterns. Her wardrobe was a cave of untold treasure and it was like a clothing time-machine as she very rarerly threw anything out.

    In fact, she had such a great wardrobe of clothing myself and my sisters were known to borrow a few outfits from time to time when we were older. I can remember borrowing a formal blouse and skirt suit to go to my very first job interview and got the job, she then called it her lucky suit.

    Another time I needed something for a retro party and sure enough, out came, from the back of the wardrobe the most garish, multi-coloured jump-suit in green, blue, yellow, red and orange! I was so amazed that she had this outfit and when I asked her "how, when, where did you wear this" she giggled and said "that would be telling".

    Her hats though were her passion. OOOh my word she must have had about 30 - she was the Emelda Marcos of hats

    Every colour imaginable and every shape/style -floppy, round, square, fasinators with feathers, with net, with baubles! She had one made of blue rafia in a square box shape with dark blue feathers streaming out the top - I defy you not to laugh because everytime we saw it we did. Apparently it was for a wedding in the 60's.

    There was her 'summer' collection of soft cotton caps with lovely embroidery on and the essential floppy pale green hat that fell over her eyes because of the fake cherries that were attached to it

    Going back to clothes, she was also known for borrowing ours when she needed something more modern. I often had to go and rescue blouses from her and she would try to 'persude' me that they were hers LOL.

    She was also of the generation where if you saw something you liked you bought it in every colour. So her outfits were completed by the matching shoes & handbag. I think thats where I get my passion for shoes & handbags from having spent a lot of my childhood trying on those shoes and prancing about the lounge swinging her handbags.

    She always used to say it's ok to go and buy the cheaper things like t-shirts and tops but make sure you buy some key good pieces as these will last you forever and can be dressed up or down.

    OOh and make sure (you ready for this as I'm sure all of you will have heard this one) you have on clean, good underwear

    She and I had both been subject to malfunctioning underwear. She used to wear petticoats, sometimes half ones that slip on like a skirt. Of course elastic only lasts for so long and she was often seen struggling to keep this shiny monster undercontrol when the elastic finally went.

    I won't go into other underwear but if you or your grandmother are of a certain generation you will remember the numbr of 'layers' invovled in getting dressed each day

    Not sure if there is much wisdom in this posting except how to formulate your wardrobe with good quality and everyday quality clothes or to make sure you match your shoes with your bag LOL. Either way it's about the lovely lady who taught me lots, my Nan.

  18. #43
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    Re: Grandmother Wisdom, Wiles & Ways

    Wow with everything that has been going on I've had little time to continue with this thread.

    However, having just had some delicious blackberries it has prompted me to share more about my lovely grandmother.

    I suppose this is more of a memory than wit or wisdom, but it does touch on the one I did about her frugality.

    BLACKBERRIES

    These delicious berries are known to grown wild all over the place and are very often found in hedgerows along country roads.

    One of the things we used to do, on every available Sunday when the blackberries were in season, was to head off into the country roads to pick them.

    Sounds idyllic, doesn't it! Not if you have no vehicle and you have to first bike, or walk (which is what we did often) to the location. This varied from 5 miles to 10 miles away from home depending on availability.

    We would pack our back packs with drinks and sandwiches and head off, sunhat on heads, volumes of plastic bags.

    If you've ever done this yourself you know that they grow far back in the hedgerows so you have to clamber over all the nettles and othe prickly stuff to reach in to find those delicious, sweet, dark berries. As she loved to make jams we try to collect as many as we could, whilst filling ourselves at the same time . We would then have a whole shelf of blackberry jam ready for the Autumn/Winter when it was generously added to apples to make Apple & Blackberry crumble, served with either double cream or homemade custard! Delicious!

    Many people disappear to foreign climates to get a good tan, I tell you a cheaper and more profitable way to get bronzed is to walk the country lanes picking blackberries.

    Not only do your hands turn dark from the juices of the berries, you get to enjoy the fresh sweetness of them as you go, you also get a healthy workout from walking or biking AND you get a lovely bronzed tan from being out in the sunshine.

    As the years have gone on these wild blackberries have started to disappear from hedgerows due to vehicle pollution, rubbish and of course, building, which I find sad.

    So I am so glad that I had the opportunity to experience the joy of collecting (and eating) these fruits at a time when they were in abundance and have the memories of the many discussions we had enroute as well.

  19. #44
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    Re: Grandmother Wisdom, Wiles & Ways

    Time for another chapter ........ I've been researching things on a Genealogy site so I thought I'd make this one about :

    FAMILY HISTORY

    Like so many of us I regret not getting more details of our family history before all of the older generation have danced away!

    My Gran was pretty good at the history of her immediate family but had absolutely no information about the generations before. They simply did not talk about it. She had no idea about her Mother or Fathers families as in her childhood children were "seen and not heard" and she would never have even though to enquire.

    I find genealogy really fascinating and would love to stroll back into the past and see what my ancesters had done and where they came from.

    My grandmother also mentioned that a lot of records were not recorded officially as they were held in Village churches or Chapels, recorded in the front of bibles or in a ledger kept by the Lord of the Manor.

    I try to visualise her childhood from her descriptions, of roaming landscapes, no electricity, no running water, having to walk miles to the local village or to school. Vegetables being grown, the keeping of livestock, chickens, geese etc as you couldn't just pop to the Supermarket.

    I remember her telling me of having to do chores in the freezing cold of the winter, washing clothes in scolding hot water and rinsing it in freezing cold, then having to hang it out in bitter winds which made it freeze before she could peg it up. All sounds very Catherine Cookson but absolutely true.

    She told us of one of her half-brother's leaving to go to Australia and how they all hugged him long and hard as at that point they believed they would never ever see him again! Some of her sibilings never did see him again as they had passed but she was lucky that she did.

    I've been researching him a little and found he had a hard career in the army and went through the 2nd world war fighting in the Australian army. He got married but never had children and it was only on his wife's death that prompted him to make his trip "home" which he did twice before his passing.

    There are so many wonderful stories and I do hope that if you read this post you are promted to go and talk to the elders in your family. Your history is important.

  20. #45
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    Re: Grandmother Wisdom, Wiles & Ways

    I've been prompted to do today's input by a series of nostalic programmes which reminded me of how my Nan loved :

    TELEVISION PROGRAMMES

    As I am from a generation where TV was still in its infancy I have very fond memories of how excited my grandparents were when they could finally afford to buy a colour TV. At first we were only allowed to watch it for 1 hour just in case the "colours faded". Previously there was a tiny black & white portable which had an aerial connected to the top and programmes were only visible at certain times of the day, mainly when everyone stopped moving around LOL.

    Her favourite programmes from those early days were Peyton Place, a huge American soap opera, the first to be seen over here, quiz shows and entertainment shows.

    There was, naturally, our version of soap opera which she loved and which we now look at fondly and smile because all of the set used to be made of cardboard. When it came on we all had to be quiet, including my grandfather. He, having a wicked sense of humour, always tried to interupt her with requests but she had the "knack" of turning a "deaf ear" to him. He even went so far, one day, as to put the teatowel over her head and she just calmly took it off and continued to watch the show

    She loved the show that when one of the stars came to our town she just had to go and meet them. So, for her 80th birthday, I managed to arrange to get an album of signed photos to her from the entire cast. She loved it.

    I must admit that when I watch some of the old shows I do so with her in mind and when I laugh at the old jokes I hear her giggling, holding her sides and wiping her eyes on her apron.

    Bless her, miss her every day.

  21. #46
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    Re: Grandmother Wisdom, Wiles & Ways

    I also wish I knew about grandparents, great grandparents, but that wasn't talked about in our family because both parents came from difficult childhoods.

    About television, I remember our old one that we used to have to hit (like Onslow does his, makes me laugh every time)

    Rosie, I SO love your threads.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.


    True love is wanting to give to another person without any thought about
    who’s getting the better of the deal.

    Love always creates, it never destroys. In this lie's man's only promise

    ~All quotes by Leo Buscaglia


  22. #47
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    Re: Grandmother Wisdom, Wiles & Ways

    Quote Originally Posted by Luba View Post
    I also wish I knew about grandparents, great grandparents, but that wasn't talked about in our family because both parents came from difficult childhoods.

    About television, I remember our old one that we used to have to hit (like Onslow does his, makes me laugh every time)

    Rosie, I SO love your threads.

    We had one with the little aerial at the back that moved, so sometimes it was wrapped in alu foil and sometimes a wire hanger was attached to boost the signal. He he ........our childhoods were fun and inventive for sure

  23. #48
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    Re: Grandmother Wisdom, Wiles & Ways

    As we head for the holiday season I am always conscious of the fact that I miss this great lady. So I shall call this posting :

    CHRISTMAS

    In our family Christmas was always a bit of a love/hate relationship. We loved having all the delcious foods we got to eat and special treats allowed, but hated the fact that most of our gifts were either recycled or acquired cheaply because funds were not in great abundance.

    Our grandmother would do her absolute best to make sure we always had the holiday traditional foods, no matter how tight thigns got! October would see her beginning with the long-winded process of making Christmas puddings and cakes, so she had enough time to 'feed' them with the alcohol needed to give them that punch, despite the fact that she always denied liking alcohol.

    Next would follow the hunt for last year's Xmas card and where were the pinking shears (you know, those scissors which cut crinkly). Cutting around the designs to make gift tags for this year's gifts. Searching out the wrapping paper so carefully folded from year's past to use this year and subsequent years until there was more cellotape on it than design.

    November would bring about us seeking out good deals for bathroom goodies, salts, shower gel, talcum (all of which she left the price on so we could see how much she had spent) and then a quick trip to the Charity shops to see whether we could find something new to add to our clothing. Then out would come the wool bag and the embroidery bag so home-made gifts could be done! Borrowing magazines from the library on the latest designs and replicating them by knitting or crocheting. All then wrapped and tagged waiting for Xmas day. In later years I did the wrapping and had to wrap my own gifts, which does take a bit of the joy out of it

    December arrives and it's out looking for pine cones, holly branches, fir tree cuttings, all ready to make into centre pieces with a bright red candle and a bit of tinsel. Waiting to see if this year there would be any mistletoe. I loved this part as the whole house smelled like a pine forest.

    Then it was time ........... finally ........ time to start on the plentitude of baking & cooking
    !!!
    Mince pies, apple pies, jam tarts, apple turnovers, jam turnovers. Cheese straws, Sausage rolls, cheese rolls, pasties, pork pies, scotch eggs all things so very bad for you but so absolutely delicious

    Taking the Christmas cakes out of their alcohol drenched container and covering with marzipan (almond paste) and icing (fondant) ready to decorate with the tree's/santa & Christmas motto in silver which were about 30 years old and used every year.

    If we were lucky and it was a good year we got to have a boiled ham, covered in cloves and boiled for hours until it was soft and delicious.

    Frozen turkey was not a big thing back then so it was always a fresh one, one that had to be cleaned from the small feathers on it. Covered in butter and bacon and hidden behind foil ready for the early hours start on Christmas day. Three big pans full of potatoes for roasting and mashing (puree) and every seasonal fresh vegetable available but always the essentials of brussel sprouts, cauliflower, carrots, peas, green beans and my favourite, swede!

    As we got older, as did our grandmother, we would take it in turns to get up at 3am to put the turkey into the oven to begin it's long cooking journey to be ready by 1pm on the dot and then return to bed to be woken at 7am to start the process of getting everything ready.

    Breakfast was something of a feast too in those good years. I remember being presented with a goose egg and bacon. Now if you've never had one its about 4 times bigger than a hens egg - absolutely enormous!! One of those kept you full for a long time.

    Once all the prep was done and breakfast eaten and cleared we were allowed to open our gifts. Once open we were despatched to put them away, out of sight, so that there was no mess. It would only be later in the evening that we got to sit and look closer at what we had received. For about 15 years, every year, I received Imperial Leather talcum and Rose scented bath salts, even long after I had moved out and only had a shower

    The family would arrive and the very well behaved turkey would be ready precisely at 1pm! 1:30 we would be split - Adults on one table, us kids on another. In my grandmother's house my responsibility was to serve the other kids first, then help with the adults and finally she and I would sit down at the head of our respective tables armed with big jugs of hot turkey gravy.

    Dessert would be christmas pudding with brandy sauce, trifle with sherry or good old fashioned jelly and icecream. No alcohol was ever served, you had either tap water, squash or a strong cup of tea!

    It always seemed that we would clear everything up and an hour later it would be time for tea and out would come all those items we'd baked along with salad and fresh white bread.

    Always after this it was a scramble - out came the after eights and we all dove in to try and get at least two of these lovely minty treats sometimes to find you had two empty papers LOL.

    I am sure there are lots of people who have these bittersweet memories and I hope mine bring a smile to you and a hug in your heart. It was not all 'wine and roses' every year but I learned a lot of life lessons from this lady.

    So, as it trundles up to Christmas I hope you take a moment to enjoy your memories.

  24. #49
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    Re: Grandmother Wisdom, Wiles & Ways

    Rosie, I am in absolute Awe of your inspiring stories of your beloved Grandmother, and the beautiful way you write that I feel I'm present right there, too! Thank you for sharing SUCH beauty, Rosie, it's a real Gift to me to be able to read and feel the love present you share in each post!
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.


    True love is wanting to give to another person without any thought about
    who’s getting the better of the deal.

    Love always creates, it never destroys. In this lie's man's only promise

    ~All quotes by Leo Buscaglia


  25. #50
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    Re: Grandmother Wisdom, Wiles & Ways

    Thank you dear Luba

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